Chevy Racing–Grand Prix of Baltimore–Post Race

BALTIMORE (Sept 1, 2013) – Sebastien Bourdais, No. 7 McAfee Dragon Racing Chevrolet, scored his third IZOD IndyCar Series podium appearance of the season by bringing home a third place finish in today’s Grand Prix of Baltimore.  In a race that can only be described as intensely competitive with six lead changes among six drivers as well as an eventful contact-filled race that resulted in six caution flags for a total of 25 laps, Bourdais was credited with leading twice for a total of 19 laps in the 75-lap/153-mile race.
“The results of the Grand Prix of Baltimore were difficult to predict and more difficult to accept given the solid efforts put forth by numerous Chevy teams,” said Chris Berube, Chevrolet Racing Program Manager, IZOD IndyCar Series.  “Congratulations to Sebastien Bourdais and Dragon Racing for finishing third after leading the race nearly to the end before contact with the eventual race winner. The focus and hardened resolve of Team Chevy will be brought to Houston for the next double header event.”
Simona De Silvestro scored her best finish of the season by taking the checkered flag in fifth place behind the wheel of the No. 78 Nuclear Entergy Areva KV Racing Technology Chevrolet to give Team Chevy two of the top-five finishers.
Helio Castroneves, No. 3 PPG Automotive Finishes Team Penske Chevrolet, leaves the 12-turn/2.04-mile Streets of Baltimore with a 49 point lead in the battle for the Series’ championship with a ninth place finish.  Castroneves battled back from a lap-one incident that sent him to pit lane for repairs, and contact later in the race that again sent him to the attention of his crew for repairs.
Additional Chevrolet IndyCar V6 drivers were credited with top-10 finishes in the hotly contested race were: James Hinchcliffe, No. 27 GoDaddy Andretti Autosport Chevrolet – 7th; Sebastian Saavedra, No. 6 TrueCar Dragon Racing Chevrolet – 8th and Marco Andretti, No. 25 Dr Pepper Andretti Autosport Chevrolet – 10th.
Will Power, No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet, led a race-high 31 laps, but was relegated to the 18th finishing position after on-track contact required lengthy repairs.  Also suffering a disappointing finish was 2012 Series’ champion Ryan Hunter-Reay, No. 1 DHL Andretti Autosport Chevrolet, who was forced to retire with mechanical issues and was scored in the 20th finishing position.  As a result, Hunter-Reay now sits fifth in the championship standings.
Simon Pagenaud was the race winner.  Josef Newgarden and Justin Wilson complete the top-five finishers.
Next up for Team Chevy in the IZOD IndyCar Series will be the third and final doubleheader of the season at Reliant Park temporary circuit in Houston, Texas. The Shell and Pennzoil Grand Prix of Houston – Races 1 and 2 will be run on Saturday and Sunday October 5 and 6, 2013 with live TV coverage on NBC Sports Network.  Additional live coverage will be provided by IMS Radio Network on XM and Sirius Channels 211 as well as on live timing and scoring.
SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS, NO. 7 MCAFEE DRAGON RACING CHEVROLET, FINISHED 3RD:  We had a fast car.  We had a fast car all the way to the end of the race.   That car got beat up pretty good, so by the end it was pretty ragged.  I am just really happy for the guys.  Yeah, it would have been awesome to win and in so many ways I guess we should have or would have.  But you know, it’s the podium……….another one, and its really important for the group.  For the spirits, for Jay, for the sponsors: McAfee, TrueCar, and Chevy.    Still pretty happy because when you start nearly dead last and you make it to the podium, pass a bunch of people and make it stick at the end – its pretty sweet.”

SIMONA DE SILVESTRO, NO. 78 NUCLEAR ENTERGY AREVA KV RACING TECHNOLOGY CHEVROLET, FINISHED 5th:  I think we recovered pretty well.  We  struggled a bit this weekend with speed and I think we kind of figured it out for the race and had some pretty good pace.  The tires didn’t go off so much on our car so that really helped us.  And it was pretty crazy out there I thought, but I was really happy with the ending of it.
“I’m definitely really happy with P5.  It was kind of a crazy race. I don’t think we had the fastest car out there, but we had a pretty good call on the pits when we got stuck in one of the wrecks. After that we were able to move forward and had some pretty good restarts. The Nuclear Clean Air Energy car was really good at the end, so I’m pretty happy with it for sure. Not a bad way to celebrate my birthday.”
JAMES HINCHCLIFFE, NO. 27 GODADDY ANDRETTI AUTOSPORT CHEVROLET, FINISHED 7TH:  “It was just wrong place, wrong time. I mean, we stopped dead on-track twice, we restarted twice and still ended up with a seventh-place finish. First of all, it’s a testament to the car, the work that the GoDaddy guys did and playing the strategy we had due to the circumstances. But, this isn’t what you want to see – this many cautions for the fans, and this many wrecked race cars. We’ll see, we’ll obviously take it. It’s a lot of points that race; it didn’t look like we were going to be anywhere near the top 10, so we’ll just keep fighting. That’s the spirit of this team; the DNA of this team is to never give up. It’s all in the recovery, and I think we all did a good job recovering today.”
HELIO CASTRONEVES, NO. 3 PPG AUTOMOTIVE FINISHES TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET, FINISHED 9TH: “Wow, what a crazy race. Well, first off I have to say sorry to (right front tire changer) Doug (Snyder). I’m glad he seems to be alright. It was very slippery in the pits and I just slid in – I’m not really sure what happened. I want to thank PPG and Team Penske for never giving up. I am glad we were able to finish in the top 10 and keep our lead in the championship. Now, we’ll turn our attention to Houston. That will be a big race for us and our sponsors and a lot of points on the line with the doubleheader.”

MARCO ANDRETTI, NO. 25 DR PEPPER ANDRETTI AUTOSPORT CHEVROLET,  FINISHED 10TH:  “We’ll just do what we can. We missed the balance, but my Dr Pepper guys did an awesome job of getting me in a good position, but I just couldn’t hold it without the C.O.P (center of pressure because the front wing was damaged)… I was dreading it every lap. I was so afraid I was going to get run into from the back, so I’m glad that nobody just drilled me because I could not drive it into any of the corners, was just saving myself. We had two really bad stints so to end up 10th, but it’s all we could ask for with what we dealt with today.”
ORIOL SERVIA, NO. 4 NATIONAL GUARD PANTHER RACING CHEVROLET, FINISHED 12TH: “During that long yellow it was hard to keep the tire warm because our brakes were getting so hot. So when we went into the restart I didn’t try to brake too late and I wasn’t trying to pass the first two guys. I had actually planned to try to pass Sebastian (Bourdais) in Turn Three, not in (Turn) One, and when I went into the first corner I couldn’t slow down. I was still going to make the corner but Sebastian continued like nobody was there, and unfortunately I touched him. I am sorry because we both had a chance at winning and that ruined both our chances. But honestly I’m super happy with all the work done by the team, as a one-car team these guys put together one of the strongest cars out there today. I said yesterday that the National Guard Chevy felt great and we even improved it from there.
We basically drove through the field at the start of the race, and legitimately went from 15th to third. We were passing cars all over the place and we had a legit shot and winning the race, which is all you can ask for. I think that shows how hard the Panther team has been working, and I’m super excited for Houston – which is a racetrack that’s not too different from Baltimore; we have two chances there and hopefully we can do well.”
E.J. VISO, NO. 5 TEAM VENEZUELA PDVSA CITGO ANDRETTI AUTOSPORT HVM CHEVROLET, FINISHED 13TH :  “We were definitely a victim of an incident that had nothing to do with us. The best word I can use to describe this race is botchery. It wasn’t about who was fast or who had the right strategy, it was simply about who didn’t have a problem. We definitely had a good car that would have taken us to the podium as it was looking until we had that issue in Turn 1 where I got punted from the back and I ended up hitting (Oriol) Servia from behind. I ended up damaging my car and had to come back in for another front wing. Anyways, it was a tough weekend from the beginning, but at some point in the race, we really set our hopes pretty high.”
ED CARPENTER, NO. 20 FUZZY’S VODKA/ED CARPENTER RACING CHEVROLET, FINISHED 14TH: “Unfortunately, I made a dumb mistake early on when I slid into the turn five tire barrier.   That put us a lap down. We had a good pace after that but we could not get the lap back.  We put on a new front wing that helped.  But that mistake hurt us throughout the race. We stayed out a long time on some older Red Firestones at the end and I was just holding on.  I couldn’t fight (E.J.) Viso for the position due to the tires being down to the cords.  It was really crazy out there today.  People were just taking every chance that they could.  We kind of knew there could be carnage on those restarts and that’s what happened.  Overall, we’ll take the points and work towards the final three races.”
TONY KANAAN, NO. 11 HYDROXYCUT KV RACING TECHNOLOGY – SH RACING CHEVROLET, FINISHED 15TH : “It was a very physical and bizarre race. All the crashes on the restarts, all the cars that were involved just made the whole race difficult. I drove the whole first stint with a damaged front wing and still got up to sixth. I was hanging on the whole time and trying to fight through it. We pitted a bit out of sequence and got to the front avoiding all the carnage. After the last restart the car started getting away from me. It got worse and worse and finally I hit the wall in Turn 12.”
WILL POWER, NO. 12 VERIZON TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET, FINISHED 18TH:  “Man, that’s a very tough result today for the Verizon team. I feel really bad. We had a good start to the race in the Verizon car but then I made a mistake on the first pit stop and then the accident on the restart that really ended up ruining two good days. I thought I had a really good run on Bourdais and I was going to the inside to get around him and I thought I hit a bump or just lost it on cold tires. I really had no idea that (Scott) Dixon was there. I actually didn’t even know until I got back to the pits and they told me. I feel terrible for him and his team. All I can do is tell them how sorry I am and move on to Houston.”
“Yeah I believe in miracles, but that’s probably what it’s going to take now (to clinch the championship). Hard work and fight hard probably isn’t going to do it from here. I’m just so disappointed; we had an anti-stall mechanism kick in and it worked as it wasn’t supposed to, and I was supposed to be able to pull the clutch and get going with it. Unfortunately, I had to get it back to neutral, went back to the back of the pack, we were passing some cars, had a great car, and then out of nowhere the car just died – electronics cut out on it, battery voltage looked good and then all of a sudden it just fell through the bottom. It’s heartbreaking especially when you see Helio Castroneves stuck in Turn 1 and the fact that we’re sitting in here on the other side of the track. Thanks to all the fans for their support and thank you to our great partners at DHL, Sun Drop, Chevrolet, Circle K for sticking behind us. We had a great season, and there is still more to go and we can still win out here.”
September 1, 2013
            THE MODERATOR:  Sebastien Bourdais of Dragon Racing finished third, his third podium finish of the season.  He started today’s race from the 22nd position.  Talk about working your way up to the front and continuing to stay at the front with all that beating and banging.
            SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS:  Yeah, obviously it was a pretty exciting race, starting from the back, walked our way steadily towards the front.  The guys did a great call on strategy, and that second stint, we were really strong, so we were in clean air and could run fast.
            The yellow fell right after our second pit stop, and that was it pretty much.  We just had a perfect scenario for that.  It really looked like the race was pretty much in the bag, but then, you know, the race started to be the usual Baltimore chaos, and it was one restart after another and it was just survival.
            And then when Graham got the better of us on one restart, kind of jumped it a bit, but whatever.  You know, we got hit and got turned around, thankfully, I don’t know how, but we didn’t lose so many spots.  I think we ended up like fourth, fifth.
            And the car was getting banged up a bit, but overall, we still had some pace, made some good moves, and then on the next restart, there was a bit of an incident when James tried to dive in the inside of the hairpin, and I just ‑‑ it just took my attention and I just looked at him, and, I saw, oh, yeah, and next thing I know, I just brushed the back of Justin’s car, and that spun him around and that got James up and it was just chaos.  I felt bad for him.
            But in the meantime, I was in the middle of a fight, really.  I just didn’t know what to do anymore.  If you were not aggressive, you were going to get run into.  If you were aggressive, you took the chance to hit someone.  It was very, very dodgy.
            It looked like after things settled down, we were going to really have a shot at winning again, and Simon made a mistake and nearly hit the wall.  I think he probably brushed a bit in turn seven and that got a run.  Yeah, I guess he didn’t see me coming, but squeezed me pretty good.
            We touched twice and I thought that was over, because I probably missed the tires there by about half a foot or a couple of inches, and then after that, the car bounced off a couple too many times from the wall and it wasn’t the same anymore.
            I’m just happy we finished; in the end, we won the podium.  It’s another podium and it’s what we needed for the organization and for the sponsors.  We’ll take it.
            Q.  Is a race like this stressful to the point of being ridiculous with all the things going on, or are there so many things happening that, you know, your emotions, you’re almost numb to everything?
nbsp;  SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS:  I don’t think we are numb to anything.  I think we are more excited than anybody else.  From the car, sometimes it’s really hard to keep the emotions in check, particularly when you are in position when you know you have a lot to lose on all these restarts, and the problem is with these double‑file restarts, they breed another one.
            You basically get into a rhythm where you can’t get your tires and your brakes up to temperature and clean the tires up, and everybody arrives at that first corner locking wheels and running into the back of each other and cannot make the turn; and it’s just, you know, it’s inevitable.  And.
            I think that’s really when and where we probably as a group need to really think about these double‑file restarts, because, I mean, I think it was a pretty exciting show and everything.  But at the end of the day, when it’s just a series of incidents after incidents, it just reflects poorly on everybody and we just look like idiots and I don’t think it’s the best.
            But I don’t know what fans want to see, they want to see racing or they want to see crashes, but I definitely saw the first half of it was racing and the second part of it wasn’t so much.
            Q.  On the restart before you got spun out, did you have problems getting going on that restart, because it looked like maybe Will Power and Scott Dixon stacked up behind you and had their incident.
            SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS:  No, I just braked where I knew I could stop the car, and I guess they just brake later.  I saw them in my ‑‑ on the mirror, I was left, and the other one got tagged by an unidentified object, so that was gone, so I only had the right one.  Yeah, I saw dime getting pretty damn close, and I was like, hmmm, I don’t know what’s going to happen, but if I don’t get run into, I’ll be lucky.
            No, nothing was wrong, but the problem is also you start from the inside and there’s no grip there.  Just when you put power down, there’s absolutely no grip.  Just debris and marbles and dust and everything, and when you put power down, you just don’t get going.
            And then you start to brake on the inside where it’s less grip, so you kind of are a little careful not to try to overdo the corner, and even though you think you’re safe, you still run wide ‑‑ actually I thought I was going to lose it there.  It’s one of these races where when you finish, you just feel like a survivor because you have near misses like about ten times during the race.  It was not uneventful, that’s for sure.
            Q.  You talked about the chaos out there, and you talked about it quite a bit, but if thief future races here, would you like to see the courses modified?
            SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS:  Not really.  The only question is what we do with the curving situation for the chicane.  There’s not so much we can do in the series or the organizers do about the chicane.
            The problem is we would have to race the car so much to be able to run through railroad tracks on the main straight flat‑out, that it would be very difficult to actually even change the tires, because the tires would hit the ground even when the car would be on the jacks.  So that’s No. 1.
            And you know, No. 2, I think it’s always the same thing.  You know, it’s the balance between aggressivity and trying to get things going.  But the race directors are asking us to pair up and kind of keep a consistent pace through the acceleration corner which clusters everybody, because you get that, basically, two or three rows formed before you get to the throttle, and then you’ve got everybody exiting the chicane full throttle and it stacks up at some point; land it gets there when it’s already really tricky, and you’ve got a bunch of cars locking wheels getting into a very tight corner, which is going to create an accordion effect.
            So I don’t think there is so much you can do.  But for sure, what Marco was doing, basically jumping the start straightaway and not letting anybody back up with basically a single‑file restart; and that’s probably, for me, at this place, to try to get some racing, that’s probably something we should consider, because you see every time we try to go double‑file, it doesn’t quite work out so well.
            Q.  Regarding the chicane and what you’re talking about, would it make a difference if they adapted going to a double‑file restart and then avoiding the chicane and then just discounting the chicane on the restart?
            SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS:  We talked about that, but then the problem is basically the guys from the back end up basically going over the railroad track full blast because you exit the corner and they are on the gas.
            So they tried that and it turned into a pretty big disaster.  I’m not so sure that’s in the solution.
            THE MODERATOR:  Sebastien, congratulations on a great finish here at Baltimore.