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.

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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.

Report: Spencer Pigot out at Ed Carpenter Racing

Joe Skibinski / IndyCar
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Spencer Pigot will not return to Ed Carpenter Racing in 2020, according to a story Thursday by

The 26-year-old Floridian, who won the 2015 Indy Lights championship, is expected to be replaced in the No. 21 Chevrolet by 2019 Indy Lights runner-up Rinus VeeKay.

“I’m appreciative of the opportunity ECR gave me,” Pigot told “I understand the reasons they had to go in a different direction, and wish them all the best.”

In 56 NTT IndyCar Series starts, Pigot has 15 top 10 finishes, with a best finish of second at Iowa in 2018. He finished 14th in the 2019 point standings.

VeeKay, who tested in an Indy car twice for ECR in 2019, has six wins in 18 Indy Lights starts, including a weekend sweep of the final two rounds of the season at Laguna Seca in September.

A representative from ECR told NBC Sports Thursday that the team currently could not comment on any driver rumors as the team currently does not have any drivers under contract for the 2020 season, although it is presumed that owner/driver Carpenter will return to the No. 20 entry for the oval rounds.

NBC Sports will provide updates on the story once more information becomes available.