He may not be a house hold name yet on the IndyCar scene but there is one thing that Sebastien Bourdais has going for him – confidence. He knows that this season his No. 7 Dragon Racing Chevrolet could have had plenty of better finishes.
Talking to him this week as he and his team got ready for the Grand Prix of Baltimore he had designs on a podium finish and maybe a checkered flag. We also talked about the street race in Baltimore where temps on the course will be around 100 degrees.
JW: What is the most important thing you need to do to be competitive in Baltimore?
Bourdais: We have to get in the top 10 in the Saturday qualifying. Street races do not allow much in the way of working your way to the front of the field from the back as say a long race on an oval track might. So Saturday I think for us to have a real chance at being a true challenger we need to be no further back than the 8th position on the staring grid to give us a real chance to win and we have the car to do that.
JW: Talk about the street course here in Baltimore.
Bourdais: Any street course is very tough on both the car and the driver. I mean these are regular city streets that see lots of traffic everyday so they have a few bumps and slick spots that hopefully in practice we can find. For instance Pratt Street, to me offers a great flat surface and it is a wonderful place to pass or to set us to pass as you head into the turn. We must rely on what we learn from the practices to tell us about the track. That is the only time we have before the race to really get to know the course.
JW: Sunday there will be temps in the low 90’s. How will that affect the cars and the drivers?
Bourdais: Well as a driver we need to drink a great deal of fluids before the race so that we are well hydrated. Once the race begins we will not drink too much and the heat inside the car will get well over the 100 degree mark. That said we will be able to maintain focus and all should be fine. The cars are also built to run under these temps so I don’t see that to be an issue, however we could see some issues with the tires. The hotter the track the more interesting the ties can be. So well keep a look out for that. All in all I feel good about our chances this week and in Houston as well. I think we have a chance to finish out the 2013 season on a very high note starting here in Baltimore.
The race can be seen at 2 p.m. live on NBC Sports Network, radio is the IMS Radio Network and Sirius XM radio.