Detroit – Sebastien Bourdais’ crew was busy at work repairing damage on his No. 11 Team Mystic Chevrolet from his crash in the tire barrier during practice Saturday morning on the 2.3-mile road course on Belle Isle.
Bourdais had qualified sixth for this afternoon’s Chevrolet Dual in Detroit Indy Car Race No. 1. He was 14th during practice (1:17.420) before is accident which caused damage to the front end, especially the left tire.
Luca Filippi topped the field in practice at 1:16.746 in the No. 20 Fuzzy’s Vodka Chevrolet for Ed Carpenter/Sarah Fisher Racing after qualifying 19th yesterday (107.853). Helio Castroneves of Team Penske was right behind at 1:16.748 in the morning session.
“He’s done a good job today, but yesterday was a bit of disappointment,” said Carpenter of Filippi. “Both of our cars have had the capability of being quick this weekend and we just had a bad qualifying session yesterday with Luca which is disappointing because we’re starting 19th and we could have easily been in the top 12.”
Filippi's teammate Josef Newgarden, who won at Alabama earlier this season, qualified 18th yesterday.
Carpenter expects rain for Saturday’s race which gets underway at 3:30.
“It looks like weather is still coming,” said Carpenter at 10 a.m., after practice with sunny conditions and 75 degrees. “There’s nothing you can do about that. It’s going to be a tough race. I think if it’s anything like last year, this was probably one of the only races where blacks ended up being better than the red tires in the race. When you have tire drop off like that I think it makes for very exciting racing and opens up the strategy quite a bit so that’s a good thing starting where we are, we’ll have opportunity to get the strategy right.”
Will Power will start Race No. 1 from the pole. Power won Race No. 1 last year on Belle Isle from the 18th starting spot.
Eighteen drivers in the 23-car field will start the race with alternate (red) tires, including the entire Team Penske group of Power, Castroneves, Indy 500 winner Juan Pablo Montoya and Simon Pagenaud.
Filippi will start in alternate tires, but Newgarden will start with blacks.