File this one in the long overdue department, but Sebastien Bourdais has a 24-hour race victory at long last.
The Frenchman has famously come close but no cigar at his home race at Le Mans, and now has his first win in the Rolex 24 at Daytona in five attempts.
“I’ve been chasing Le Mans… so I came here,” Bourdais joked in the post-race press conference.
But he was more reflective in victory lane.
“It’s just as big as it gets, you know,” he said after his drive with Joao Barbosa and Christian Fittipaldi in the No. 5 Action Express Racing Corvette DP. “It’s one of those historic races that you just want to put on your resume. It’s done today, and it was done fighting hard for it, and it really feels good for the entire Team Chevy and everybody because we went and grabbed this one.”
Bourdais also makes it four straight years that a current IndyCar driver has been part of the winning lineup at the Rolex 24.
Graham Rahal (2011), Justin Wilson (2012) and Charlie Kimball (2013) have been part of the lineup the last three years.
Saturday’s Punta del Este ePrix did not disappoint, with Techeetah’s Jean-Eric Vergne and Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler’s Lucas di Grassi engaging in a thrilling battle throughout the entire race.
Vergne led the way from the pole, having been promoted up the grid after original pole sitter di Grassi was ruled to have cut a chicane during his pole lap, but di Grassi was right on the back wing of Vergne the entire way and made several attempts to get by.
The intense battle between the two, which saw them nearly lock Vergne’s rear wing with di Grassi’s front nose, stayed remarkably clean for the most part, and Vergne was able to hold off all of di Grassi’s advances, a few of which can be viewed below, to take the win.
DS Virgin Racing’s Sam Bird was also on the charge, the British driver coming from ninth on the grid to take third.
Full race results can be viewed here. The victory sees Vergne extend his points lead over Mahindra Racing’s Felix Rosenqvist, who finished fifth, to 30 points, with Vergne on 109 markers and Rosenqvist on 79.
Bird sits third with 76 points, respectively.