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Sebastien Bourdais fulfills family dream, wins Le Mans with Ford

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Sebastien Bourdais’ win as part of the lineup with Joey Hand and Dirk Mueller in the No. 68 Ford Chip Ganassi Team USA Ford GT in GTE-Pro at the 24 Hours of Le Mans is one of the best stories to come out of Ford’s win, 50 years later, after its 1-2-3 result in 1966.

He grew up in the city and it’s been the race he’s wanted to win since being born there in February 1979.

Bourdais had the opportunity to go back to Le Mans this year for the first time since 2012. He’s been back in the Verizon IndyCar Series since 2011, with 2011 and 2012 years on a part-time basis before resuming full-time in 2013, and thus tied up when Le Mans has popped up.

Luckily the calendars didn’t clash this year and with the Le Mans date open, Bourdais was a natural fit for the Ford program. He’s experienced, available and still plenty quick.

Bourdais had raced at Le Mans 10 times before, and his father Patrick also had nine starts there. The only time the two of them raced in the same Le Mans was in 2004, Sebastian in a Pescarolo Sport Pescarolo C60 Judd and Patrick in a Panoz GTP.

For Sebastien though, having had three overall runner-up results in 2007, 2009 and 2011, winning seemed far off. The 2011 result in particular – when he, Simon Pagenaud and Pedro Lamy came up short by 13 seconds and change in a Peugeot 908 – stung.

But Sunday Bourdais got his overdue Le Mans win, even with it being a class triumph compared to overall.

“Words come short in explaining what this weekend’s result means to me and my family,” Bourdais wrote Monday in a tweet after the race, linked below, before Chip Ganassi Racing managing director Mike Hull added his thoughts of thanks.

Bourdais will now resume his day job – trying to beat Chip Ganassi Racing while driving for the KVSH Racing team – in the Verizon IndyCar Series with this weekend’s KOHLER Grand Prix at Road America (Sunday, 12:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN).

Steve Torrence takes NHRA points lead with Gatornationals victory

NHRA Gainesville Steve Torrence
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Two-time defending NHRA Top Fuel champion Steve Torrence took the points lead Sunday in the AMALIE Motor Oil Gatornationals, beating his father, Billy, in the final round at Gainesville Raceway.

Torrence had a 3.809-second run at 322.11 mph to win for the third time this year and 39th overall. He is now on track for another championship despite missing the season opener.

“We’ve got some good momentum and to be in the points lead, it’s a testament to how hard these guys work,” Steve Torrence said after the NHRA Gainesville victory. “We’ve just got to stay focused and concentrate on what the task at hand is, and that’s trying to win a championship. These guys give me an unbelievable race car and you just try not to screw it up.”

Ron Capps won in Funny Car, Alex Laughlin in Pro Stock and Matt Smith in Pro Stock Motorcycle.

Capps raced to his second win this year and 66th overall, beating Tim Wilkerson with a 3.937 at 323.12 in a Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat.

Laughlin topped Aaron Stanfield with a 7.068 at 204.76 in a Chevrolet Camaro for his first win this season and fourth in his career. Smith rode to his first victory in 2020 and 25th overall, topping Andrew Hines with a 6.843 at 196.99 on an EBR.