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Sébastien Bourdais

Bourdais.jpg
Sébastien Bourdais
Nationality 22px-Flag of France.png French
Car number 1
Team Newman/Haas Racing
Races 62
Championships 3 (2004, 2005, 2006)
Wins 23
Podiums 36
Poles 23
First race 2003 Grand Prix of Long Beach
First win 2003 London Champ Car Trophy (Brands Hatch)


Sébastien Bourdais (born February 28, 1979 in Le Mans, France) is a race car driver and three-time defending Champ Car World Series champion.

Early years

Born into a racing family (his father Patrick races in touring cars, hill climbs, and sports cars), Bourdais began his racing career at age 10 in karts. During the early 1990s, he competed in a variety of karting championships, winning the Maine Bretagne League in 1991 and the Cadet France championship in 1993.

In 1995, he moved up to single-seater racing, finishing 9th in the Formula Campus Championship. Then, he spent two years in the French Formula Renault Championship, ultimately finishing second in points in 1997 after winning four races and five pole positions. In 1998, he won five races to become Rookie of the Year (6th overall) in French Formula 3. He won the series outright in 1999, with eight wins and three poles. That year, he also competed in his first 24 Hours of Le Mans in a Porsche 911 - he still makes occasional sports car appearances at Le Mans and in the Grand Am series.

Following his success in the lower-formulae, Bourdais joined the Prost Junior Team in the International F3000 Championship. Although he finished 9th in the series with only one pole and a second place finish, Bourdais had better luck at Le Mans, finishing 4th in the endurance classic.

In 2001, Bourdais went back to his winning ways in F3000, with a victory at Silverstone with the DAMS team. He changed teams again for 2002, taking his Super Nova Racing car to three victories and seven pole positions to win the series championship after Tomáš Enge was penalized for failing a drug test.

Champ Car

Following the footsteps of recent F3000 graduates such as Juan Pablo Montoya and Bruno Junqueira, Bourdais moved to Champ Car racing and joined Newman-Haas Racing for the 2003 season. At St. Petersburg, FL, Bourdais became the first rookie since Nigel Mansell to claim pole position for his very first race. However, he would not finish higher than 11th until his fourth race, when he led 95 laps en route to his first Champ Car victory at Brands Hatch. He followed this up with another victory at Lausitzring. By the end of the season, he would earn five more podium finishes, including a win from pole at Cleveland. With a runner-up finish in Mexico City, he clinched the Rookie of the Year title and finished 4th in the overall standings.

Staying with Newman-Haas for 2004, Bourdais dominated the Champ Car series with seven wins and eight poles in his McDonald's-sponsored Lola, beating his own teammate Junqueira by 28 points. His outstanding record also included podium finishes in 10 out of 14 events and qualifying results no lower than third all season.

Bourdais driving in the 2007 Grand Prix of Houston, a race which he won.

Bourdais successfully defended his Champ Car title in 2005 with a late-season charge of five wins in six races after a lackluster start to the season. In addition to Champ Car, he also competed in the International Race of Champions, winning his first stock car race at Texas Motor Speedway. That May, he would also finish 12th in his first Indianapolis 500.

Again with the Newman-Haas team, Bourdais conquered his third consecutive Champ Car title in 2006. He started the season with four consecutive victories at Long Beach, Houston, Monterrey, and Milwaukee. His winning streak was ended by the emergence of A. J. Allmendinger, who won three races in a row heading into the summer. Bourdais responded with a commanding victory from pole at San Jose, leaving him leading the Champ Car points standings. However, an incident caused by his arch-rival Paul Tracy that knocked him out on the final lap of the following race in Denver and a subsequent win by Allmendinger narrowed the gap between the two. Bourdais's win in Montreal and Allmendinger's DNF had widened his points lead to 62 points with three races left, and Bourdais clinched the championship at the next race in Surfers Paradise despite a weak performance in that race. Bourdais became the first Champ Car driver to win three consecutive titles since Ted Horn achieved the hat trick in 1948.

Sebastien has also been given a test with Scuderia Toro Rosso and has set his sights on a 2008 drive with the team, announcing he will stay in Champ Car for 2007 with Newman-Haas. Despite those assurances, Bourdais continues to be linked to the Toro Rosso race seat after team boss Franz Tost confirmed that his driver line-up for 2007 was still not finalised. During Motors TV coverage of the 2007 24 Hours of Le Mans in the UK, the commentators made frequent reference to the likely of Bourdais joining the Scuderia Toro Rosso F1 team in 2008.

On January 10, 2007, Bourdais was confirmed as a factory driver for Peugeot Sport for the 2007 24 Hours of Le Mans, acting as one of the team's third drivers. He has previous had experience at Le Mans with privateer Pescarolo Sport. He finish second behind the Audi car n°1

Trivia

  • Bourdais currently resides in St. Petersburg, Florida, with his wife Claire and daughter Emma (*02.12.2006).
  • He is one of the few top-level athletes to wear eyeglasses while competing.
  • It is rumored that Bourdais arrived early at his first test with the team, and no one on the team immediately recognized him. He was busy helping laborers assemble a steel scaffolding assembly for the team when team principal Carl Haas arrived and recognized him.
  • Bourdais is left-handed.


External links

Complete Champ Car results

Yr Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 Rank Points
2003 Newman/Haas STP
11
MTY
Ret
LBH
Ret
BRH
1
LAU
1
MIL
9
LAG
Ret
POR
Ret
CLE
1
TOR
4
VAN
3
ROA
2
MID
5
MTL
Ret
DEN
2
MIA
Ret
MEX
2
SUR
Ret
FON
NH
4th 159
2004 Newman/Haas LBH
3
MTY
1
MIL
Ret
POR
1
CLE
1
TOR
1
VAN
5
ROA
3
DEN
1
MTL
Ret
LAG
8
LAS
1
SUR
2
MEX
1
        1st 369
2005 Newman/Haas LBH
1
MTY
5
MIL
6
POR
2
CLE
5
TOR
5
EDM
1
SAN
1
DEN
1
MTL
4
LAS
1
SUR
1
MEX
Ret
          1st 348
2006 Newman/Haas LBH
1
HST
1
MTY
1
MIL
1
POR
3
CLE
Ret
TOR
3
EDM
2
SAN
1
DEN
7
MTL
1
ROA
3
SUR
8
MEX
1
        1st 387
2007 Newman/Haas/Lanigan LVG
Ret
LGB
1
HST
1
POR
1
CLE
MTT
TOR
EDM
SAN
ROA
ZOL
ASS
SUR
ZHU
MEX
PHO
1st 105
  • Pole position indicated in bold