Bourdais penalty goes out the window after NOLA qualifying gets canceled (VIDEO)

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AVONDALE, La. – Arguably the most controversial moment of the day at NOLA Motorsports Park – other than when qualifying for the Verizon IndyCar Series’ inaugural Indy Grand Prix of Louisiana would actually start due to intermittent rain – was a penalty assessed to KVSH Racing driver Sebastien Bourdais for qualifying interference.

Bourdais ran wide at Turn 1 and re-entered the track ahead of Tony Kanaan. The Frenchman was deemed by INDYCAR to have interfered with Tony Kanaan on a hot lap; subsequently, Bourdais was docked his two fastest laps and removed from being fastest in group one of Q1 to 12th and last in his group.

Neither Bourdais, nor KVSH Racing co-owner Jimmy Vasser, was pleased with the decision.

“We let him go by, and Seb went off and pulled on the track, let Tony go by, which he did, and then Tony had two more clear laps,” Vasser told NBCSN’s Marty Snider.

“So Tony’s P2, we went to P1, and we deserved to go through. I don’t like the call. I don’t understand it. I want Tony to tell them. We got out of the way.

“I think, if Tony and Ganassi stick with that, it’s chicken (expletive).”

Bourdais was less vocal, but still frustrated.

“You cant see anything behind you. I rejoined the best I could not to impede,” Bourdais told Snider. “Once I’m back on the track, I can’t see anything in the mirrors.

“It’s like, what do you want to do? I’m sorry… it’s like the conditions are such, you can’t see anything. At end of the day, if he doesn’t make it, I understand. But he makes it, and he’s P2. No harm, no foul.

“There’s nothing to say. They made the call, they are the governing body. As far as I’m concerned, they told me he was coming and I look in the mirrors I don’t see anything. So where do I go?

“What can TK do? He’s not gonna be against having an opponent removed from the equation. It’s racing. It’s whatever race control decides to do. They need to be OK with what they decide. It’s not my call.”

MotorSportsTalk reached out to Kanaan for comment, however given that the qualifying washout negated the penalty, Kanaan had no comment on the situation.

Kanaan will start third, Bourdais sixth, Sunday in the inaugural Indy Grand Prix of Louisiana.

IndyCar disappointed by delay of video game but aiming to launch at start of 2024

IndyCar video game 2024

An IndyCar executive said there is “absolutely” disappointment that its long-awaited video game recently was delayed beyond its target date, but the series remains optimistic about the new title.

“Well, I don’t know how quick it will be, but the whole situation is important to us,” Penske Entertainment president and CEO Mark Miles said during a news conference Monday morning to announce IndyCar’s NTT title sponsorship. “Motorsport Games has spent a lot of money, a lot of effort to create an IndyCar title. What we’ve seen of that effort, which is not completely obvious, is very reassuring.

“I think it’s going to be outstanding. That’s our shared objective, that when it is released, it’s just widely accepted. A great credit both to IndyCar racing, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, something that our fans love.”

In June 2021, IndyCar announced a new partnership with Motorsport Games to create and distribute an IndyCar video game for the PC and Xbox and PlayStation consoles in 2023.

But during an earnings call last week, Motorsport Games said the IndyCar game had been delayed to 2024 to ensure high quality.

Somewhat compounding the delay is that IndyCar’s license for iRacing expired after the end of the 2022 season because of its exclusive agreement with Motorsport Games.

That’s resulted in significant changes for IndyCar on iRacing, which had provided a high-profile way for the series to stay visible during its 2020 shutdown from the pandemic. (Players still can race an unbranded car but don’t race on current IndyCar tracks, nor can they stream).

That’s helped ratchet up the attention on having a video game outlet for IndyCar.

“I wish we had an IndyCar title 10 years ago,” said Miles, who has been working with the organization since 2013. “We’ve been close, but we’ve had these I think speed bumps.”

IndyCar is hopeful the Motorsports Game edition will be ready at the start of 2024. Miles hinted that beta versions could be unveiled to reporters ahead of the time “to begin to show the progress in a narrow way to make sure we’ve got it right, to test the progress so that we’re ready when they’re ready.”

It’s been nearly 18 years since the release of the most recent IndyCar video game for console or PC.

“(We) better get it right,” Miles said. “It’s something we’re very close to and continue to think about what it is to make sure we get it over the line in due course.”