LEEDS, Ala – Sebastien Bourdais said earlier this week that he thought that his No. 18 Honda would be strong off the truck for Friday’s NTT IndyCar Series practice session at the Barber Motorsports Park. He knew that if they didn’t have to chase speed out of his car all weekend on the 2.38-mile Alabama road course, then they’d have a chance to contend for the win in Sunday’s Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama (4 p.m. ET/NBCSN/IndyCar Radio Network).
Well, strong they were.
Bourdais, was second, fourth and second respectively in the trio of practice sessions at Barber and backed that speed up with qualifying fifth for Sunday’s 90 Lap race.
That gives him high hopes.
“Overall, I’m pretty happy with fifth,” said Bourdais. “I was happy the No. 18 SealMaster Honda made it into the Firestone Fast Six, but I am not happy that I couldn’t fight for the pole. It’s been very close all weekend. The conditions changed a lot and I’m just not getting a good feel for what the tires need. We’ll keep trying and see what we can come up with for the race tomorrow.”
See, Bourdais finished fifth in the race last at COTA. He was also fifth in last year’s race at Barber as well. Furthermore, Bourdais has three top eight finishes in his last four starts on the Birmingham area race track.
I wouldn’t overlook him on Sunday. He’s among the favorites.