Two-time defending Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg champion and local resident, Sebastien Bourdais, had a non-team related car issue that ended his 2019 NTT IndyCar Series season opening race on the 1.8-mile temporary street circuit in downtown St. Petersburg, FL. Bourdais in the No. 18 Team SealMaster – Dale Coyne with Vasser-Sullivan entry, started 19th. He lost one spot on the start, but quickly began working his way through the field. He was in 16th place on lap nine when, in a strategy move, the team pitted early (the same strategy as last year when Bourdais won the race for the second consecutive time from the back of the field). Bourdais rejoined the contest, however, one lap later he suddenly pulled off the track with a problem that ended his race. Bourdais finished 24th.
“It wasn’t the weekend the No. 18 SealMaster Honda team was looking for. A tough deal. No qualifying yesterday with a car that seemed to be pretty quick, then unfortunately, we had a non-team related issue with the car which took us out of the race. Really a shame, but we’ll regroup, keep working and see what we can do next race.”