Coyne ruing lost chance of first ‘realistic shot’ at Indy 500 win

Sebastien Bourdais was looking fast before crashing during qualifying at IMS on Saturday - Credit: Chris Owens / IndyCar

Dale Coyne has admitted that the whole Dale Coyne Racing team are sad that their first realistic shot at victory at the Indianapolis 500 has disappeared due to Sebastien Bourdais’ crash during qualifying on Saturday.

The Frenchman had a good start to the 2017 Verizon IndyCar Series season with a victory at St Petersburg and a runners-up spot at Long Beach, but then had issues in both Phoenix and the Grand Prix of Indianapolis that saw him drop down the championship order.

The Indianapolis 500 week got off to a great start with the Frenchman turning some of the fastest speeds seen, but after two 231mph+ laps he hit the wall hard at turn two, with a broken pelvis and hip the result, meaning he will miss the race, although Coyne admits it could have been a much worse outcome had the car and the SAFER barrier not done it’s job.

“Everyone’s sad because we all know how good this year could have been,” admitted Coyne to “It’s all ‘ifs’, but I think he’d have been eighth or ninth in Phoenix without that accident, third in the Grand Prix (of Indianapolis) without the engine failure, and a front row or even a good shot at the pole yesterday.

“That would have put us in a good spot for maybe winning the 500. So this is a big setback. We had our first realistic shot at the win.

“But you put it in the perspective of how things would have ended as recently as 20 years ago; a crash like that and we’d have been burying him. The SAFER barrier did a good job, the tub did a good job. So we just have to be grateful.”