Sebastien Bourdais put on his strongest performance of the young 2014 Verizon IndyCar Series season.
KVSH Racing driver Sebastien Bourdais put on his strongest performance of the young 2014 Verizon IndyCar Series season, finishing fourth today in the inaugural Grand Prix of Indianapolis on the newly designed 2.439-mile, 14-turn Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course at Indianapolis, Indiana.
Bourdais, piloting the No. 11 Team Mistic E-Cigs - KVSH Racing Chevrolet/Dallara/Firestone machine, started seventh, but dropped to ninth on the opening lap following a horrific crash that involved his teammate and pole sitter Sebastian Saavedra, who fortunately walked away from the incident uninjured, but with a badly damage car.
Bourdais kept his cool throughout the 82-lap contest and drove a smart, patient race, avoiding numerous on-track incidents. At one point, the wing from another car lodged under Bourdais' car and, showing his veteran experience, he drove over a curb to remove the debris instead of pitting which would have cost him valuable track position.
Bourdais received outstanding pit work from his Mistic E-Cig crew and slowly, but surely, battled his way into the top-five where he spent much of the race, and in fact led one lap, his first of the season. Bourdais made his final pit stop on lap 71, rejoined the contest in fifth place and moved into fourth with just four laps remaining. Unfortunately, two of the three drivers who finished in front of him were able to stretch their fuel mileage and Bourdais had to settle for the fourth-place showing.
"I knew this race was going to be a bit of a crash fest and, sure enough, it turned into one, but I am sure it was exciting to watch," Bourdais said. "It was one of those days when you feel you have the pace, if you can just keep your front wing on and not get hit you can usually have a good day, a good result and earn strong points and that is what we did. I am really proud of the Mistic E-Cigs crew. They did awesome pit stops and the car was pretty strong. We faded a bit at the end on new tires. We lost the balance, but it doesn't matter. It's a strong finish and that was what we were shooting for this weekend."
Today's performance ends a streak of three consecutive races to start the 2014 season in which the talented 35-year-old Frenchman has had fast cars, but has been unable to convert them into strong finishes due to a series of incidents. Bourdais, who is the only driver to win four consecutive U. S. open-championships and competed in 27 Formula One races (2008 - 2009), earned 33 points today and is now 10th in the championship standings with 81 points, just 21 points out of fifth.
Next up for KVSH Racing is the 2014 Indianapolis 500. It will be the 98th running of the "Greatest Spectacle in Racing," which has been held every year since the first race in 1911 except the war years of 1917-1918 and 1942-1945. The race will be contested on May 25, 2014, and will be broadcast live on ABC beginning at 11:00 a.m. (ET). It can also be heard live on IMS Radio Network affiliates, XM Channel 209, Sirius Channel 213, IndyCar.com, IndyCarradio.com or via the Verizon IndyCar14 app.