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Sebastien Bourdais fails to pick up where he left off at Road America 9 years ago


Chris Owens 2016

Maybe some things are indeed better left in the past.

That was somewhat the case for IndyCar driver Sebastien Bourdais this past weekend at the Kohler Grand Prix.

Bourdais won the last Indy car race – run under the Champ Car World Series banner – at the legendary Road America road course in 2007.

He returned to the 4.014-mile, 14-turn track this past weekend as one of the few drivers who not only had tackled the track in the past, but also won there. He’d been on the podium each of his four prior starts, as well.

Unfortunately, what Bourdais did in 2007 was not to be repeated in the return of Indy car racing to Road America in nine years.

The 37-year-old Le Mans, France native who now lives in St. Petersburg, Fla., was coming off two wins in the last month. He won the first of two races in Detroit, then won his class at the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

But on Sunday he struggled to an 18th place finish at Road America, in his No. 11 Team Hydroxycut KVSH Racing Chevrolet.

His race was compromised from the off when he got hit on the first lap, which damaged his rear wing assembly, and forced a change after he pitted. That knocked him a lap down and cost him his race hopes, and with no full course cautions until Lap 40 he wasn’t able to recover.

“It’s a shame because the Hydroxycut machine was a good race car,” Bourdais said in a post-race media release. “Unfortunately, we got hit on the first lap and went down a lap repairing the damage. It was pretty much game over at that point.”

But Bourdais remained in the game – err, the race – and finished one lap down.

“We soldiered on and gave it our best, passing when we could, but with only the one late caution there wasn’t much we could do,” Bourdais said. “It’s especially frustrating because, as I have said before, I really like the Road America circuit and the atmosphere this weekend was fantastic.

“Fortunately, we will be racing here again (in 2017). At this point, the KVSH Racing Team will just have to move on and see what we can do in Iowa.”

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