Sebastien Bourdais is two-for-two in Florida in this young year. Now he’ll seek another podium finish March 30 in his adopted hometown in the Verizon IndyCar Series season opener.
Bourdais, who teamed with Christian Fittipaldi and Joao Barbosa to win the Rolex 24 At Daytona in late January, co-drove the Action Express Racing entry to third place March 15 in the 12 Hours of Sebring.
Bourdais was among the more than dozen Verizon IndyCar Series and Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires drivers adding star power to the 62nd annual event. Others competing: Simon Pagenaud (fifth overall and in Prototype class); Scott Dixon, Tony Kanaan and Sage Karam (sixth); Justin Wilson (ninth); Ryan Hunter-Reay (18th overall; seventh in GT Le Mans class); Ryan Briscoe (19th overall; eighth in GTLM); Gabby Chaves (50th overall; 15th in Prototype); Alex Tagliani (52nd overall, seventh in Prototype Challenge class); Sebastian Saavedra (61st overall; 17th in Prototype).
Also: Martin Plowman, who will contest the inaugural Grand Prix of Indianapolis on May 10 and make his Indianapolis 500 debut May 25 for A.J. Foyt Racing, co-drove to 46th overall (sixth in the PC class). NBCSN analyst and Indy 500 competitor Townsend Bell co-drove to second in the GT Daytona class and 24th overall.
Bourdais, who earned the pole position in the Corvette Daytona Prototype, overtook the Oak Racing Morgan entry for third shortly after the final restart with 20 minutes remaining on the 3.74-mile circuit. He was 8.965 seconds behind the winning Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates entry (Scott Pruett, Memo Rojas and Marino Franchitti) and 4.3 seconds behind second place Extreme Speed Motorsports (Scott Sharp, Ryan Dalziel, David Brabham). Nine cars were on the lead lap at the finish.
“I gave it my best the whole race, and we set some pretty fast laps,” Bourdais said. “But at the end of the race (the top two) just turned it up and I told them 'That's all I got.’ On top of the fact that it was very much a game of track position because you couldn't pass anyone. It is a little disappointing because I was really hoping we could win. I've finished second here overall twice before. It is one of these deals where it didn't work out.”
Chip Ganassi Racing became the first team to win the 12 Hours of Sebring, the Rolex 24 At Daytona, the Indianapolis 500 and the Daytona 500.
Verizon IndyCar Series drivers will participate in an Open Test on March 17-18 at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Ala., before turning their attention to the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg on March 28-30.