BEST WEEKEND OF SEASON ENDS EARLY FOR DALE COYNE RACING
Baltimore, Maryland (September 4, 2011)— After qualifying yesterday into each of their best starting positions of the season, both Dale Coyne Racing drivers did not finish the Inaugural Baltimore Grand Prix due to circumstances beyond their control.
Sebastien Bourdais, driver of the #19 Boy Scouts of America car, started today’s race in fifth position. Nine laps into the race, however, electrical issues with the gearbox GCU forced him to come into his pit box where it was determined the car could not continue.
“It’s a shame that we started the race in our best position,” Bourdais said, “and we didn’t get to finish because of something that was out of our control. I was having trouble with third gear, I was stuck there, so I came in and then started to smell a burning. The Boy Scouts of America guys did a great job this weekend and I wish for them that we could have really made use of our fifth place start, but things happen so I guess it is what it is.”
James Jakes, driver of the #18 Acorn Stairlifts car, started the race in 11th position. Jakes moved up the line throughout his run on the streets of Baltimore and was running as high as eighth before he came in for his first pit stop on race lap 25. After the pit stop, Jakes was running 12th, right behind eventual second place finisher Oriol Servia. On lap 38, a pile-up caused by Ryan Hunter-Reay’s spin stopped half of the field, including Jakes, in turn three.
“I saw the first two cars get stopped so I tried to pick a route that I thought I could get through,” Jakes said. “I thought they were going to move over to the left so I went right, but by then so many cars had gotten caught up that it was nearly impossible to avoid. Then I got bumped from behind and the steering rig broke so we didn’t really have a choice but to come in. Not exactly what we wanted but this just means we’ll come out even stronger in two weeks in Japan.”
Bourdais ultimately finished the race in 28th position and Jakes finished 27th.
“It was a great weekend for both cars,” owner Dale Coyne said. “We had the potential to podium with both drivers and cars as we would have followed the strategy of pitting on lap 44. This was a very good showing of how competitive we are and will be in our planning for next year.”
Be sure to tune in two weeks from now as the IZOD IndyCar Series heads to Twin Ring Motegi in Japan for the final time. The race can be seen on Saturday, September 17 on VERSUS at 11:30 PM ET.