Sebastian Bourdais spent a lot of time in the grass at Barber today, but still found his way to second on the day.
In the first Verizon IndyCar Series practice session for the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama, Sebastien Bourdais had two off course excursions with what he called a “tricky” car.
But after recording the 8th fastest time in the first session, he gained over half a second to put in the second fastest lap of the second session with a 1:08.9311, or a little over 120 miles per hour average over the 2.3 mile road course.
Bourdais’s first excursion on Friday took place on the back side of the course at the turns 12-13 chicane.
“I was looking for the poles going into the chicane and all of a sudden I realized that there were none and I was on top of the curb with the wheels in the air and I thought, ‘oh, that’s not good,’ so that was a bit of a wakeup,” Bourdais said.
“There was a tail wind going in there and I just carried a bit too much speed, the car understeered a little bit and grabbed the exit curb and sent the car sideways,” Bourdais said.
One of the major changes to the track from the test earlier in the year is that it was much cooler earlier in the year, so lap times were about two seconds per lap faster during that test than they are this weekend.
During the second session, Bourdais went off again at the turn 8-9 complex, but he was carrying too much speed into that area of the course and he just ran over the grass.
Bourdais’ time was the second fastest time of the day. Fastest time of the day went to Ryan Hunter-Reay in the second practice session while Josef Newgarden was third fastest of the day, setting his best time in the first session of the day.