SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS on Detroit: “Detroit is a very challenging track in general. It is very bumpy, a mix of asphalt and concrete, plus some pretty high speed corners and a very unforgiving place so you have to be on your toes. With the nature of the weekend, you have to do it twice. It’s a very compressed schedule with very low practice and a lot of qualifying and racing. The [hot] weather combined with the aeroscreen is going to make it very physically challenging. There’s a lot of dehydration in those conditions on somewhat slower street tracks. Ventilation is not incredibly good on street courses inside the cockpit, it gets very quickly to the 110-120 (temperature) range, therefore you start sweating a lot including your hand and that tends to lead to a lot of blistering. So having two races o a row will be quite tough but that’s why we are getting paid I guess. I’m looking forward to the weekend, it’s been pretty good to us in the past although it’s kind of been feast or famine to be honest. It’s always been a track that I’ve very much enjoyed and like to take on the challenge. Hopefully our street course stuff that’s been working pretty well transfers positively to Detroit, and we can get the bowtie up front and try to get them a win.”
Bourdais is a two-time winner of the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix having won in 2015 and 2016. He missed the 2017 event as he was recovering from serious injuries sustained in qualifying for the 2017 Indianapolis 500. Bourdais won the 12 Hours of Sebring in March.
Bourdais won the pole in his first career INDYCAR race in 2003 at St. Petersburg driving for Newman-Haas, the team with whom he won his record four straight championship titles. In his past 13 Chevrolet Detroit Grands Prix, Bourdais has started in the top-10 six times and finished in the top-10 four times, including his two victories.
Bourdais Fast Facts: Age 42…Born in LeMans, France…lives in St. Petersburg, Fla…Married to Claire, has two children, Emma and Alex…Ranks sixth on INDYCAR’s All-time Wins list with 37 victories and ranks seventh in career poles with 34…Ex-Formula One driver (2008-09)…Won 12 Hours of Sebring this year; has won Rolex 24 at Daytona overall (2014) and Petit LeMans…Finished second overall in 24 Hours of LeMans and won in the GTE class with Ford in 2016.
DALTON KELLETT on Detroit: ““I’m really looking forward to this weekend at Belle Isle for the dual in Detroit. This is my first time racing at Belle Isle but I’ve been there once before. In 2016, w I was driving the pace car, giving rides around the track in a Chevy Impala but it was only about 3 quarters of a lap because you just do an in and out lap for that. Really excited to be going there. It looks like a bumpy, fast, fun track. I haven’t had the chance to race there so it’ll be a new learning experience for me. This will be the first time in a quite a while that I’ve been at a track that I haven’t raced at before, so I’m looking forward to that process of coming to a new track without any preconceived notions, just kind of learning it as we go. I’ll definitely be tapping into Seb’s experience. He’s been successful there so he’ll be a good resource. Our cars have been pretty good on the street courses this year so I’m looking forward to continuing with that package. It’s home turf for Team Chevy this weekend so definitely going for a good result here. We’re going to see what we can do in Motor City.”
Kellett will be making his first start at the 2.35-mile, 14-turn street course in an Indy car this weekend. The only time he was on this course previously was in 2016 when he was giving pace car rides in a Chevrolet Impala.
Kellett Fast Facts: Age 27…Born in Stouffville, Canada…lives in Indianapolis; bought his first house there in May…Graduated from Queens University with a degree in Engineering Physics…Brand spokesman for Ten80 Education’s National STEM League…Enjoys rock climbing, backcountry skiing, camping, playing guitar, cooking and golf.
Past Performance for Foyt at Belle Isle: AJ Foyt Racing’s best start is from the pole in Race 2 in 2014 with Takuma Sato; Sato also scored the team’s best finish of second in Race 2 in 2015 when Bourdais won his first of two races here.
Last Race: At the Indianapolis 500, Bourdais started 27th and finished 26th after ducking in for a splash of fuel with three laps to go. Kellett started 30th and finished 23rd. Driving the team’s third entry in a one-off appearance, JR Hildebrand started 22nd and finished 15th.
The Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix doubleheader will be televised live on NBC on Saturday, June 12, and Sunday, June 13, starting at 2:00 PM ET and 12 noon PM ET respectively. Qualifying for Race 1 will be broadcast live on NBCSN on Saturday from 11 to 12:00 PM ET. Qualifying for Race 2 will be broadcast live Sunday morning from 9:00 to 10:30 AM ET. The Friday evening practice and qualifying will be available on NBC’s subscription-based streaming service, Peacock.
TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!