Four months ahead of the 24 Hours of Le Mans (June 16-17), Sébastien Bourdais is back in the spotlight after his accident at the qualifying session for the Indianapolis 500 last May. The Le Mans native just won the first round of the IndyCar Series season in St. Petersburg, Florida.
In St. Petersburg, for the first round of the IndyCar Series (North American single-seaters championship) season, the French driver started from 14th position on the starting grid on the heels of a less than stellar qualifying round the day before. On Sunday, thanks to a tweaked strategy and a bit of luck, the cars in first and second positions made contact just ahead of him at the final restart of the race, and he snatched the top step on the podium.
It was a particularly special win. Sébastien Bourdais was injured last May while qualifying at the Indianapolis 500 and was forced to rest and heal for several months with multiple pelvic and hip fractures. The setback caused him to withdraw from the 2017 24 Hours of Le Mans at which he was set to represent Ford Chip Ganassi Team USA, and prevented him from competing all together until the month of August.
This year has been quite successful for the Ford driver so far: in January, he finished second at the Rolex 24 at Daytona in the GTLM class, just behind the sister car driven by Richard Westbrook, Scott Dixon and Ryan Briscoe, pulling off a one-two for the American marque. After the triumph in St. Petersburg, his adopted city in the U.S., Sébastien Bourdais will have little to no down-time as he will soon slip back into his endurance racing coveralls for the 12 Hours of Sebring, the second round of the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season, scheduled this coming Saturday, March 17th. He will reunite with Dirk Mueller and Joey Hand, the driver line-up winner at Le Mans in 2016 in the LMGTE Pro class. The three men will also join forces in June for this year's edition of the 24 Hours of Le Mans at the wheel of Ford Chip Ganassi Racing Team USA's #69 Ford GT.