Dale Coyne Racing drops Bourdais over sponsorship (Update)

Bourdais is the latest in a long line of drivers receiving the NBCSN screw - can't get sponsorship with those minuscule TV Ratings.
Editor's Note: Bourdais is the latest in a long line of drivers receiving the NBCSN screw – can't get sponsorship with those minuscule TV Ratings.

UPDATE Team Press Release:

Dale Coyne Racing announced today that it has parted ways with driver Sebastien Bourdais, who has spent four years with the Plainfield, Illinois-based team since his return to North American open-wheel racing in 2011.

"I want to thank Sebastien for having the confidence to come back from his Formula 1 tour and join our team in 2011, and again for his commitment to the team during the past three years," commented Team Owner Dale Coyne. "It is not a decision we take lightly, but due to the ever-changing landscape of Indy car racing, we have no choice but to make a change for 2020. We wish Sebastien all the best with his future racing endeavors."

Bourdais competed under the Dale Coyne Racing banner in 2011 and 2017 and Dale Coyne Racing with Vasser-Sullivan for the 2018 and 2019 IndyCar seasons. In that time, Bourdais has won back to back races at the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, his home town event, and scored three other podium finishes. He returned from a horrific crash in qualifying for the 2017 Indianapolis 500 to win his second season opener at St. Petersburg in 2018. Bourdais has been one of the, if not the quickest Honda in Indianapolis 500 qualifying in each of the past three years.

"I want to thank Dale, Jimmy and Sulli for giving me this opportunity to continue racing in the NTT IndyCar Series over the past few years," remarked Bourdais, "I look forward to pursuing new opportunities in racing in the years ahead."

Vasser-Sullivan Racing Co-Owners, Jimmy Vasser and James “Sulli" Sullivan, said: “We both want to thank Sebastien for the outstanding job he did driving for our teams KVSH Racing and Dale Coyne Racing Vasser-Sullivan. Looking back Seb has driven 84 races for us. In that time, we captured poles and won a lot of races. Sebastien is a great friend, a great driver, a true champion and a fantastic ambassador for our partners and Indy car racing. We wish him the best of luck in the next phase of his career where we hope there will be an opportunity for us to race together again."

The team is exploring several options in order to complete its driver lineup for the 2020 NTT IndyCar Series and an announcement will be made in the near future.

Statement from Jimmy Vasser and James “Sulli" Sullivan regarding Sebastien Bourdais:

“We both want to thank Sebastien for the outstanding job he did driving for our teams KVSH Racing and Dale Coyne Racing Vasser-Sullivan. Looking back Seb has driven 84 races for us. In that time we captured poles and won a lot of races. Sebastien is a great friend, a great driver, a true champion and a fantastic ambassador for our partners and Indy car racing. We wish him the best of luck in the next phase of his career where we hope there will be an opportunity for us to race together again."

Sebastien Bourdais
Sebastien Bourdais

11/22/19 According to Racer.com Sebastien Bourdais' final year of his contract will not be honored by Dale Coyne racing because of lack of sponsorship.

Just the latest victim of NBCSN's minuscule TV ratings that result in teams having a hard time finding sponsor money.

He joins James Hinchcliffe, Spencer Pigot and Ed Jones who find themselves in the same boat.

All three drivers are essentially screwed because they lost their ride so late. In most cases teams have to hire ride-buyers to make up for the lack of sponsorship money due to low TV ratings.

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