Bourdais and Redon Motorsport join Olympique Lyonnais After spending 2009 learning the ropes in Superleague Formula by Sonangol, Olympique Lyonnais returns for another crack this season with a new driver – Frenchman Sebastien Bourdais – and a new team – Laurent Redon Motorsport.
Although Laurent Redon Motorsport will be making its debut in the championship alongside 17 other identical single seaters powered by a 750bhp V12 engine, they can at least count on the experience of Bourdais who made an impressive series debut midway through 2009. The ex-Toro Rosso F1 driver and four-time Champ Car champion joined the grid with immediate success last year, winning the Super Final five lap shootout on debut in Estoril in the colors of Sevilla. The Frenchman then continued that winning streak in Monza, before also bagging a pair of podiums in Jarama.
Now working with Laurent Redon Motorsport, Bourdais has his sights firmly set on continuing that string of impressive results in the colors of Olympique Lyonnais. The French club, which holds the league record for winning seven consecutive domestic titles, will come up against fellow Ligue 1 rivals FC Girondins de Bordeaux, the reigning French champions and newcomers to Superleague Formula this season. Indeed, the pair are set to clash on the pitch today in the Champions League quarter-finals, a match that Bourdais and Team Manager Laurent Redon have been invited to attend.
On-track, Olympique Lyonnais will also face stiff opposition from a raft of international clubs such as Liverpool, AC Milan, AS Roma, PSV Eindhoven, RSC Anderlecht, Sevilla, Corinthians, Flamengo and FC Porto.
The planned showdown at Magny-Cours between the two French sides on May 22/23 promises to be one of the highlights of the season with Bourdais and Lyon set to go up against Bordeaux and its ex-F1 driver Franck Montagny.
Sebastien Bourdais, Olympique Lyonnais: “Following the success achieved last year, I really wanted to continue racing in Superleague Formula in 2010. The single seater is really enjoyable to drive as it offers a lot of aerodynamic downforce and a V12 engine which delivers a lot of power. Laurent Redon offered me the Olympique Lyonnais drive and obviously I am proud to race for the most successful French club of the past few years. The Laurent Redon team will be new in the series and we will have to learn very quickly, but we have the ambition to generate great success together.”
Laurent Redon, Team Manager Laurent Redon Motorsport: “I am delighted to be committing to Superleague Formula. This is not another promotion formula, but a category which claims the status of a championship for professional racing drivers. Signing Sebastien Bourdais was a significant step as we have one of the best current drivers behind the steering wheel. In addition to this, he has experience in this championship where he debuted last year achieving instant success. We are proud to represent Olympique Lyonnais, the most successful club in French football over the past ten years. Lyon is also a town I am close to for many reasons, but mainly as I was born in the Rhône Alpes region.”
Alex Andreu, Superleague Formula President: “Last season, the arrival of F1 drivers such as Sebastien Bourdais gained the Superleague Formula concept greater recognition and status. We are proud to see that Sebastien has again been seduced by our championship and that he will be racing with us this year. He will race under the colors of Olympique Lyonnais, a French club with a substantial number of titles in national football. The French public will be able to count on two clubs represented by two of its best drivers, which promises a magnificent derby confrontation at Magny-Cours. France deserved to have its best drivers in an international championship such as Superleague Formula. We are proud to offer French Motorsport this opportunity.”
The season, which includes 12 races, 11 of which will be held in Europe, begins this weekend at Silverstone, UK.