Qualifying Report: Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio
LEXINGTON, Ohio (July 3, 2021) -- One second. It could have made all the difference in qualifying for Sebastien Bourdais at the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio. Instead of advancing to the Firestone Fast 6, Bourdais and his No. 14 ROKiT Chevrolet will start 12th tomorrow. Dalton Kellett will start 21st in his No. 4 K-Line Insulators USA Chevrolet for his best IndyCar start at this track.
After setting the quickest time on the primary tires in Round 2, Bourdais came into the pits to switch to the faster alternate tires. The pit lane speed limiter failed to catch a speed spike so Bourdais was hit with a drive-through penalty which he had to serve immediately. Penalty served, he had to be careful to not impede others who were already on their flying laps as that would have incurred another penalty. He cycled in and had only one flying lap but he needed at least two laps for the tires to reach peak efficiency.
As luck would have it, Bourdais arrived at the timeline a second too early as he was the first to catch the checkered flag, thus cutting short his run and that peak efficiency lap on the red tires, as well as his bid for the Firestone Fast 6.
“Pretty frustrating day for the ROKiT No. 14 Chevrolet with AJ Foyt Racing,” said Bourdais. “Obviously felt like we had a pretty decent shot at it. Barely made it through from Group 1 to Q2, got a pit speed violation – still trying to look at what actually happened because I undershot then overshot the speed and we got dinged for it. Pretty disappointing because it definitely feels like there was potential there for the car to give it a shot to the Fast Six, so we’ll see. It’s going to be a tough day starting 12th tomorrow but we’ll give our best shot.”
“It would have been a run for the pole,” said Team President Larry Foyt. “We had a fast car. Just can’t catch a break this season.”
Kellett’s made progress from yesterday’s practice and seemed pleased with his car.
“I would say the No. 4 K-Line Insulators USA Team Chevy is feeling as good as it’s felt all weekend,” Kellett said. “I think we made some gains between practice and qualifying so that was a good thing. Just need some time gain between Seb and myself. [Have] some stuff to work on, mainly Turn 1, just losing a bit of time there but getting back on power in the keyhole so we will be working on that in warmup. And we’ll be doing some longer runs to see how those Firestone reds will progress for a longer run. Overall, relatively happy and looking forward to what we’ll have for tomorrow.”
The teams have a final practice this afternoon before tomorrow’s race which will be broadcast on NBC starting at 12 noon ET.