“We’re not underdogs” says Bourdais of Coyne deal

Sebastien Bourdais says he doesn’t consider that he’s an underdog, after confirming his two-year deal with the Dale Coyne Racing-Honda operation.

“We’re not underdogs” says Bourdais of Coyne deal
Sébastien Bourdais, KV Racing Technology Chevrolet
Sébastien Bourdais, KV Racing Technology Chevrolet, Olivier Boisson
Champ Car World Series 2006 champion Sébastien Bourdais celebrates his third consecutive title with this team
Conor Daly, Dale Coyne Racing Honda
Sébastien Bourdais, KV Racing Technology Chevrolet
Sébastien Bourdais, KV Racing Technology Chevrolet
Race winner and Champ Car World Series 2005 champion Sébastien Bourdais celebrates poses with the Vanderbilt Cup

Bourdais, who has four Champ Car titles and 35 Indy car career wins to his name, has been reunited with the race engineers who contributed to all of that glory.

Craig Hampson, his engineer at the dominant Newman/Haas Racing team in Champ Car’s final five years, has arrived at Dale Coyne Racing after being an R&D engineer at Andretti Autosport. And Olivier Boisson has come with Bourdais from KVSH Racing, where they achieved four victories in three seasons.

Bourdais said: “To be honest with you, I don’t really look at it [like we’re underdogs]. Between the Penskes, Ganassis and Andrettis, the level is rising everywhere, the competition is fierce, and you need all the tools, as a driver, to achieve what you want to do, which is running at the front and winning races.

“So as far as I’m concerned, I didn’t really see any kind of better opportunity than being reunited with Dale [for whom Bourdais raced part-time in 2011].

"It might have been a little bit different had we not been able to gather the kind of engineering strength that, thanks to Dale, we’ve been able to. I’m not taking anything away from where the team is at right now, but that was definitely one of the key elements for me to believe in what they were trying to build there.

“And I really believe that Dale is bringing a lot of consistency that, at KVSH, we lacked in the two winters that I was part of the organization. I can only focus and trust Dale we’ll have everything we need to move forward.

“Does that mean we’re a top team? Of course not. We’ll still be building the team and trying to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses. I trust all the people out there to give their very best and I will do the same and I am confident we can do something really interesting.

"And hopefully, by the time we come to drawing conclusions, we’ll be feeling pretty proud of what we’ve achieved.”

On the same subject, Coyne, whose team is based in Plainfield, Ill., added: “The underdog thing can be a stigma that stays with you a long time. And when someone decides to spend the money to get the right people and the right resources, the underdog team can become so much greater.

“Years and years ago, someone gave me a T-shirt that said we were the Chicago Cubs of racing.

"Well, I hope that we’re the Chicago Cubs of racing next year, because they have changed their image from underdog to a championship team.”

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About this article

Series IndyCar
Drivers Sébastien Bourdais
Teams Dale Coyne Racing
Author David Malsher-Lopez
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