Pourchaire pleased with progress after first taste of IndyCar at LBGP

Arrow McLaren newcomer Theo Pourchaire was full of smiles after completing his first outing in an IndyCar on Friday during the opening practice session at the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach.

The Frenchman got his first taste of the No. 6 Dallara DW12-Chevrolet, the first feel for Firestone tires, and his first dance with the imposing walls that line the quick 1.9-mile street course and loved every minute of it.

“The car is great to drive,” Pourchaire told RACER after placing 21st in the 27-car field. “It’s very powerful. I’m surprised by that. The power is crazy. And it’s also very difficult physically. The steering wheel is for sure heavy, but the bumps are tough so overall, I’m happy.”

The reigning FIA Formula 2 champion got to enjoy one of Long Beach’s finest products—traffic—and lost the chance to complete a full lap at speed on Firestone’s faster alternate tires. It could limit his progress in qualifying.

“I had a little bit of traffic; I didn’t complete any laps on the alternate tire, which is not a big deal in my first session in IndyCar, so I don’t care if I am finishing 21st or P1,” he said. “The most important thing is to learn, but I didn’t get to do the last two corners [without traffic] which is not so good for tomorrow’s qualifying.

“I don’t have any feeling on the alternate in Turn 10 or the hairpin, but it’s alright. I’m happy. I’m learning lap after lap and I’m happy with the feel of the car.”

Story originally appeared on Racer