Sebastien Bourdais

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- KVSH Racing driver Sebastien Bourdais kicked off his Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg week with a jersey exchange with Tampa Bay Rowdies midfielder Marcelo Saragosa.

After kicking around a team ball at the USF-St. Petersburg practice field, Bourdais took a single shot on goal for an impressive, and successful, attempt to score. Bourdais, a St. Petersburg resident, said he plans to stick to his day job as a race car driver, but joked that he’s now qualified to sit on the Rowdies' bench with his new No. 11 team jersey.

Sebastien Bourdais“I played when I was kid, like pretty much every other French kid,” said Bourdais, “but wasn’t really any good, at least not enough to expect being a professional. I can kick a ball, but it takes a lot more than that.”

Saragosa, a Brazilian and racing fan, will be attending the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg as a guest of the 12 Hours of Sebring champion.

“There’s no comparing racing and soccer,” said Bourdais. “In racing, the best race car driver might be cutting trees in the woods. That’s the biggest part of this, not everybody gets a shot at racing. So you have to be a little more humble about it. In soccer, how many people play around the world? If you want to be a top, world-class player, you have to be better than a lot of them. Every sport is different.”