BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – One of the fastest drivers all weekend at Barber Motorsports Park, Sebastien Bourdais in the No. 11 Europa Chevrolet for KVSH Racing, ended an unrepresentative and hard luck 16th at the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama following early race contact with Scott Dixon.
Bourdais took sole responsibility for the contact but was more frustrated with Graham Rahal in the incident. He had qualified fifth.
For the contact, Bourdais was assessed a drive-through penalty, and with no cautions he had no chance to recover. Still, he remained one of the fastest drivers on the race track throughout the day.
“I think he was just trying to defend his position; position himself wherever he had to position himself, and he ended up with a lot of angle just before the apex, and that basically put him almost perpendicular to my car,” Bourdais told NBC Sports.
“Graham was on my right making sure I wasn’t going to get much room and from there it was basically like a shoebox where I couldn’t do anything. I was going to get the position back from Graham, but he (Graham) gave me no opportunity to get out of it. If he (Graham) had opened the door a little bit, I could have avoided Scotty.
“It’s my fault, it’s always your responsibility not to hit other cars, but, it’s always a shitty thing when you are racing some one next to you and whoever ends up in front takes the hit because you are in the wrong place at the wrong time.”
He was even more frustrated his weekend pace – he led a practice session and made the Firestone Fast 6 for the first time this year – amounted to nothing.
“I sad for the guys, I’m obviously disappointed I wasted and opportunity, and I feel terrible for Scott,” he said. “When ended up racing each other out of the pits, I let him go, because I had done enough damage. It’s frustrating because it’s a wasted opportunity. We knew we had a fast car and it showed in the race. We basically held station in front of Simon, and we only started losing time when we got held up in traffic. It’s frustrating to not get anything out of it.”
Good news that for Bourdais, who went to find Dixon and the Ganassi team after the race to apologize, has no issues with one of his teammates for Ganassi’s Ford GT program at the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Bourdais had finished eighth and ninth in the previous two races and was looking for his best finish of the season after what had been easily his best weekend.