Tristan Vautier and Simon Pagenaud lined up in the corral for the “Indy Dual in Detroit” in sixth and eighth, and when the dust settled the No. 55 horse landed in 11th while the No. 77 was chomping at the bit in 12th.
IZOD IndyCar Series rookie Vautier’s momentum was slowed early on in the race.
“I flat spotted my right front tire early on,” Vautier said. “I had to come in early for a pit stop because there was really no point in staying out after that.”
A plethora of yellow flags after Vautier’s premature pit stop helped him regain track position as the race wore on.
“We had a pretty good race after the early pit stop,” Vautier said. “The yellow flags definitely helped us catch up. I tried to fight for a top-10 but we didn’t quite make it.”
Vautier and the No. 55 Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Dallara/Honda/Firestone car ended “Dual 1″ in 11th place. He is looking forward to getting back in the car for “Dual 2″ tomorrow.
“The guys did a great job in the pits today and now we just have to work on being faster for tomorrow,” Vautier said.
Simon Pagenaud, driving the No. 77 Schmidt Hamilton HP Motorsports Dallara/Honda/Firestone car, attacked “Dual 1″ in Detroit from the eighth starting position.
“It was a difficult day for us in Detroit,” Pagenaud said. “We managed to improve the car in qualifying for ‘Dual 2′ this morning, but unfortunately it went the wrong way for the race. It was a pretty long day at the office but we managed to bring home some points finishing 12th.”
Thanks to the two-race weekend format in Detroit, Pagenaud will not have to wait long to work with his engineers and improve his showing at Belle Isle.
“We’re going to do some work to make the HP car better for tomorrow,” Pagenaud said. “We’ve got some work to do, but I’m definitely not giving up hope. We’ll study what happened during the race because we’re obviously lacking a little bit of something. We’ll come back stronger tomorrow because that’s what we do.”
Mike Conway of Dale Coyne Racing won “Dual 1″ in Detroit, which was his second-career IZOD IndyCar Series victory. Ryan Hunter-Reay and Justin Wilson joined him on the podium.
The green flag drops on “Dual 2″ in Detroit at 3:30 p.m. ET on Sunday, June 2. Follow @SPMIndyCar on Twitter for all of the latest team updates.