Bourdais’ Strong Indianapolis 500 Ends with Incident

Sebastien Bourdais Race Summary:
Sebastien Bourdais was having a very strong 103rd Indianapolis 500 in the No. 18 Team SealMaster-Dale Coyne Racing with Vasser Sullivan entry, but with just over 24 laps remaining in the 200 lap contest, he had an incident with Graham Rahal. Bourdais started seventh on the fabled 2.5-mile Indianapolis Motor Speedway oval and ran in the top-seven getting as high for most of the 176 laps he completed. Unfortunately, Rahal got a run on him heading into turn three and neither driver was prepared to give in. Rahal hit the back of Bourdais’ car. Bourdais was forced to turn in and the two made contact a second time sending them into the wall and ending both their races,

Sebastien Bourdais Race Quote:
“It was a very solid run for the SealMaster Honda No. 18 for most of the race, but when the sun started to come out the car wasn’t as good as it had been and some guys started to charge hard. I fell back a little bit and I was hoping I could stay there. Graham got a bit of a run and I thought it wasn’t enough for him to stay there. Going side-by-side in those corners at Indy is never something you want to do. Once we got to the corner I really thought he was going to give up on it. He made contact with his right front to my left rear, which moved my car quite a bit. At that point I had to turn in. I tried to give some room. I put myself on the edge of the caution, but it was not enough. So we ended up making contact again and it was all over from there. That’s always the problem when somebody pulls a move like that so late. You either have, as the lead car, to let him go really early or the guy on the inside has to give up. I considered backing off, but I felt it was too late and Graham didn’t either, so we both ended up in the wall which is a real shame.”

Fast Facts:
In seven eight races on the IMS oval, Bourdais has finished in the top-five twice with a best showing of seventh in 2014 (finished ninth in 2016). He has qualified in the top-10 three times in eight attempts. This year’s seventh place starting spot ties his second best starting position behind a fifth place qualifying position last year. He qualified seventh in 2015.

Bourdais earned 13 points today and is now 11th in the championship standings with 124 points. He finished 24th in the season opener at St. Petersburg (non-team related issue ended his race), then had back-to-back top-five performances placing fifth at COTA and third at Barber. He finished 11th at Long Beach and in the INDYCAR Grand Prix.

Bourdais is contesting his 14th NTT IndyCar Series season and second with Dale Coyne Racing w/ Vasser-Sullivan.

The 2019 Indianapolis 500 will be Bourdais’ 194th NTT IndyCar Series start, eighth on the Speedway oval and 41st career oval race.

In 194 career IndyCar starts, Bourdais has won 37 races (sixth all-time) and captured 34 pole positions (seventh all time).

Of Bourdais’ 41 career oval starts, 33 have come in the last seven years (32 in last six years). He has four poles (Phoenix, 2018; Milwaukee, 2006; Las Vegas, 2005; Lausitz, 2003). Phoenix was his first pole since Mid-Ohio in 2014 and first on an oval since 2006 at Milwaukee. Bourdais has earned five oval wins (Milwaukee, 2015; Milwaukee 2006; Las Vegas in 2005 and 2004; Lausitz, 2003). The oval win in Milwaukee in 2015 was his first oval victory since 2006 also at Milwaukee.

Bourdais made eight oval starts in Champ Car earning four victories: Lausitz, 2003; Las Vegas, 2004 and 2005; Milwaukee 2006 and capturing three poles: Lausitz, 2003; Las Vegas, 2005; Milwaukee, 2006.

Bourdais is the only driver to win four consecutive IndyCar championships (2004 – 2007).

Bourdais, 40, is a native of Le Mans, France but resides in St. Petersburg, Florida.

Next Race:
Rounds seven and eight of the 2019 NTT IndyCar Series will be the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix featuring two races. The first will be on Saturday, June 1, the second on Sunday, June 2 on the Belle Isle temporary street circuit in Detroit, Michigan.

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