SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS HAS DOMINANT WEEKEND IN TORONTO
TORONTO, CANADA - July 20, 2014 - KVSH Racing driver Sebastien Bourdais had a dominant weekend in Toronto, Canada taking his first pole and capturing his first victory since 2007 in the Honda Indy Toronto Race 1 and then placing ninth in Race 2.
For the first time since June of 1981 IndyCar held two full points paying races on the same day when the Race 1 was postponement on Saturday due to inclement weather forcing a true doubleheader today.
Bourdais, behind the wheel of the No. 11 Team HYDROXYCUT - KVSH Racing Chevrolet/Dallara/Firestone car, captured the pole for Race 1 yesterday, his first pole since 2007, but had to wait until this morning to lead the field to the green flag on the 1.75-mile, 11-turn downtown temporary street circuit. In a dominating performance, reminiscent of the height of his years in the Champ Car World Series, Bourdais led 58 of the 65 laps, shortened from the originally scheduled 85, relinquishing the lead for one lap during a pit stop and for six more when another car was out of sequence. He was so completely in control of the race that he was able to maintain his fuel mileage goals while still pulling away from the field. The victory was the 35-year-old Frenchman's first in an open-wheel car since Mexico City in 2007 and 32 of his IndyCar career, which includes his days in Champ Car, putting him eighth on the all-time wins list.
Following Race 1 there was an approximately four breaks before the start of Race 2. Starting positions for Race 2 were based on Entrant Points following Race 1, which meant Bourdais gridded 10th.
Carrying the momentum from the victory of Race 1 and with rain threatening, Bourdais surged into seventh place early in the race. Then rain began to fall. Several other teams decided to pit for rain tires, but given the fact that the rain wasn't anticipated to last very long, Bourdais stayed out on slick tires. The decision proved costly. Now in second place he dropped to fifth and eventually had to pit for rain tires while the track was still green. Rejoining in 18th place, Bourdais went back on the charge. Slowly, but surely, he began to pick off the opposition and by lap 43 he was back in 11th. A subsequent miscue dropped him to 15th at which point he was punted by another driver while working lap 50. When Bourdais got going again he was in 18th place and with the race marred by one red flag and 20 yellow flag laps involving numerous drivers already in the books plus the rain, it became obvious that the 80 minute time limit would come before 65 laps could be completed. Bourdais once again went on the charge and over the final six laps of the race picked up nine positions to finish ninth.
"It was a great weekend for the Hydroxycut - KVSH Racing team," Bourdais said. "It was just a shame the way it ended with the incident, which cost us a top-five finish in the second race. Regardless, we sat on the pole and we won a race. The Hydroxycut guys did a great job preparing the car and in the pits the whole weekend. Finally all the expectations, hard work and pace we have had for most of the season ended with good results. Those positives are what we should keep in mind. Obviously, we have to keep working, keep digging, keep finding speed. Hopefully, this is just the beginning of a long success story."
Bourdais, the only driver to win four consecutive major U. S. based championships (2004-2007), earned a total of 54points between yesterday and today (54 for Race 1 and 22 for Race 2) and now sits 10th in the championship standings with 358 points after the first 14 events of the 18-race 2014 Verizon IndyCar Series season. He has earned six top-10 finishes including four top-five showings and today win.
KVSH RACING NOTES:
Bourdais quote after winning for the first time since Mexico City in 2007:
"It's really sweet, man. That one didn't come easy. We had to fight and wait for it for a long time, but today it was just kind of one of these days when the stars align. I guess I was not expecting it because here in Toronto, I know how things can go. I was very relaxed before the race, just did the job and was hoping that things were going to pan out in our favor and they did and I couldn't be any happier with this one."
Now in his ninth IndyCar season, Bourdais made his 126th and 127th career IndyCar start today, 13th and 14th with KVSH Racing and 10th and 11th at Toronto.
In 11 appearances on the streets of Toronto, Bourdais has finished in the top-10 10times including six top-five finishes with two victories(2004, 2014) and four poles (2004, 2005, 2007 and 2014).
The Honda Indy Toronto was the third and final doubleheader on the 2014 Verizon IndyCar Series calendar. The doubleheaders in Detroit and Houston had one race on Saturday and one on Sunday.
Next up for KVSH Racing is the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio, August 1-3, on the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington. The race will be broadcast live on NBC Sports Network beginning at 3:00 p.m. (ET) on Saturday July 11th and Sunday, July 12th. They can also be heard live on IMS Radio Network baffiliates, XM Channel 209, Sirius Channel 213 IndyCar.com, IndyCarRadio.com or via the Verizon IndyCar14 app.