Bourdais, HYDROXYCUT officially confirmed at KVSH Racing

Photo: 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.”

Starting lineup grid for IMSA Petit Le Mans: Tom Blomqvist puts MSR on pole position

Petit Le Mans lineup
IMSA
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IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar championship contender Tom Blomqvist put the Meyer Shank Racing Acura at the front of the starting lineup for the Motul Petit Le Mans at Michelin Road Atlanta.

Blomqvist turned a 1-minute, 8.55-second lap on the 2.54-mile circuit Friday to capture his third pole position for MSR this season. Earl Bamber qualified second in the No. 02 Cadillac for Chip Ganassi Racing.

Ricky Taylor was third in the No. 10 Acura of Wayne Taylor Racing, which enters Saturday’s season finale with a 19-point lead over the No. 60 of Blomqvist and Oliver Jarvis (who will be joined by Helio Castroneves) for the 10-hour race.

PETIT LE MANS STARTING GRID: Click here for the starting lineup l Lineup by car number

PETIT LE MANS: Info on how to watch

With the pole, MSR sliced the deficit to 14 points behind WTR, which will field the trio of Taylor, Filipe Albuquerque and Brendon Hartley in Saturday’s race.

“We really needed to put the car in this kind of position,” Blomqvist said. “It makes our life a little less stressful tomorrow. It would have given the No. 10 a bit more breathing space. It’s going to be a proper dogfight tomorrow. The guys gave me such a great car. It’s been fantastic this week so far, and it really came alive. I’m hugely thankful to the boys and girls at MSR for giving me the wagon today to execute my job.

“That was a big effort from me. I knew how important it was. It’s just awesome for the guys to give them some sort of reward as well. It’s always nice to be quick. If you do the pole, you know you’ve got a quick car.”

Though WTR has a series-leading four victories with the No. 10, MSR won the Rolex 24 at Daytona and has five runner-up finishes along with its three poles.

The strong performances of the ARX-05s ensure that an Acura will win the final championship in IMSA’s premier Daytona Prototype international (DPi) division, which is being rebranded as Grand Touring Prototype in the move to LMDh cars next season.

Taylor qualified third despite sliding into the Turn 5 gravel during the closing minutes of qualifying while pushing to gain points.

“Qualifying was important for points,” Taylor said. “Going into it, if we outqualified the No. 60 Meyer Shank Acura, they had a lot to lose in terms of championship points. So, we were trying to increase the gap over 20 points which would’ve made a big difference for tomorrow. We would have loved to get the pole and qualify ahead of the No. 60, but in the scheme of the points, it didn’t change a whole lot. I’m feeling good since it’s such a long race, and the No. 10 Konica Minolta Acura team does such a good job strategizing and putting us in a good position.

“I’m very confident in our lineup and our team compared to them over the course of 10 hours. I’d put my two teammates up against those guys any day. I think we are all feeling optimistic and strong for tomorrow.”

In other divisions, PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports (LMP2), Riley Motorsports (LMP3), VasserSullivan (GTD Pro) and Paul Miller Racing (GTD) captured pole positions.

The broadcast of the 10-hour race will begin Saturday at 12:10-3 p.m. ET on NBC, moving at 7 p.m. to USA Network. Peacock will have flag-to-flag coverage.


QUALIFYING

Results

Results by class

Fastest lap by driver

Fastest lap by driver after qualifying

Fastest lap by driver and class after qualifying

Fastest lap sequence in qualifying

Best sector times in qualifying

Time cards in qualifying

PRACTICE RESULTS: Session I l Session II l Session III