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Bourdais, HYDROXYCUT officially confirmed at KVSH Racing

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Sebastien Bourdais and HYDROXYCUT have been officially confirmed Saturday morning to return for the 2016 Verizon IndyCar Series season, with KVSH Racing.

Although the confirmation was expected for months, there had been a delay in the process.

The confirmation sees the four-time Champ Car World Series champion and three-time race winner with KVSH Racing, including twice last year (Detroit race two and Milwaukee), return to KVSH Racing for his third season.

Team co-owner Jimmy Vasser confirmed it’s just a one-year extension for Bourdais through 2016.

The full team release is below:

KVSH Racing announced today that Hydroxycut will be the co-primary sponsor of the No. 11 Team HYDROXYCUT – KVSH Racing Chevrolet/Dallara/Firestone entry. 

“Having Hydroxycut, a world class brand that’s been chosen by millions, back on board with us is a huge piece of the puzzle,” said KVSH Racing co-owner James “Sulli” Sullivan. “I believe we are positioned for a banner year with the Hydroxycut Machine.”

The team also confirmed that four-time series champion Sebastien Bourdais will pilot the Team HYDROXYCUT – KVSH Racing entry for the 2016 Verizon IndyCar Series season.

“I am extremely pleased to confirm that Sebastien Bourdais will return to drive for KVSH Racing in 2016,” said co-owner Kevin Kalkhoven. “Sebastien is a proven champion and has shown over the last two years that he capable of competing and beating the best in the IndyCar series. We look forward to continuing to progress as a team and working to produce more championships.”

Co-owner Jimmy Vasser said, “I am very pleased and proud to say that we have Sebastien Bourdais back the KVSH Racing car. I have raced against him and worked as his strategist the last two years. I can say without a doubt that he is an exceptional driver and a true champion. We look forward to winning a lot more races and challenging the championship in 2016.”

Bourdais will be contesting his 11th IndyCar season and third with KVSH Racing. He is the only driver to win four consecutive IndyCar championships (2004 -2007 in Champ Car) tying him for second in all-time championships with Mario Andretti and Dario Franchitti. The 37-year-old from Le Mans, France, has made 147 career IndyCar starts earning 34 wins and 33 poles tying him for seventh all-time in both categories.

Bourdais is coming off his best season since returning to IndyCar competition in 2011 following a two-year stint in Formula One (2008-2009) and a season running sports cars. He won two races in 2015 (Detroit Race 2 and Milwaukee) finishing 10th for the second consecutive season. In 2014, his first season with KVSH, he won Toronto Race 1 from the pole, his first IndyCar victory and pole since 2007, and took the pole at Mid-Ohio.

“I want to thank Kevin Kalkhoven, Jimmy Vasser and Sulli for the opportunity to continue competing for KVSH Racing,” said Bourdais. “I also want to thank Hydroxycut for their continued support. In the last two years we’ve captured poles, won races, and the HYDROXYCUT machine has certainly become a fan favorite. We just need to keep working hard if we are going to compete consistently at the highest level and contend for a championship.”

Toyota No. 8 car wins the 24 Hours of Le Mans for third consecutive year

24 Hours of Le Mans
JEAN-FRANCOIS MONIER/AFP via Getty Images
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LE MANS, France — Toyota Gazoo’s No. 8 car comfortably won the 24 Hours of Le Mans by five laps Sunday to secure a third straight victory in the prestigious endurance race.

It was also a third consecutive win for Swiss driver Sebastien Buemi and Japan’s Kazuki Nakajima driving. Brendon Hartley was the other driver, having replaced two-time Formula One champion Fernando Alonso.

Buemi and Hartley sat on the side of the car as Nakajima drove toward the podium. Hartley won for a second time after tasting success with the Porsche LMP Team in 2017 before an unhappy season in Formula One.

The Swiss team’s Rebellion No. 1 featured American driver Gustavo Menezes and Brazilian Bruno Senna – the nephew of late F1 great Ayrton Senna.

It finished one lap ahead of Toyota Gazoo’s No. 7, with Rebellion’s No. 3 finishing in fourth place.

For much of the race it looked like Toyota’s No. 7 would win after leading comfortably from pole position. But late into the night the car encountered an engine problem and the 30-minute stop in the stands proved costly.

The race was first held in 1923. A total of 252,500 spectators attended in 2019, but there were none this year when the race started three months late because of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

“We miss the fans,” New Zealander Hartley said. “I look forward to seeing all the fans again.”

In other divisions:

United Autosports won the LMP2 division with the entry of Filipe Albuquerque, Paul Di Resta and Phil Hanson.

–In LMGTE Pro, the victory was claimed by Aston Martin Vantage AMR of Maxime Martin, Alex Lynn and Harry Tincknell (who drives for Mazda in the DPi division of IMSA).

–TF Sport won the LMGTE Am class.

The Toyota No. 7 took pole after former F1 driver Kamui Kobayashi narrowly edged out the Rebellion No. 1 team in qualifying.

In damp and humid conditions Mike Conway got away cleanly from the start, while Senna held off Buemi.

After nearly seven hours, Toyota’s No. 8 fell back after a 10-minute stop in the stands to fix a brake-cooling problem on Kazuki Nakajima’s car. Rebellion’s No. 1, driven by Frenchman Norman Nato, took advantage to move into second place behind Toyota’s No. 7.

Then came the decisive moment at 2:40 a.m. as the No. 7 – also featuring Argentine Jose Maria Lopez – encountered a turbo problem. When the car came back out it was back in fourth.

“We had a few problems early in the race,” Nakajima said. “Later they had a bigger issue than us.”

Rebellion’s No. 1 encountered a problem on the hood at around 9 a.m. and the change took six minutes, allowing the Rebellion No. 3 (Nathanael Berthon-Louis Deletraz-Romain Dumas) to close the gap.

It was becoming a tight battle between the two Rebellion cars behind Toyota’s No. 8.

At 12 p.m. Rebellion No. 3 with Dumas behind the wheel was only one second ahead of No. 1 driven by Menezes. Then both cars came in for a driver change with Deletraz swapping for Dumas on a lengthy stop, and Nato for Menezes as Rebellion No. 1 suddenly moved ahead of its team rival.

Dumas, a winner in 2016 with Porsche, appeared unhappy at the strategy decision to bring his car in first and the length of the stop. There were tense explanations in the team garage.

Colombian Tatiana Calderon, an F1 test driver with Alfa Romeo, was in the Richard Mille Racing Team in the LMP2 category. She was joined by German Sophia Florsch – an F3 driver – and Dutchwoman Beitske Visser. They placed ninth out of 24 in their category.