Dale Coyne Racing and Vasser-Sullivan announced a multiyear agreement Wednesday that will see the two organizations continue to compete together as co-entrants of the No. 18 SealMaster Honda in the NTT IndyCar Series, and that four-time Indy car champion Sebastien Bourdais will drive the car at all 17 races this season.
“After nearly a year of planning in 2017, 2018 was really a trial to get to this point of a multiyear go-forward plan,” said James “Sulli” Sullivan, co-owner of Vasser-Sullivan along with retired Indy car driver Jimmy Vasser. “We had flashes of brilliance, and most importantly we proved the new partnership worked. This is what we all wanted, and now we have a great platform to build on as we fight for the INDYCAR championship in the coming years.”
In the first year of the Dale Coyne Racing with Vasser-Sullivan partnership, Bourdais finished seventh in the 2018 point standings with a win at the season-opening Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg and seven additional top-10 finishes. It was Bourdais’ best championship finish since he collected four consecutive Champ Car World Series titles from 2004-07.
“I am really pleased that Jimmy, Sulli and I have reached an agreement to grow our partnership, and to have Sebastien returning,” said Dale Coyne, who’s owned an Indy car team since 1984 and previously announced that Dale Coyne Racing will field rookie Santino Ferrucci in the No. 19 Honda this season. “This next phase of our partnership will see the team with some more resources, equipment and funding. I’m quite looking forward to building upon what we started last year and taking it to the next level.”
Bourdais, the 39-year-old from Le Mans, France, has made 188 Indy car starts in a career entering its 14th season. He ranks sixth on the all-time victory list with 37, seventh in career poles with 34 and has won a race from the pole 18 times, third on the all-time list. Bourdais drove for Dale Coyne Racing in 2011 and raced for Vasser and Sullivan at KVSH Racing from 2014-16 before rejoining Coyne in 2017.
“I am very happy that Dale, Jimmy and Sulli are all moving forward together,” Bourdais said. “The project Dale and I started in 2017 will continue to develop over the next two years with the support of a lot of people and great sponsors. As we are getting closer to the beginning of the season, I am looking forward to seeing what we can achieve over the next two.”
Vasser, the 1996 Championship Auto Racing Teams champion who logged 10 wins in a 15-year career before entering team ownership, is looking ahead to a strong future as well.
“We are excited to continue our relationship with Dale and to have Sebastien driving for us,” Vasser said. “Seb is without question one of the greatest drivers ever in an Indy car. All you have to do is look at some of his performances from last year to know what a talent he is. Sulli and I are looking forward to our future as Dale Coyne Racing with Vasser-Sullivan and improving on the success we started last year.”