IndyCar Drivers spend off weekend in endurance events
IZOD IndyCar Series driver Sebastien Bourdais teamed with Alex Popow to win the inaugural Brickyard Grand Prix GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Bourdais took the checkered flag under caution in the No. 2 Soloson Daytona Prototype fielded by Starworks Motorsport in the three-hour race on the 13-turn, 2.534-mile course. Bourdais took the lead for good on Lap 74 of the three-hour race, which ended after 91 laps. He dove under Ryan Dalziel entering Turn 1 for the decisive move. There were three caution periods after Bourdais took the lead, but he was able to pull away on restarts each time.
Target Chip Ganassi Racing's Scott Dixon teamed with 2000 Indianapolis 500 winner Juan Pablo Montoya to finish fourth in the No. 02 car.
"It was a pretty special day," said Bourdais, who a day earlier drove the No. 7 TrueCar Dragon Racing car in testing at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in preparation for the Aug. 3-5 Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio. "I felt strong in the car. It was win No. 1 for me this season. I've been winning a race ever year for many, many years, and I was starting to get worried. It's great to put it together."
Bourdais wasn't the only Frenchman with INDYCAR ties racing a sportscar over the weekend.
Firestone Indy Lights driver Tristan Vautier finished 10th overall and fifth in class at the 24 hour endurance race at Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium.
Vautier, the leading rookie in Firestone Indy Lights, co-drove a Ferrari 458 with Formula One race winner Olivier Panis (Vautier's new manager), Eric Debard and former Manchester United and French goalkeeper now racer Fabien Barthez for Team Sofrev-ASP.
"The car ran 24 hours with only one tire puncture," Vautier wrote on his Facebook site. "Got to drive in the rain during the night, which was crazy! A big congrats to all the mechanics for perfect pit stops and the engineers for the strategy, Team Sofrev-ASP was incredible!"