KVSH Racing’s Sebastien Bourdais drove the No. 11 Team HYDROXYCUT – KVSH Racing machine to an oval season-high fifth place finish today in the rain delayed ABC Supply 500 at Pocono Raceway in Long Pond, PA. Bourdais, who qualified 18th gave an indication of things to come in the final practice following Saturday’s qualifying. Running in “race trim” he posted the fourth quickest time of the session. Sunday’s originally scheduled 200-lap event was postponed due to heavy rain and rescheduled for today. The race opened with a first lap crash by Takuma Sato and on lap six of the caution period Bourdais stopped for some extra fuel. In addition, the team took some extra time in the pits during the first few pit stops to make adjustments to the car. From that point on Bourdais slowly, but surely worked his way through the field moving into the top-10, essentially for good, just before the halfway point on lap 91. On lap 177, the final caution of the race came out and Bourdais made his last pit stop. In a crucial strategy decision, the team, with Bourdais in agreement, decided to take fuel only and not change tires. The move vaulted Bourdais from seventh to second place. Unfortunately, just before the restart, the computer blend line software erroneously informed the team that they had to move back one position, which Bourdais did as the track went green. However, in doing so he lost momentum and two more spots dropping to fifth. Bourdais fought his way back to fourth, but in the closing laps lost one spot to a hard charging Ryan Hunter-Reay. The fifth place finish is Bourdais second highest fof the season behind the victory in Detroit Race 1 and his best on an oval this year.
Sebastien Bourdais Race Day Quote:
“It was a pretty good day for the Hydroxycut – KVSH Racing Team. We took some penalties with long pit stops to set the car up early on, but even though we were marginal on front grip we were running a pretty solid race. We passed Dixie (Scott Dixon), passed Kanaan (Tony), passed some Penskes, not the top one, but when you do that, things are going pretty good. Then you end up finishing fifth after there was some computer confusion about our position on the restart. Overall, you have to consider that it was a great day. It was definitely our strongest showing on a super speedway. We learned something this weekend, something we have been missing. The crew did a really good job and the Hydroxycut Chevy machine was really strong. So I am really happy with the result.”
- The 2016 ABC Supply 500 was Bourdais’ 161st career Verizon IndyCar Series start, 48th with KVSH Racing, 32nd (2016 Texas suspended, but counted) on an oval and fourth at Pocono Speedway.
- This is Bourdais best finish In four races at Pocono Raceway surpassing two 16th place showings (2013 and 2014).
- It is his best super-speedway finish since returning to IndyCar competition in 2011 surpassing a seventh place showing in the 2014 Indianapolis 500. He won at Lausitzring in 2003.
- Bourdais has finished in the top-10 in eight of the 13 races completed during the 2016 season (Texas suspended) with two top-five showings (Detroit Race 1 and Pocono) and the one win (Detroit Race
- Bourdais has finished in the top-10 in all four oval races completed this year. In addition to today’s fifth place showing he has finished eighth at Iowa and Phoenix and ninth in the, Indy 500.
- He is 14th in the championship race with 314 points, 19 out of 10th and 70 out of fifth.
- Of Bourdais 32 career oval starts, 23 have come in the last three years.
- Bourdais has made 24 IndyCar oval starts (one start in 2005, the Indy 500) with a best qualifying of fourth at Fontana in 2013. His best finish is a win at Milwaukee in 2015, his first on an oval since 2006 also at Milwaukee.
- Bourdais made eight oval starts in Champ Cars earning four victories, Lausitzring, 2003; Las Vegas, 2004 and 2005; Milwaukee, 2006. He captured three poles: Lausitzring, 2003; Las Vegas, 2005 and Milwaukee, 2006.
- This is Bourdais’ 11th Verizon IndyCar Series season and third with KVSH Racing
- In 161 career IndyCar starts, Bourdais has won 35 races (tied with Bobby Unser for sixth all-time) and taken 33 pole positions (tied for seventh).
- Bourdais is the only driver to win four consecutive IndyCar championships, taking the title in 2004 – 2007 (Champ Car World Series).
- Bourdais won from the pole at the 2016 Le Mans 24 Hours this year in the GTE Pro category. He has another pole and three runner-up finishes (2007, 2009 and 2011) in 10 previous starts in his hometown. Bourdais has also won the 12 Hours of Sebring and Petit Le Mans in 2015 and the Rolex 24 at Daytona in 2014 (was runner-up in 2015),
- Bourdais, 37, is a native of Le Mans, France but resides in St. Petersburg, Florida.
Next up on the 2016 Verizon IndyCar Series will be the resumption of the suspended Firestone 600 on Saturday, August 27 at Texas Motor Speedway. The race will be broadcast live on NBCSN at 9:00 p.m. ET. It is also available on radio: XM 209 and IMS IndyCar Radio as well as online: IndyCar.com and Verizon IndyCar 15 app.