Tag Archive for Detroit Grand Prix Duals

Former F1 driver Esteban Gutierrez to Fill in for Sebastien Bourdais

Detroit, MI (June 1, 2017) – Former Formula One driver Esteban Gutierrez will be filling in for the injured Sebastien Bourdais aboard the #18 Dale Coyne Racing entry this weekend as he makes his Series debut at the Detroit Grand Prix doubleheader.

“I’m very grateful to join Dale Coyne Racing, a highly competitive team,” expressed the Mexican. “When Dale Coyne called me, I had no doubt that this would be a great opportunity for me to get experience in the Verizon IndyCar Series. My target is to learn as quickly as possible. IndyCar is a very challenging series for drivers, but I feel ready to take this chance.

“I’m excited about my debut races at the Detroit Grand Prix and I cannot wait to start working with the team, engineers and Honda, as well as driving a Dallara car again. I have very good memories of my successful GP3 and GP2 Series seasons with the Dallara cars and I worked very well with them at Haas F1 Team. I will do my best for Dale Coyne Racing, Honda and all the Mexican fans.”

While it will be his first time aboard an Indy car, the new DCR pilot has plenty of experience racing overseas in top open-wheel racing series.

From 2013 to 2014, Gutierrez raced in Formula One full-time with the Sauber F1 team after two years as their test driver. He then moved on to join Scuderia Ferrari as a test driver in 2015 before competing for a full season with the Haas F1 team in 2016.

Prior to his time in Formula One, he made his mark in the GP2 Series placing third in the Championship standings in 2012 on the strength of seven podium finishes including three wins. In 2010, he took home the GP3 Series Championship thanks to his nine podium finishes in 16 races, which included five race wins.

“We’re going to miss having Sebastien in the #18 car, but we’re very happy with our choice of a replacement for him this weekend,” shared Team Owner Dale Coyne. “Esteban has a great open-wheel racing background, especially with his time in Formula One and the GP2 Series. I think he’ll do well in an Indy car despite the learning curve and we all look forward to seeing what he’ll do this weekend in Detroit.”

Following his years in the karting ranks, Gutierrez made his American racing debut when he competed in the Formula BMW USA Series in 2007. That season, he scored four wins on his way to a runner-up finish and picked up rookie of the year honors. For 2008, he moved to the Formula BMW Europe Series where he reached the title with 12 podium finishes, including seven wins. Since the start of the year, the Mexican has been racing in the Formula E series.

Gutierrez will be on track starting Friday, June 2 for the first practice session at 10:20am. The first race of the doubleheader weekend goes green at 3:50pm on Saturday, June 3, 2017.

Bourdais suffered multiple fractures to the pelvis and a broken right hip during an incident on the third lap of his qualifying attempt for the 101st Indianapolis 500 on May 20th. Following successful surgery, Bourdais will be out for an estimated three months.

SOURCE: Dale Coyne Racing

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Fifth Third Bank to Sponsor RLL’s Oriol Servia in Detroit Grand Prix Duals

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing (RLL) announced that Fifth Third Bank has not only extended their partnership with the team as an associate sponsor for three more years, they have also expanded their role to include primary sponsorship of the No. 16 Indy car driven by Oriol Servia in the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix Duals, June 3 and 4. It is their first time to be a primary sponsor on an Indy car. Fifth Third Bank is in its second year as an associate sponsor for the team.

“We are very pleased that we have been able to grow our Fifth Third relationship and feature them as the primary sponsor in both races in Detroit on Oriol Servia’s entry,” said Bobby Rahal, co-owner of Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, with David Letterman and Mike Lanigan. “My personal experience with Fifth Third Bank goes back to the days when I lived in Columbus, Ohio and I am very proud that it has grown to this level since our partnership began in 2016. It’s going to be exciting to see Fifth Third as the primary sponsor on an Indy car and we look forward to the opportunity to put the car in Winner’s Circle.”

“There is no better way for us to ignite the Fifth Third brand than by partnering with the Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing team and Indy car racing, said Steven Alonso, Group Regional President of Fifth Third Bank. “We had a great experience with our partnership last year and we are thrilled to not only continue but to increase our sponsorship for the next three years. We are really looking forward to being the primary sponsor and see the Fifth Third Bank car in the field at the Detroit Grand Prix.”

The Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix doubleheaders will both be televised live on ABC at 3:30 p.m. ET on June 3 and June 4.

SOURCE: Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing ♦ PHOTO: Brian Groce

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