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2013 Indy 500: Jourdain misses out on Bump Day

Michel Jourdain Jr. emerged as the big loser of qualifying at Indianapolis this weekend, despite desperate efforts by his Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing team.
Michel Jourdain Jr. is the sole driver to fail to make the 33-car grid for the 2013 Indianapolis 500, following the end of a week-long process of practice and qualifying at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Jourdain was never happy with the set-up of the #17 Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing entry despite huge efforts by the team to beat it into shape in time to allow the 36-year-old Mexican to make a Bump Day attempt to make the grid for next Sunday's race.

"It's so hard because the guys tried so hard, but we struggled a lot," admitted Jourdain ate the team started to pack up shortly before the 6pm end to the 2013 Indy 500 qualifying.

"Some days it was feeling a little better, but it was just never really there," he added. "This morning we tried James Jakes' set-up, and it was impossible to drive. And then we tried Graham's set-up, but it felt exactly the same and we couldn't drive it.

"It felt exactly the same. We changed whatever we had time to, but it just felt the same, and we couldn't drive it," he summed up.

Once his own Bump Day qualifying run was over - putting him into 26th place on the grid for next Sunday's race - team mate Graham Rahal even took time out from his own race set-up work to try out the #17 car on behalf of Jourdain, and confirmed that the car - most recently used as Mike Conway's chassis at Long Beach - simply didn't feel comfortable to drive at high speed.

"His same setup, even his steering wheel. It was impossible for him to make a difference - he just couldn't drive it. He got to 204 and said, 'I can't go any faster,'" said Jourdain.

"First day I was having so much fun. The car was easy to drive and so much fun to drive. Today it was just impossible," he continued. “The only thing we could do was something stupid and put the car into the wall and not make the race anyway, so there's no point in that. We know, for sure, that there is something wrong with the car, for sure. Something bent, broken, loose, bending. Something is broken in the middle of the car we have not seen." (Read the full post-qualifying interview with Jourdain.)

That left the driver unable to approach anything like the pace needed to bump his way into the already-full 33-car grid. Those drivers at risk of being knocked off the grid if Jourdain had managed to find something in the final minutes all waited tensely on pit lane until the clock ran out and the grid was finally frozen for next week's race.




Related Pictures

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Pippa Mann awaits developments on Bump Day at Indianapolis Motor Speedway - Sunday May 19, 2013. (Picture Credit: Jim Haines for IndyCar Media)
Pippa Mann exits the qualifying inspection line on Bump Day at Indianapolis Motor Speedway - Sunday May 19, 2013. (Picture Credit: Michael Roth for IndyCar Media)
Ana Beatriz on Bump Day at Indianapolis Motor Speedway - Sunday May 19, 2013. (Picture Credit: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Ana Beatriz exits the qualifying inspection line on Bump Day at Indianapolis Motor Speedway - Sunday May 19, 2013. (Picture Credit: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Conor Daly about to make his qualifying run on Bump Day at Indianapolis Motor Speedway - Sunday May 19, 2013. (Picture Credit: Bret Kelley for IndyCar Media)
Indy 500 rookies Tristan Vautier and Conor Daly wait their turn on Bump Day at Indianapolis Motor Speedway - Sunday May 19, 2013. (Picture Credit: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Michel Jourdain Jr. gets ready on the fourth day of practice at Indianapolis Motor Speedway - Tuesday May 14, 2013. (Picture Credit: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Mikhail Aleshin waits on pitlane prior to practice at Long Beach (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Carlos Munoz waits on pit lane in Long Beach (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
The crew of Mikhail Aleshin go to work in the pits (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Will Power and Carlos Munoz flank winner Mike Conway during their victory lap (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Carlos Huertas (Photo by: John Cote for IndyCar Media)
Jack Hawksworth enters the hairpin during practice at Long Beach (Photo by: John Cote for IndyCar Media)
Carlos Huertas waits on pitlane prior to the start (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Scott Dixon rolls out of pitlane during the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Carlos Munoz with a champagne surprise (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Mike Conway celebrating his victory (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Carlos Munoz, Mike Conway and Will Power celebrate on the podium after the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)

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