8Star Motorsports has signed four-time Champ Car World Series champion Sebastien Bourdais to drive its No. 4 Chevrolet Corvette DP for the five races remaining on the 2013 Rolex GRAND-AM Series Daytona Prototype season schedule.
Bourdais, 34, drove to the overall victory with co-driver Alex Popow in last year’s inaugural Brickyard Grand Prix at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. He has made eight DP starts since 2005, including four Rolex 24 at Daytona races (2005-06, 2010, 2013) and this past June 29 at Watkins Glen (N.Y) International. He also competes fulltime in the 2013 IZOD IndyCar Series and has 34 series starts since 2005. Bourdais finished second and third, respectively, in last weekend’s IndyCar Series doubleheader at the street circuit in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
The Le Mans, France, native will participate in 8Star’s DP test July 18-19 at Palm Beach International Raceway in Jupiter, Fla., in preparation for the July 26 Brickyard Grand Prix. He will share driving duties in the No. 4 Chevrolet Corvette DP with Emilio DiGuida who finished 11th for 8Star in his DP debut at Watkins Glen.
“There’s a lot of very good and talented people at 8Star and I’m happy to be involved,” said Bourdais. “The No. 3 car has been pretty racy the last couple of races and the No. 4 is pretty much the same car so I’m pretty excited about the prospects to drive for a new team that’s sorting itself out pretty quickly. Emilio is a good gentleman driver and, given the format of the series, it’s always an opening for a good result for an amateur and a pro. Stephane (Sarrazin, driver of 8Star Motorsports’ No. 3 Corvette DP) and I were teammates at Le Mans in 2007 and 2009, and in different team cars after that, so I know him pretty well. He’s a very quick driver so it will be good to reunite with him on the team.
“I’m very much looking forward to racing at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, obviously, having won last year’s inaugural Grand-Am race there. Indy is a pretty cool event and a cool track. I’m thankful to Jay Penske for allowing me to combine this with my IndyCar program with Dragon Racing. I’m a Chevrolet driver in the IndyCar Series so it’s great to be driving a Corvette DP in the Grand-Am Series.”
Bourdais earned 31 Champ Car victories, 44 podium finishes, and 31 pole positions in 73 starts from 2003-2007, and was named series rookie of the year in 2003. He has made 10 starts in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, garnering three runner-up finishes (2007, 2009, 2011) in the LMP1 class, co-driving with Sarrazin in 2007 and 2009. Bourdais competed in 27 Formula One races for Toro Rosso in 2008-09 and has two V8 Supercar victories to his credit, both at Surfer’s Paradise in Queensland, Australia, first in 2011 and again in 2012.
“Sebastien brings a lot of experience to the 8Star Motorsports that will make the No. 4 team a race contender hopefully a race winner,” said Enzo Potolicchio, owner/co-driver of 8Star Motorsports. “We were teammates last year in the Six Hours of The Glen and we finished really well. He’s adapted to the Daytona Prototype car really fast in just a few races. He’s definitely showed his talent and speed in these cars. Our engineers will benefit from having a driver in the No. 4 car with a lot of experience who will further develop our two-car program. The benefits will show before the end of the season and will help Emilio improve quickly and perhaps a race winner. I also want to thank Jay Penske and Dragon Racing for giving Sebastien the opportunity to drive with 8Star in the Grand-Am Series.”
The No. 3 8Star Corvette DP team, with drivers Sarrazin, Michael Valiante, and Potolicchio, is currently sixth in the 2013 GRAND-AM Daytona Prototype team point standings. Runner-up finishes in the previous two races, at Mid-Ohio and Watkins Glen, moved the team within 12 points of fifth place and only 17 points out of the lead with five races remaining.
Source. 8Star Motorsports