IndyCar: Bourdais bullish for Toronto encore of 2013

2 Comments

One of the drivers who needs  – and probably deserves – a big weekend this weekend at the Honda Indy 2 in Toronto is KVSH Racing’s Sebastien Bourdais.

The “bespectacled badass” hasn’t finished on the podium yet this year, with a pair of fourth place finishes (Grand Prix of Indianapolis, Houston race 1) serving as his best results of 2014.

But the driver of the No. 11 Hydroxycut KVSH Racing Chevrolet turned his 2013 season around at this race weekend a year ago. Bourdais delivered a runner-up finish in Saturday’s race one, with a third place in Sunday’s race two. The Saturday race came with a much-remembered trophy smash on the podium, as the glass bowl fell off its base and tumbled to its ultimate demise.

They were his first podium finishes since he returned to the Verizon IndyCar Series in 2011, and also marked the first in Dragon Racing’s history.

A year later, Bourdais looks to deliver KVSH Racing its first podium of the year as well. Believe it or not, KV and A.J. Foyt Enterprises are the only full-season teams who have yet to visit the top three in a race this year. There have been 17 different podium finishers from nine different teams.

As this is also near to Hydroxycut’s home base in Oakville, it’s an important weekend for Bourdais and the Olivier Boisson-led crew.

“This is a very important race for the KVSH Racing team because our sponsor, Hydroxycut, has its headquarters just outside of Toronto in Oakville, so we are expecting a lot of support at the track,” Bourdais said. “Over the years I have had some very exciting races in Toronto and had some good results. It is always a great event. The city really supports the race, the track is challenging and the fans are knowledgeable.”

Results haven’t mirrored the pace or qualifying efforts Bourdais has delivered on the street courses this year. He is a past winner at Toronto though, 10 years ago with Newman/Haas Racing in Champ Car.

“The Hydroxycut – KVSH Racing car has been fast on most of the street circuits this year and with two races this weekend hopefully we can have a couple of good results for the sponsors, their employees and guests and make up some ground in the championship standings,” said Bourdais, who enters the weekend 12th in points, 23 behind Tony Kanaan in 10th (and the previous driver of the No. 11 KV entry).

Bourdais – and the rest of the IndyCar field – race Saturday and Sunday on NBCSN/NBC Sports Live Extra at 3 p.m. ET both days.

Hartley to make F1 debut from back of grid after penalty

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Brendon Hartley’s hopes of a points finish on his Formula 1 debut took a hit on Friday after the FIA confirmed the Toro Rosso driver will start the United States Grand Prix from the back of the grid due to an engine penalty.

Porsche factory driver and 24 Hours of Le Mans winner Hartley was drafted in by Toro Rosso as a surprise replacement for Pierre Gasly in Austin, with the Frenchman tied up with Super Formula duties at Suzuka this weekend.

Hartley took to the track in an official grand prix session for the first time on Friday in Austin, marking his first run-out in an F1 car since a test with Mercedes in 20120.

However, FIA technical delegate Jo Bauer confirmed in his pre-race report that changes had been made to the power unit on Hartley’s Toro Rosso car since the last race in Japan, triggering a grid penalty.

Toro Rosso elected to take a new internal combustion engine, MGU-H, energy store and control electronics on Hartley’s Renault power unit, totaling a 25-place grid drop that will be applied after qualifying. Confirmation of the penalty is set to follow later today.

The penalty comes as a setback for Hartley, but was necessary as Toro Rosso found itself short on engine elements to get to the end of the season.

Hartley is not the only driver to have a penalty confirmed, with Renault’s Nico Hulkenberg and McLaren’s Stoffel Vandoorne also taking new engine elements, also confirmed in Bauer’s report.

A new ICE, turbocharger and MGU-H for Hulkenberg will see him drop 20 places on the grid, while an eighth ICE of the year for Vandoorne will trigger a five-place drop.