Starworks Motorsport is continues to bolster its driver lineup in a bid to capture the inaugural North American Endurance Championship presented by VISITFLORIDA.com, bringing in four-time Indy Car champion and Formula One veteran Sebastien Bourdais.
Bourdais will partner with Alex Popow in the team’s second Ford/Riley at next week’s inaugural Brickyard Grand Prix at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The pilot of the Dragon Racing Indy Car will make his second Grand-Am appearance of the year, having joined the team for the six-hour event at Watkins Glen, where the team of Bourdais, Ryan Dalziel and Enzo Potolicchio finished third.
The new NAEC championship-within-a-championship is given to the team that scores the most points on the three longest races of the Rolex Sports Car Series season. After finishing second in the Rolex 24 At Daytona and third at The Glen, Starworks is second in the NAEC standings, two points behind Action Express Racing. The scoring system that awards 20 points to the winner and 16 for second place means that it is likely that whoever wins the race, will win the NAEC crown as the top four teams in the standings are within four points of each other.
“We want to do the best we can for the first race at Indianapolis and for the NAEC,” said Starworks team owner Peter Baron. “Sebastien did an amazing job for us at Watkins Glen. Having him in the No. 2 car gives us a strong second bullet at Indy, along with Ryan and Enzo in the No. 8 car.”
Bourdais, who tested with Popow at the Grand-Am test at IMS earlier this month, is a two-time competitor in the Rolex 24 At Daytona, finishing 25th for Pixar Newman Racing/Silverstone Racing in 2005 co-driving with Paul Newman and 28th for Doran Racing in 2006.
“It’s going to be an interesting race,” said Bourdais. “I enjoyed the test, and found the road course technically demanding. Running with Starworks gives me a great opportunity to race on the road course on that great track. I don’t think anything that I learned from the Indianapolis 500 is going to carry over, because the road course is very unique. Starworks has a good car, and I’m expecting a big battle with the Corvettes. They seem to have an advantage so far this year, but this track can even things up a little bit.”