Bourdais Rejoins Starworks Lineup for NAEC Finale at Indy
Starworks Motorsport is beefing up its lineup in a bid to capture the inaugural North American Endurance Championship presented by VISITFLORIDA.com. Open-wheel champion and Formula One veteran Sebastien Bourdais will rejoin the team in the Brickyard Grand Prix, the final race of GRAND-AM’s new competition that features the three longest races on the Rolex Sports Car Series schedule.
Bourdais drove the final stint with Starworks in Round 2 of the NAEC, finishing third in the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen with Ryan Dalziel and Enzo Potolicchio in the No. 8 Duncan Ford/Riley. Bourdais and Alex Popow will share the team’s No. 2 Soloson Ford/Riley at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, while Dalziel and Potolicchio return in the No. 8 Duncan Ford/Riley.
After finishing second in the Rolex 24 At Daytona and third at The Glen, Starworks is second in the NAEC standings, two points behind Action Express Racing. With 20 points for the winner and 16 for second, it will be winner-take-all in the inaugural race at Indianapolis for Watkins Glen winner Action Express Racing (28 points), Starworks Motorsport (26), Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates (25) and Rolex 24 winner Michael Shank Racing with Curb Agajanian (24).
“We want to do the best we can for the first race at Indianapolis and for the NAEC,” said Starworks team owner Peter Baron. “Sebastien did an amazing job for us at Watkins Glen. Having him in the No. 2 car gives us a strong second bullet at Indy, along with Ryan and Enzo in the No. 8 car.”
Bourdais is a two-time competitor in the Rolex 24 At Daytona, finishing 25th for Pixar Newman Racing/Silverstone Racing in 2005 co-driving with Paul Newman and 28th for Doran Racing in 2006. He also raced in the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge at Daytona in 2006, finishing seventh for Multimatic Motorsports co-driving with his father, Patrick Bourdais.
Now, the 33-year-old native of Le Mans, France, is looking forward to returning to Indianapolis for Kroger Super Weekend at the Brickyard, when the Rolex Series competes on Friday, July 27. Bourdais joined Popow in the No. 2 Ford/Riley at a private test at the Brickyard on July 9.
“It’s going to be an interesting race,” said Bourdais, who won four consecutive Champ Car World Series titles from 2004 to 2007. “I enjoyed the test, and found the road course technically demanding. Running with Starworks gives me a great opportunity to race on the road course on that great track.”
Bourdais is a two-time competitor in the Indianapolis 500, finishing 12th for Newman/Haas Racing in 2005 and 20th earlier this year for Dragon Racing.
“Going backwards into Turn One is going to be real interesting,” Bourdais said. “I don’t think anything that I learned from the Indianapolis 500 is going to carry over, because the road course is very unique.
“Starworks has a good car, and I’m expecting a big battle with the Corvettes. They seem to have an advantage so far this year, but this track can even things up a little bit.”