Sebastien Bourdais will miss the IZOD IndyCar Series opener in St. Petersburg after his warm-up crash.
The four-time Champ Car champion clipped the inside wall at the fast chicane near the end of the lap this morning and then slammed into the outside barrier on the exit of the corner. The car then caught fire after it caught to rest.
"I just nipped the wall on the inside of the fast chicane's right-hander and it broke the right-front suspension straight away and from there I was just a passenger," Bourdais told the IMS Radio broadcast team. "The thing just slid over the rumble strips and hit the wall pretty fast, because this is a fast area. It's a really big mistake. There's definitely a lot of damage."
Bourdais was unhurt, but with his teammate James Jakes having a heavy crash at Turn 3 at almost exactly the same time, there were only enough components to repair one of the two Dale Coyne cars. With Jakes' the least damaged of the two, the Briton should be able to make the start while Bourdais will miss the event.
Coyne has hired Bourdais to contest all the street and road courses on this year's IndyCar schedule.