INDYCAR Photo by Joe Skibinski
INDYCAR Photo by Joe Skibinski

Bourdais not happy with his car entering Indy 500

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INDIANAPOLIS – A driver starting seventh in the 33-driver starting lineup for Sunday’s 103rdIndianapolis 500 should be optimistic entering the race.

Meet Sebastien Bourdais of Dale Coyne Racing with Vasser and Sullivan.

THE 103RD INDIANAPOLIS 500: Click here for how to watch

The four-time Champ Car Series champion was not happy with his race car after No. 18 Sealmaster Honda after Friday’s final practice session as part of “Carb Day” at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Bourdais was sixth-fastest in the 90-minute final practice session with a lap at 225.288 miles per hour. But afterwards, Bourdais sounded like he was driving a Sherman Tank.

“The car felt about as bad as we could hope for,” Bourdais said. “I don’t know what happened. I don’t recognize the car. It’s super-low on grip. We’ll have to take a look at it and get ready for the race.”

NBC asked Bourdais if the track conditions will allow closer racing?

“Not, me,” Bourdais said. “Not me. We don’t have anything. I was 20 cars back. We are looking for grip and that is a tough thing to do.

“That’s the worst-case scenario when you show up on Carb Day and the car is a mess.”

Bourdais’s engineer is one of the best in INDYCAR, Craig Hampson. He was Bourdais’s engineer at Newman-Haas-Lanigan Racing during the four-straight Champ Car Series championships.

Hampson is generally likeable and helpful when asked about the car, but on Friday, he was puzzled.

“We’re going to have to go back in the garage and pore over all of the data to see what the issue is,” Hampson told NBC

It should be noted that Bourdais generally has a depressed outlook about his fortunes heading into a race and is generally one of the best drivers in the field. But unless his car is perfect entering a race, the driver from France can have a less-than-optimistic outlook.

Bourdais has 37 career IndyCar Series wins including 31 in Champ Car. He starts his eighth Indianapolis 500 on Sunday. His best finish was seventh in 2014.

Dutch Grand Prix becomes fourth Formula 1 race canceled this season

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ZANDVOORT, Netherlands — The Dutch Grand Prix became the fourth Formula One race canceled this season because of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, after organizers decided Thursday they didn’t want to play host to an event without spectators.

It was to be the first Dutch GP since 1985, but F1 wants to start the season with no spectators at races.

“We would like to celebrate this moment, the return of Formula 1 in Zandvoort, together with our racing fans in the Netherlands,” race director Jan Lammers said in a statement. “We ask everyone to be patient. I had to look forward to it for 35 years, so I can wait another year.”

The race in Zandvoort was set for May 3 and initially postponed. Fans who bought tickets can use them next year.

The coastal circuit has been redesigned, with some corners banked to facilitate faster racing.

The other races canceled this year were the season-opening Australian GP on March 15; the Monaco GP on May 24; and the French GP on June 28.

Another six have been postponed.

F1 organizers still hope to reschedule those and hold 15 to 18 races this season, starting in July with back-to-back races at the Austrian GP.