IndyCar Driver Review: Sebastien Bourdais

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With the IndyCar season in the books and a limited amount of news to come since the season finale at Fontana, my MotorSportsTalk colleague Chris Estrada and are taking a look back at the 2013 season just past. Chris and I each ranked our top 10 drivers and some of the biggest stories; now we take a look back at the field driver-by-driver.

In 12th place, one of the second half stars, Sebastien Bourdais…

2013 SEASON PREVIEW

Sebastien Bourdais

  • Team: Dragon Racing
  • 2012: 25th Place (11 Starts), Best Finish 4th, Best Start 3rd
  • 2013: 12th Place, Best Finish 2nd, Best Start 2nd, 3 Podiums, 4 Top-5, 6 Top-10, 87 Laps Led, 13.8 Avg. Start, 13.0 Avg. Finish

DiZinno says: Hard to believe this was ‘ol “Seabass’” first full season of open-wheel racing since his rookie Formula One year of 2008, and his first full season in the States since his fourth and final Champ Car title in 2007. Bourdais wasn’t able to overcome setup deficiencies in the first half of the year. Still, he’s had giant-killing performances for Dragon before (his ninth place finish in a Lotus engine at Barber 2012 is the gold standard) and with the engineering switch from Neil Fife to Tom Brown, the Bourdais of old made a welcome comeback. The Frenchman scored the fifth most points in the second half of the year, with three podiums and at least two or three potential wins that went begging. If KV assembles a consistent engineering effort around him in 2014, look out.

Estrada says: It was, quite simply, a tale of two seasons for Bourdais. Through the first 11 races, the Dragon Racing camp struggled in set-ups and the Frenchman’s top finish was a mere 11th at both St. Petersburg and Belle Isle Race 2. But upon installing Tom Brown as engineer, Bourdais immediately responded with a double-podium weekend in Toronto (second in Race 1, third in Race 2) and went on to another Top-3 effort in Baltimore after fighting for the win there. The question now is whether KVSH can capitalize on his enormous talent on road/street circuits and give him a car capable of delivering wins next season.

Barber IndyCar iRacing results

Chris Graythen/Getty Images
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Scott McLaughlin led the final six laps Saturday and finished 0.4241 seconds ahead of teammate Will Power to win the Honda IndyCar Grand Prix of Alabama at Barber Motorsports Park.

Scott Speed finished third behind the Team Penske drivers. Alex Palou and Simon Pagenaud rounded out the top five.

Click here for the full boxscore from Saturday’s IndyCar iRacing event at Barber Motorsports Park.

WINNER: Scott McLaughlin holds off teammate Will Power

WHAT DRIVERS SAID: Postrace reactions on social media

Other notable finishers:

Colton Herta (seventh), Robert Wickens (eighth), Jimmie Johnson (12th), Graham Rahal (14th), Alexander Rossi (22nd).

Sage Karam led a race-high 24 laps but retired from the 45-lap event because of a crash and finished 27th of 29 drivers.