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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).

Champion Marc Marquez leads MotoGP into virtual world Sunday

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During its layoff because of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, MotoGP will become the latest racing series to enter the virtual world.

The MotoGP Virtual Race will be held at 9 a.m. ET Sunday, March 29 with 10 riders. It will be streamed on several platforms, including the Motorsports on NBC YouTube channel. Reigning series champion Marc Marquez is among the riders in the field.

The premier class of MotoGP has yet to hit the track this season as its opener was canceled and the next three races were postponed, including the Grand Prix of the Americas being moved from April 5 to Nov. 15.

Several other racing series have tried online racing in recent weeks.

IMSA held a “SuperSaturday at Sebring” March 21 in place of the postponed Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring. NASCAR started its Pro Invitational Series last Sunday at Homestead-Miami Speedway and will continue Sunday at Texas Motor Speedway. IndyCar kicked off its six-race IndyCar iRacing Challenge with a Saturday race at Watkins Glen International that was won by Sage Karam.