After F1 test, Bourdais hopes to return to winning form in Edmonton

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Sebastien Bourdais
Image: DECHUSA Motorsport Photography+ /

Fresh off his three-day test for Scuderia Toro Rosso at Spa-Francorchamps, three-time Champ Car World Series Champion Sebastien Bourdais hops to return to championship form at this weekend’s Rexall Grand Prix of Edmonton.

Frenchman Bourdais, born and raised in Le Mans, home to one of motorsport’s Crown Jewels, The 24 Hours of Le Mans, has long aspired to driving in Formula One, considered by many to be the pinnacle of racing, and his solid test results may have brought him one step closer to landing a seat with Toro Rosso for 2008.

Bourdais’ error-free test and respectable 8th fastest time earned team co-owner Gerhard Berger’s approval who noted "Bourdais has done everything right, which is exactly what we expected of him. He has exactly the right attitude for the job."

Scuderia Toro Rosso is part of the Red Bull stable, and is considered the ‘junior team’ to Red Bull Sports Drink billionaire owner Dietrich Mateschitz’ primary Red Bull Racing F1 team. They recently picked up an option on Bourdais for 2008, an encouraging sign that the Frenchman may finally achieve his life-long goal of driving in F1. Toro Rosso is based on the former Minardi F1 team, a perennial back-marker but fan favorite. Minardi ex-owner Paul Stoddard now commandeers the new Team Minardi USA in Champ Car.

Back in North America, Bourdais readies himself for the Rexall Grand Prix of Edmonton, in the unusual position of being third in points standings. Three DNF’s, stronger competition, and the parity that the new Panoz DP01 has brought to the series after the years of development that Bourdais’ team, Newman/Haas/Lanigan lavished on the previous Lola chassis had given them an on-track advantage, has resulted in Bourdais scrambling to claim his fourth consecutive title and the accompanying Vanderbilt Cup, before presumably heading off to F1.