Sebastien Bourdais overcame significant neck pain to qualify for tomorrow’s Firestone Grand Prix of Monterey on the 2.258-mile, 11-turn WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca permanent road course in Monterey, California. Bourdais “tweaked” his neck in afternoon practice yesterday and received several rounds of treatment, but was still fighting the pain prior to qualifying. He went out in group one in round one of qualifying and recorded a fast lap of 1:11.0095. The time put the No. 18 Team SealMaster – Dale Coyne Vasser-Sullivan car 10th on the speed charts out of the 12 cars in the group, so Bourdais did not advance to the second round. He will start 19th in tomorrow’s race.
“It’s been a difficult 24 hours with everything that has gone on. In qualifying, I didn’t put the lap together. It’s on me. I didn’t start early enough and made a mistake on the first timed lap on the reds (Firestone alternate tire). Then on the second try I came short by about three tenths. Starting where we are is not physically ideal for me right now, but the SealMaster Honda No. 18 is better than where we qualified so we’ll just have to see what we can do tomorrow.”