BEST QUALIFICATIONS OF SEASON FOR DALE COYNE RACING

Sébastien Bourdais, Dale Coyne Racing
Sébastien Bourdais, Dale Coyne Racing

Photo by: Ted Rossino

Baltimore, Maryland (September 3, 2011)—Both Dale Coyne Racing drivers, James Jakes and Sebastien Bourdais, will start Sunday’s Inaugural Baltimore Grand Prix with their highest qualifying positions of the season. Bourdais will start the race 5th and Jakes will start 13th.

Bourdais, driver of the #19 Boy Scouts of America car, has consistently held a position on the top-ten during this weekend’s practices. He finished Friday’s only practice in tenth position, and improved to finish Saturday’s practice session in 5th. As a member of the first group of 14 to go out for qualifying, Sebastien finished fourth and thus advanced to round two as a part of the Firestone Fast Twelve. Then, after finishing third of twelve and advancing to compete for pole position as a part of the Firestone Fast Six, Bourdais earned a starting position in the third row in the fifth position with a lap time of 1:20.3986. This race will mark Bourdais’ sixth time advancing to the Firestone Fast Twelve and third top-ten start.

“I’m very happy with our starting position,” Bourdais said. “There was a miscommunication at the end of the session and I came into the pits when I could have driven one more lap and probably moved two more positions up, but considering I’m fighting a bit of a cold, I really can’t complain. We have a very good car going into tomorrow, so thank you to the team.”

Rookie Jakes, driver of the #18 Acorn Stairlifts car, also showed great speed this weekend. Throughout the first round of qualifying as a part of Group 1, Jakes ran in the top six of the group until just before the checkered flag. Ultimately, he finished 7th in his group with a lap time of 1:21.6046, just missing the chance to advance to the Firestone Fast Twelve. With the two qualifying groups combined, Jakes will start tomorrow’s race in 13th position, which is his best start of his IZOD IndyCar Series career.

“We were just so close to making it into that top group,” Jakes said. “As frustrating as that is, going back over what could have been different doesn’t do us any good. Overall, we’ve got a very good race car and a very cool new track to race on, and tomorrow is going to be really fun to watch.”