Dale Coyne Racing is not an IndyCar underdog anymore, Bourdais says

Dale Coyne Racing will no longer be an IndyCar underdog given the quality of engineers recruited for his return, reckons Sebastien Bourdais

Dale Coyne Racing is not an IndyCar underdog anymore, Bourdais says

Coyne has re-signed four-time Champ Car champion and sometime Toro Rosso Formula 1 driver Bourdais from KVSH Racing for 2017, six years after he made his American single-seater return with the team.

It has also hired Bourdais' KVSH engineer Olivier Boisson and Craig Hampson - who masterminded his Champ Car domination at Newman/Haas.

"It's definitely a great window for us to achieve something really interesting," said Bourdais of the Coyne line-up.

"Obviously the key was to be able to reinforce the engineering department which was already in place.

"They had some really good results this year with Conor Daly as a rookie, that was one thing. 

"But for me to be able to continue with Olivier, my engineer from KVSH, and to bring a guy of the calibre of Craig into the system, was definitely the key."

Team owner Coyne added: "We've talked to Craig for a lot of years.

"When Newman/Haas stopped racing, he was a target of ours right away. He took a sabbatical from track engineering for a while, did a home-based engineering programme with Andretti.

"But I think he's anxious to get back in, especially with his old friend Sebastien. We're very pleased to be in this position to be able to pull this off now."

Coyne's team was a minnow of the CART Indycar era, with Roberto Moreno's third place in the 1996 US 500 the only podium of the first 19 years of its existence.

It grew increasingly competitive in the 21st century, enticing frontrunning drivers such as 2002 CART champion Cristiano da Matta, Oriol Servia and Bruno Junqueira, above in '07, and then becoming a race winner in the unified IndyCar Series with the late Justin Wilson, Mike Conway and Carlos Huertas.

Asked if he felt Coyne could shake off its underdog tag now, Bourdais replied: "I don't really look at it that way.

"I didn't really see any kind of better opportunity than being reunited with Dale.

"Does it mean we're a top team? Of course not. We'll still be building the team and trying to evaluate where the strengths and weaknesses are.

"Hopefully by the time we come to drawing conclusions, then we'll be feeling pretty proud of what we've achieved."

Coyne hopes Bourdais is back for the long term.

"This is not just a one-year programme. It's two years and possibly more," he said.

"So we're excited about that, especially with the equaliser coming in 2018 with an aero kit the same for everyone."

He expects to run a two-car team again, having fielded Daly full-time in 2016 while Luca Filippi, Gabby Chaves and RC Enerson rotated in the sister car.

"We're working on some programmes with all the usual suspects to get something done by the end of this month," Coyne added.

"We have some favourite sons we'd like to try to do something with."

shares
comments
Carlin could enter IndyCar in 2017 in partnership with Kalkhoven
Previous article

Carlin could enter IndyCar in 2017 in partnership with Kalkhoven

Next article

Juan Pablo Montoya accepts Penske's Indianapolis 500 offer for 2017

Juan Pablo Montoya accepts Penske's Indianapolis 500 offer for 2017
Load comments
Have Harvey and RLL formed IndyCar’s next winning match-up? Plus

Have Harvey and RLL formed IndyCar’s next winning match-up?

Despite appearing to have an IndyCar job for life with Meyer Shank Racing, Jack Harvey’s departure and move to Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing sparked plenty of debate. However, Harvey's and RLL's combined strengths could prove to be a winning combination - if they get the balance right

IndyCar
Oct 17, 2021
Remembering Dan Wheldon and his last and most amazing IndyCar win Plus

Remembering Dan Wheldon and his last and most amazing IndyCar win

Saturday 16 October marks the 10th anniversary of Dan Wheldon’s death. David Malsher-Lopez pays tribute, then asks Wheldon’s race engineer from 2011, Todd Malloy, to recall that magical second victory at the Indianapolis 500

IndyCar
Oct 16, 2021
Why Kyle Kirkwood is America's new IndyCar ace-in-waiting Plus

Why Kyle Kirkwood is America's new IndyCar ace-in-waiting

Kyle Kirkwood, the record-setting junior formula driver, sealed the Indy Lights championship last weekend. But despite an absurdly strong junior career and scholarship money, his next move is far from clear

IndyCar
Oct 6, 2021
Why IndyCar title glory is just the start for Ganassi's new star Plus

Why IndyCar title glory is just the start for Ganassi's new star

Newly-crowned IndyCar champion Alex Palou has been lauded as a complete driver and veteran-like in only his second season. The 24-year-old is still in the early days of his career, but the parallels are there for all to see with his six-time champion Chip Ganassi Racing team-mate who has been CGR's team leader since 2014

IndyCar
Sep 28, 2021
Why Grosjean's oval commitment shows he's serious about IndyCar Plus

Why Grosjean's oval commitment shows he's serious about IndyCar

One of motorsport’s worst-kept secrets is now out in the open, and Romain Grosjean has been confirmed as an Andretti Autosport IndyCar driver in 2022. It marks a remarkable turnaround after the abrupt end to his Formula 1 career, and is a firm indication of his commitment to challenge for the IndyCar Series title  

IndyCar
Sep 24, 2021
Why IndyCar’s longest silly-season is still far from over Plus

Why IndyCar’s longest silly-season is still far from over

OPINION: The 2021 IndyCar silly season has been one of the silliest for many years, as many talented drivers remain in play – with new pieces to the puzzle being added all the time. Here's what we know so far about who will end up where in 2022

IndyCar
Sep 15, 2021
Why IndyCar's generational shift isn't as stark as it appears Plus

Why IndyCar's generational shift isn't as stark as it appears

OPINION: The rise of two drivers racing only their second full-season IndyCar campaigns to head the points with four races to go has led to some observers doubting the credentials of the old guard. But they haven't faded away, there's merely a deeper talent pool that is helping to make this season one of the best in recent years

IndyCar
Aug 20, 2021
The F1 champion who became an Indy king in his second career Plus

The F1 champion who became an Indy king in his second career

Emerson Fittipaldi’s decision to go racing with his brother led to him falling out of F1, but he bloomed again on the IndyCar scene. NIGEL ROEBUCK considers a career of two halves

Formula 1
Jul 31, 2021