2017, a weird season for DCR. Sebastian Bourdais started off okay, then sorta fell down leading up to that gnarly crash during quals at the 500. Ed Jones was rookie of the year and then bailed. 2018 is a new season, DCR has a new-ish team.
Bourdais is returning, and no one can mention Sebastian Bourdais without (a) replying the qualification crash from the 500 and (b) talking about how he was back in the car within four months. Looking at the stats for 2017, it started off looking like it was going to be his year. First race – first place! Second race – second place! Third race…okay, eighth place. Then nineteenth place, then twenty-second place…and then the crash. He came back, and for returning to a car after shattering his hip (that’s the technical term!), it was a solid return. 2016 was also just a solid year for Bourdais, was it spectacular – no, but it was steady. I look for Bourdais to put 2017 behind him, and push in 2018.*
Ed Jones is no longer on DCR.
The TBA is a rideshare between Zachary Claman DeMelo and Pietro Fittipaldi who we have discussed ad nasum, but I’ll run down the resumes once again. Zachary is a fresh faced IndyLights graduate. He spent both 2016 and the majority of 2017 in IndyLights. His first year netted him a 9th overall place with Juncos Racing, and 2017 found him in 5th place, including a 1st place at Road America. Also in 2017 DeMelo (Claman DeMelo – how are we handling these two last names Zachary are you cool with ZCD?) drove for Rahal Letterman Lanigan in their surprise second entry in Sonoma. He came in 17th, and finished the race, which going by my standard for every time I run my first race on a course – congratulations you finished and did not die! Fittipaldi has the stronger resume, two years in a NASCAR feeder series in 2011 and 2012, where he earned a first place overall finish in 2011. He then switched over to open-wheel earning a first place overall in Renault challenge in 2014 and then two back-to-back first overalls in the V8 series in 2016 and 2017.
Here’s the thing though about these two drivers, I suspect Fittipaldi to come out strong and be the stronger of the two racers. He’s got more experience, his resume is stronger, and he’s got that name behind him…but he’s come out to say that he really wants to race F1. Nothing makes me more upset then that quote.* Even if that’s his true intention, which you know do you (even though you’re wrong!), don’t come out and immediately after you get named to a ride in IndyCar say you really want to drive F1. You basically just spat in the faces of all IndyCar fans. Sure Fittipaldi will come out strong, and sure people are excited because “OMG THE FITTIPALDI NAME IS BACK IN RACING”…well guess what people in two years…he’s going to cut out for Formula 1 because that’s what he wants to do. Don’t buy the merchandise you won’t get an ROI on it!
Darnit Dale – you could have split that ride between two people who want to drive in IndyCar (#ConorCarWatch).
* on the subject of putting things behind us – can we stop replaying the Bourdais crash, the Dixon crash, and the Hinchcliffe crash
* – “It’s no secret that I also have an objective to one day race in Formula 1, so I’m excited to be racing on a world stage like IndyCar this year.”