On Saturday morning, I had the chance to interview Sebastien Bourdais, driver of the number 11 Hydroxycut KVSH Racing car. So far this season, he has top five finishes at the Grand Prix of Indianapolis and both races in Houston as well as a top ten finish at the Indianapolis 500. After qualifying Saturday morning, he will start on the pole for the first race of the Toronto doubleheader. This is his first pole in IndyCar since the IRL/Champ Car merger in 2008 but is his 32nd pole in his Champ Car and IndyCar career.
Isabelle Beecy – This is your first season with KVSH Racing. How do you feel your season has been going?
Sebastien Bourdais – Depends. With team atmosphere and pace, I’m very happy. I think we’ve been where we want to be. We’ve been top five material week in, week out. That’s where we want to be. That’s where you need to be to be contending for the championship. In terms of results, that didn’t quite translate. That’s the part where we’re not really happy, because we’ve got plenty of pace and we’ve been running at the front very much. But for one reason or another, there’s always something that comes in the way. It prevents us from scoring big points, which obviously is all people look at at the end of the weekend. It’s not been the season we’ve been expecting so far but we’ll keep at it.
IB – With you being twelfth in points so far, what are your expectations for the rest of the season?
SB – I don’t know, the last couple of races we’ve had things not going our way and we’ve lost a lot of points, with the way things have gone such as in Pocono, where we had bad pit stop, or Iowa, where we had to re-tire. We had made it to the top 10 in the championship – 8th, I think – and then we slid back to 10th. There aren’t many races left in the championship and it’s not where we want to be anyway, so we get what we get. We’re going to focus on the rest of the races and getting good results until the end of the season. Hopefully we get a couple of podiums and set the tone for next year.
IB – Saavedra was also your teammate at Dragon Racing last year. How did it come about that you both switched to KV Racing at the same time?
SB – It was very unexpected. Ultimately, my deal came before the season was even over because Jay (Penske) really said he was not going to continue Dragon in IndyCar and that’s where I wanted to stay. There was an opportunity with these guys here and it just happened. Seb’s deal came very late – he was still trying to convince Jay to stay in IndyCar – so it was not really something we pushed for, it just kind of happened.
IB – You’re on the Drivers Club list for Formula E. Given the opportunity, would you drive in that series?
SB – Yeah, I was supposed to drive for Jay but we decided to go different ways. I was going to be very busy until the start of season and pre-season testing has already happened. I couldn’t attend it and would be a bit difficult so he pulled up Conway sine he was more open because he doesn’t do the ovals. We’ll see if there’s another opportunity, but for sure. For us, it’s a long off season. The off season is longer than the season itself. If there’s a chance to get out there and keep racing, for sure I’ll do it.
IB – Out of all the racing series you’ve done, which has been your favorite?
SB – It’s definitely been the Champ Car days and IndyCar because I really like the variety of racing between the ovals, the street courses, and the road courses. We don’t get to do that anywhere else. It really requires you to be on top of your game week in, week out with very different, very specific things in racing which you would usually not be touching. I really enjoy the series, I really like the cars. I like the Champ Cars even better because they were faster. It’s getting faster, the more the horsepower goes up. The aero kits next year will help, too. The cars are very challenging and fun to drive. This is what I like to do.