Four-time Champ Car World Series champion Sebastien Bourdais is on his way to KV Racing Technology according to a report from The Associated Press, replacing reigning Indianapolis 500 champion Tony Kanaan.
“I want to thank Kevin Kalkhoven, Jimmy Vasser and [James] ‘Sulli’ [Sullivan] for this opportunity,” Bourdais said according to the AP. “The fact that I have an agreement with KVSH Racing so early, and that I have a two-year contract, shows the team’s commitment to their new era in the IndyCar Series.
“I am looking forward to meeting the crew and getting started with testing as soon as possible.”
Per the AP, Bourdais has inked a two-year deal with KV, which currently fields a two-car program for Kanaan and Simona de Silvestro. Kanaan, however, is heading for Chip Ganassi Racing to drive a fourth, NTT Data-backed entry starting next season alongside Scott Dixon, Dario Franchitti and Charlie Kimball.
Andretti Autosport’s James Hinchcliffe had been offered a contract to join the KV camp, but while the deal stipulated that he would not have to bring sponsorship, the Canadian driver was given a short deadline to accept it. He decided to pass and remains a free agent for 2014 – at least, for the time being.
Hinchcliffe’s decision caused KV to target Bourdais, who has collected three podium finishes this season for Dragon Racing – two of which came in the Toronto doubleheader back in July. His first podium of the Toronto weekend was his first such result since his win in the 2007 CCWS season finale at Mexico City.
Bourdais, who has claimed 31 wins in his American open-wheel career, is being counted on to provide a jolt to KVSH’s road and street course program and elevate the team to contender status in the IndyCar Series alongside the triumvirate of Andretti, Team Penske and Target Chip Ganassi Racing.
“I have raced against him and can say without a doubt that he is an exceptional driver and a true champion,” Vasser, the 1996 CART champion said to the AP. “We look forward to winning a lot of races with him.”