CHAMPCAR/CART: Bourdais on pole for IROC debut

McDONALD'S DRIVER BOURDAIS WILL START FROM POLE POSITION FOR HIS CROWN ROYAL IROC DEBUT ON FRIDAY DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (February 16, 2005) --- McDonald's driver Sebastien Bourdais, 25, will be making his Crown Royal International Race of...

McDONALD'S DRIVER BOURDAIS WILL START FROM POLE POSITION FOR HIS CROWN ROYAL IROC DEBUT ON FRIDAY

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (February 16, 2005) --- McDonald's driver Sebastien Bourdais, 25, will be making his Crown Royal International Race of Champions (IROC) debut on Friday at Daytona International Speedway from pole position after having selected the position in a blind draw today. It will also be the first time for him to compete on the 2.5-mile high-banked oval as well as his first stock car style race.

"I hope it's not the pole," said Bourdais immediately before he revealed the replica race car with the number one displayed from the Crown Royal bag. "I'm very happy to be invited to represent Champ Car in the IROC series. It's all new to me, and, like everybody, I want to do well. The spotlight is now going to be on me and I don't want to look ridiculous. I'm going to see how many friends I've got fast because if I see the second row going by on the outside of me, it's going to be not good I guess."

Bourdais will be joined on the front row by 2004 Nextel Cup champion Kurt Busch. Former open-wheel driver and current Grand Am co-champion Max Papis will line up behind Bourdais in third place while Busch champion Martin Truex Jr. will start fourth. He first tested an IROC car on February 9 and added to his experience yesterday and today and estimates he has run approximately 160 laps. He also practiced starting from the front of a four-car pack today in preparation for his role on Friday when he will become only the second French driver to compete in the series after the late sports car driver Bob Wolleck did so in 1991.

"The draft is obviously very important in this series," added Bourdais. "The key will be getting other drivers to work with you. There are more open-wheel drivers in the field this year so hopefully that will bring more options for drafting partners. For sure the NASCAR drivers have more experience with these types of cars and tracks but Jay Signore, Jay Sauter and everyone has been so helpful in getting everyone comfortable that it's going to be a fun race. It's been a great experience so far and I hope I can bring a good result and represent the Champ Car series and fans well on Friday night."

The first of four races in the Crown Royal IROC series will take place on Friday at 6:00 p.m. ET and will be televised live on SPEED Channel.

-NHR-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Jay Sauter , Sébastien Bourdais , Martin Truex Jr.