Sebastien Bourdais, the four-time Champ Car champion who has languished since that series folded in 2008, has found a way to stay prominently in the IndyCar Series for the coming two years.
After winning his fourth title in 2007, Bourdais went to Formula 1 with Toro Rosso, but was relieved midway in the 2009 season. He raced with Peugeot Sport Total and finished second in LM P1 at Le Mans in 2009. He came back to the US and drove for Dale Coyne during the 2011 season, hooking up with Dragon for 2012-13.
The 31-time race winner (and triple podium holder in 2013) received and accepted an invitation to join KVSH Racing for 2014-15, as the former KV Racing Technology group formally adds James "Sulli" Sullivan to the mix of owners Kevin Kalkhoven and Jimmy Vasser.
After driving for Dragon Racing the past two seasons, Bourdais was looking at a substantially scaled-back Dragon INDYCAR program in the future, as owner Jay Penske puts his prospects toward Formula E for the team's future.
The Frenchman, who currently makes his home in St Petersburg, had been talking with Andretti Autosport, but when Tony Kanaan decided to jump ship from KVSH to Chip Ganassi Racing, that opening became available. While three-time 2013 winner James Hinchcliffe was also in the running for this seat, KVSH wanted an immediate answer and Hinch wasn't able to answer the bell.
That left the door wide open for Bourdais to bring his estimable talents for racing and car set-up to this year's Indy 500-winning squad.
While his teammate at KVSH hasn't been revealed, nor has the corps of engineering talent, Bourdais is looking forward to having "a good group of people around us. I'm very encouraged with what they've done this year and what we can do together once this season is over," he said.
The KVSH team's Indy 500 victory has been its highlight reel for the 2013 campaign, there was also celebration when Kanaan's current teammate, Simona de Silvestro took a well-deserved podium at Houston, the most recent race. It's not known whether she will stay on for the coming year; her management team is shopping de Silvestro's talents in the INDYCAR paddock.
Bourdais was ostensibly recruited to add his considerable road and street course acumen to his new team, making it more of a contender along with perennials Team Penske, Target Chip Ganassi Racing and Andretti Autosport.
"I have raced against [Sebastien] and can say, without a doubt that he is an exceptional driver," KVSH team co-owner Jimmy Vasser told Associated Press. The 1996 CART champion continued: "We look forward to winning a lot of races with him."