Sebastien Bourdais: “There’s never a bad day when you’re at the front”

Sebastien Bourdais paced Fast Friday for Dale Coyne Racing at IMS - Credit: Joe Skibinski / IndyCar

Sebastien Bourdais set the pace on Fast Friday at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and the Frenchman insisted it was a good day at the office for his Dale Coyne Racing team.

Bourdais hit the front early in proceedings with a lap of 223.116mph and was never headed, but more importantly he was also quick without a tow, which bodes well for a strong performance during qualifying this weekend.

“There’s never a bad day when you’re at the front,” said Bourdais. “Definitely happy with the way things turned out. The car felt good.

“We tried a couple of things and finished the session really happy with the speed and the car balance. Hopefully it stays that way. It’s a tricky place. When you get any sense of consistency through different conditions, sunny, shade, different track temps, humidity, wind, it always gives you confidence.

“You never know what’s going to come at you the next day. I think tomorrow’s going to be another example of that. Sunday might be pretty tricky, as well. We’ll just hopefully be able to deal with those conditions very well and, you know, make it happen when it matters because this is obviously awesome.”

Bourdais is now looking to continue this strong form into this weekend’s Qualifying around the 2.5-mile oval, and he admits it is a good feeling to be a factor at Indianapolis for the first time in a while.

“I can’t thank Dale, Craig, Olivier and all the mechanics and everybody [enough],” said Bourdais. “Craig was the first one to tell me, ‘let’s do it when it matters on Saturday and Sunday’.

“It’s pretty exciting just to be in the mix knowing that we seemingly have a chance to do well in qualifying. Every other time I’ve been here, I’ve never been in contention to really be any kind of factor, and that’s just boring.

“When you’re in that position where you know there’s going to be something you can do to actually play at the front, then hopefully it happens, because it’s a heck of a lot more fun.”