At Road America, attention will be focused on the emerging 3-way IndyCar title fight between Josef Newgarden, Simon Pagenaud and Alexander Rossi. But if you are looking for a quality outside bet for the win, veteran Sebastien Bourdais might be worth a look.
During his dominance of the CART ChampCar World Series, Sebastien Bourdais never finished off the podium at Road America. A record unmatched by any of the current roster of NTT IndyCar Series drivers and only bettered by three-time winners Mario Andretti, son Michael and great rival Emerson Fittipaldi.
Bourdais confident heading to Road America despite recent form
Despite mixed results since the 14-turn road course returned to the IndyCar schedule in 2016, the Honda driver is upbeat about his chances.
“I’m really looking forward to racing at Road America again”, said the Dale-Coyne with Vasser-Sullivan Racing driver. “I’ve raced at Road America four times back in the CART and Champ Car days and finished on the podium every time. At one point I was wondering if I would ever win there and finally did in 2007.”
Bourdais proved masterful at hustling the turbo-charged monsters of the period around the picturesque circuit at Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin. A skill the four-time ChampCar title winner attributes to the road course’s familiar characteristics.
“It’s may favourite road course in the United States”, he said. “It’s a lot like the tracks I grew up with in Europe.”
4-time champ remains a road course master
The 40-year-old cut his teeth in the French Formula Renault series, exclusively racing on road courses and street circuits before moving through the ranks of European open-wheel racing. Experience Bourdais would later use with devastating impact in the road/street course-heavy CART series.
Inevitably, Road America became just one of many stomping grounds for the Frenchman who believes he can be in contention once again this weekend.
“The SealMaster Honda was strong last year, but we had an issue and that prevented us from scoring a top-five”, said Bourdais who maintains championship aspirations despite a 117-point gap to series leader Newgarden.
“We’re 10th in the championship race right now and we are going to have to dig deep, keep working hard and have a couple of strong performances over the next few races if we’re going to be in contention at the end of the season.”
Road America hosts the 10th round of the 2019 NTT IndyCar Series June 21 – 23 for the REV Group Grand Prix presented by AMR.
Free practice for the 55-lap race starts Friday, June 21 from 11am (local) with coverage live on NBC Sports Gold.
Qualifying for the NTT P1 Award is Saturday, June 22 from 3pm with coverage live on NBC Sports Gold. The green flag flies for the race at 11.50am live on NBC (all times local).