IndyCar: Bourdais bullish for Toronto encore of 2013

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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.

Sergio Perez wins rain-delayed race in Singapore over Leclerc; Verstappen seventh

Sergio Perez Singapore
Clive Rose/Getty Images,
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SINGAPORE — Max Verstappen’s Formula One title celebrations were put on hold after the Red Bull driver placed seventh at a chaotic Singapore Grand Prix, won by his teammate Sergio Perez on Sunday.

Perez’s second win of the season saw him finish 7.6 seconds ahead of Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc, with Leclerc’s teammate Carlos Sainz Jr. in third place.

Perez was investigated for a potential safety car infringement but still kept the win after a 5-second time penalty for dropping too far back after being warned.

Verstappen had won the past five races but needed to win here and finish 22 points ahead of Leclerc to be crowned champion for a second straight season. That could happen next weekend at the Japanese GP.

Verstappen made a mistake after the second safety car restart, following AlphaTauri driver Yuki Tsunoda’s crash on Lap 36. When Verstappen tried to overtake Lando Norris’ McLaren, he locked his tires and needed to pit again.

Leclerc started from pole position with Verstappen going from eighth after a team blunder in qualifying.

The race start was delayed by more than an hour to clear water off the Marina Bay Circuit track following heavy rainfall. Drivers had to finish the 61-lap race within a two-hour window; 59 laps were completed.

Tricky conditions saw the virtual safety car deployed three times and DRS was allowed with about 30 minutes remaining.

Perez made a good start and jumped past Leclerc while Verstappen dropped several places. The first safety car was on Lap 8 when Zhou Guanyu’s Alfa Romeo was cut off by Nicholas Latifi’s Williams.

Perez got away cleanly at the restart, while Verstappen climbed into seventh behind Fernando Alonso – whose 350th F1 race ended disappointingly when his engine failed on Lap 21, bringing out the first VSC.

With the track still damp, drivers decided against changing to quicker tires – apart from Mercedes’ George Russell, who struggled for grip.

Hamilton made a rare mistake on Lap 33 and thudded into the crash barrier. Soon after, the leading drivers changed tires in a flurry of stops. They did so just before the safety car was deployed again following Tsunoda’s error.

Verstappen overtook Sebastian Vettel’s Aston Martin right at the end for seventh place.