Sebastien Bourdais knows it. Qualifying is the biggest key to success for the NTT IndyCar Series at the Barber Motorsports Park. Out of the nine races run on the scenic Alabama road course, seven of which have been won from the Firestone Fast Six. Furthermore, four of the nine races have been won from the pole.
So, with a rookie teammate who’s never raced at Barber before, Bourdais is leaning on a strong baseline setup on Friday to propel him to a strong weekend.
“It was great to get a top five at COTA,” said the Frenchman. “Great job by the whole No. 18 SealMaster Honda team. I am looking forward to racing at Barber Motorsports Park this weekend. I think we will come off the transporter with a good baseline setup and can make the right adjustments based on the weather and track conditions. I’ve had strong cars there before. We just haven’t achieved the results we wanted. The biggest thing we need to focus on this weekend is to qualify well. If we can do that, if we can start at the front this race, we can have a good result.”
He backed those claims up on Friday too. Bourdais, was second and fourth respectively in the first two practice sessions of the weekend.
Bourdais, also enters Sunday’s Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama (4 p.m. ET/NBCSN/IndyCar Radio Network) on the heels of a fifth place finish in COTA. He came home fifth in this very race a year ago which was his third top eight finish in his last four starts.
If he can keep this momentum going, he could have a strong next weekend in Long Beach, a track to where he’s won at three times.