Sebastien Bourdais Qualifies Career Best Fifth for 102nd Running of the Indianapolis 500
Sebastien Bourdais Qualifying Summary:
Sebastien Bourdais, behind the wheel of the No. 18 Team SealMaster – Dale Coyne Racing with Vasser-Sullivan car, qualified an Indianapolis 500 career best fifth for the 102nd running of the “Greatest Spectacle in Racing.” Bourdais was fifth after yesterday’s first round of qualifying putting him in the Fast-Nine with a chance to run for the pole. He was fifth of the nine drivers to make an attempt in the Fast-Nine Shootout and recorded a four-lap average speed at 228.142 mph, making him the fastest of the Honda powered cars. Bourdais’ starting position surpasses his previous high of seventh in 2015. In six previous Indy 500-mile races, Bourdais has three top-five finishes in the first five races of the 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series season including a victory at St. Petersburg, a fourth place performance in the INDYCAR Grand Prix and a fifth place finish at Barber. Currently third in the championship standings, Bourdais heads into the Indy 500 as a favorite to win.
Sebastien Bourdais Qualifying Quote:
“It was just a great weekend for the SealMaster Honda No. 18. We are the top Honda car. I’m starting fifth in the middle of row two. I am really proud of everything the guys have done. I think it is speaks volumes about their work, their passion and their dedication to this program, Dale (Coyne), Jimmy (Vasser) and Sulli (James Sullivan) and everybody from top to bottom. I can’t thank them enough for the opportunity, for the support. It has probably been the hardest weekend and the hardest thing I have ever had to do in my life. I am glad it is over.”
This is Bourdais fourth top-five qualifying effort and fifth top-10 in the first six races of the 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series season. In addition to today’s fifth place qualifying effort, he captured the pole at Phoenix, qualified third at for the INDYCAR Grand Prix and at Barber and started ninth at Long Beach.
Bourdais is the only driver to have led laps in the first five races of the 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series season.
His total of 104 laps led this year is third behind Robert Wickens, 133 and Josef Newgarden, 107.
Bourdais is contesting his 13th Verizon IndyCar Series season, third with Dale Coyne Racing and first with Dale Coyne Racing w/ Vasser-Sullivan.
The 2018 Indy 500 will be Bourdais’ 177th Verizon IndyCar Series start and 36th on an oval.
In 176 career IndyCar starts, Bourdais has won 37 races (sixth all-time) and captured 34 pole positions (seventh all-time).
Of Bourdais’ 35 career oval starts, 27 have come in the last six years (26 in last five years).
Bourdais has made 28 IndyCar oval starts (includes 2005 Indy 500) with a best qualifying effort of first (pole) at Phoenix in 2018. Phoenix was his first pole since Mid-Ohio in 2014 and first on an oval since 2006 when he captured the pole at Milwaukee (previous high was fourth at Fontana in 2013). His best finish is a victory at Milwaukee in 2015. It was his first oval win since 2006 also at Milwaukee.
Bourdais made seven oval starts in Champ Car earning four victories: Lausitz, 2003; Las Vegas in 2004 and 2005; Milwaukee 2006 and capturing three poles: Lausitz, 2003; Las Vegas 2005 and Milwaukee in 2006.
Bourdais is the only driver to win four consecutive IndyCar championships (2004 – 2007).
The 102nd running of the Indianapolis 500, Round 6 of the 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series, will be held on May 27 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Speedway, IN. The race will be broadcast live on ABC at 11:00 a.m. ET. It is also available on radio: XM 209 and IMS IndyCar Radio as well as online: IndyCar.com and Verizon IndyCar 15 app.