IndyCar 2015 Driver Review: Sebastien Bourdais

AP
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MotorSportsTalk continues its run through the field of driver-by-driver reviews following the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series season. Winning twice and finishing 10th in points this year was KVSH Racing driver Sebastien Bourdais.

Sebastien Bourdais, No. 11 KVSH Racing Chevrolet

  • 2014: 10th Place, 1 Win, 2 Poles, 2 Podiums, 5 Top-5, 7 Top-10, 98 Laps Led, 9.8 Avg. Start, 11.3 Avg. Finish
  • 2015: 10th Place, 2 Wins, Best Start 3rd, 2 Podiums, 4 Top-5, 8 Top-10, 145 Laps Led, 9.9. Avg. Start, 10.9 Avg. Finish

The story remained the same a bit for Sebastien Bourdais, who for another IndyCar season enjoyed some consistency within his side of his team, while having yet another new teammate who failed to add too much to the overall picture.

Like Josef Newgarden at CFH Racing, Bourdais was consistently a thorn in the side of the more established “big teams” of Penske and Ganassi. Both drivers had four Firestone Fast Six appearances – most outside of those two teams – and Bourdais’ qualifying average was just less than Newgarden’s over the season.

It spoke volumes that he was frustrated with low-level top-10 finishes, which seemed to be frequent throughout the year. Bourdais banked eight top-10s from 16 starts, but his only podiums were his two wins, courtesy of saving fuel in Detroit race two and his utter crushing of the competition in Milwaukee.

Where Bourdais could afford to have feel results went begging were NOLA, where he was part of the three-way, late-race incident between he, Ryan Hunter-Reay and Simon Pagenaud, and then both Mid-Ohio and Sonoma, where he was caught out on untimely yellows from top-six positions. The bigger ovals, Texas, Fontana and Pocono, saw Bourdais and KVSH not at the sharp end of the field, and that was something of a surprise.

While not confirmed back yet with the team co-owned by Kevin Kalkhoven, Jimmy Vasser and rising ownership star James “Sulli” Sullivan, it’s been obvious in Bourdais’ two seasons with the team that he’s their guy, and the balance of power is well spread having him there as team leader.

One of his other highlights this year was a heroic effort at the 12 Hours of Sebring, which he co-drove with Joao Barbosa and Christian Fittipaldi to win there. He remains firmly at the top of his game and just needs greater consistency to turn his undoubted speed into at least one more championship charge.