Sebastien Bourdais: 'We're trying to take the fight to the big guys'
For Sebastien Bourdais, 2019 has been a solid season full of ups and downs. The driver of the No.18 Sealmaster Honda for Dale Coyne Racing with Vasser-Sullivan scored a podium finish at Birmingham earler in the season, but has lacked the pace that team-mate Santino Ferrucci has shown in his last few races.
With six tops tens this season, including back to back top tens at Iowa and Toronto. Bourdais has been looking for another standout run to back up his podium in Alabama. Following IndyCar P1 qualfying for the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio, Bourdais may be on the cusp of the run he has been looking for.
Qualfying P5 in his No.18 Honda, Bourdais' team feels like they are David vs Goliath on track. Running up front with the likes of all three Team Penske cars plus Alexander Rossi, in the eyes of a small team a run like this is very rewarding.
"We're the little team that could, trying to take the fight to the big guys," Bourdais said. "I think everybody really executed well. I pulled it off in Q1. Q2 was kind of a bit of recovery miracle there because the 60 went off in front of us, put a bunch of dirt on the track. I had to abort the lap, so I had to go again. As you can see for us, was not a given to be able to do it on a second try on the tires."
Bourdais is someone who knows Mid-Ohio well, running in both the Champ Car World Series and the IndyCar Series. However, one year ago Bourdais underwent one of the biggest comebacks in recent memory. Having started 24th, Bourdais went on a mission and passed 17 cars en route to a 6th place finish.
That is all behind Bourdais, but that experience has helped prepare him for Sunday's race.
"You can't live in the past. Those kind of races, if you got a bad day, it's raining outside, maybe you watch it again," said Bourdais. "It was just an awesome day. The conditions were perfect. We had three brand-new sets of red tires, which turned out to be the preferred tire because it got overcast and cooler. It was just the perfect scenario to try to recover from that mess I created in qualifying. Just an awesome day, great memory. Now it's 2019."
This year at Mid-Ohio everything just clicked for Bourdais. The car was fast, the team hit their marks and the driver and team director were in sync. At a track like Mid-Ohio it is a place where drirver skill will dictate how well someone does. Drivers like Scott Dixon who has tamed the course five times to Charlie Kimball who scored his only career win there. Anyone can win Mid-Ohio at any given year.
With the race swifty approaching, Bourdais is realistic about his goals for the Honda Indy 300. The team knows they are in for a fight, but a podium finish is something they realisticlly think they can do.
"As far as the race is concerned for tomorrow, it's going to be a fight. All the top guns are out there, going to want to fight it out," Bourdais said. "You had so many good cars, you got Dixie out there that's going to be charging from a few positions back. There's a bunch of guys who are going to be on the move. We just going to try to do our thing. Yeah, if possible, get a podium. Who knows what can happen."