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.

IndyCar teams with NASCAR on IMS road course doubleheader in 2021

IndyCar NASCAR doubleheader 2021
Jamie Squire/Getty Images
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The NTT IndyCar Series will be sharing Indianapolis Motor Speedway with the NASCAR Cup Series in a race weekend doubleheader for the second consecutive season, but both series will be on the road course in August 2021.

IMS announced Wednesday that IndyCar will hold an Aug. 14, 2021 race on its 14-turn, 2.439-mile road course. It’ll be a day before NASCAR’s premier series runs the same layout for the first time after the Brickyard 400 was contested on the 2.5-mile oval for the first time in 27 years.

This season’s rescheduling of the IndyCar GMR Grand Prix to July 4, 2019 (a day before the Brickyard 400) led to the first NASCAR-IndyCar doubleheader weekend. The Xfinity Series also raced on the IMS road course for the first time July 4 after the IndyCar race ended.

INDYCAR AT IMS THIS WEEKEND: Harvest GP schedule, entry lists

IndyCar will be holding its second race weekend this year at the IMS road course Friday and Saturday with the Harvest GP.

“Our first NASCAR-INDYCAR weekend was a big success last July, with positive feedback from
our loyal fans who watched the races on NBC and from the drivers, teams and participants
involved,” IMS president Douglas Boles said in a statement. “The Xfinity Series’ debut on the IMS road course provided exactly the kind of thrilling action from the green to checkered flags that we anticipated, so we know the teams and drivers of the Cup Series will put on a great show as they turn left and right for the first time at IMS.

“We can’t wait to welcome back fans to see NASCAR and INDYCAR together during this
exciting weekend as we add another memorable chapter in the long, storied history of the
Indianapolis Motor Speedway.”

It also will mark the first NASCAR Cup-IndyCar doubleheader with a crowd as fans weren’t permitted at IMS in July because of the novel coronvavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Over the course of Wednesday, NASCAR is releasing its 36-race slate for next season. IndyCar has yet to release its full 2021 schedule.