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Jul 20, 2014 - 05:46 PM
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2014 Toronto (Race 1): Sebastien Bourdais IndyCar Post-Race Press Conference
Posted by: ASkyler on Jul 20, 2014 - 05:44 PM
IndyCar News
2014 Toronto (Race 1): Sebastien Bourdais IndyCar Post-Race Press Conference


THE MODERATOR: We're pleased to be joined by the winner of today's Honda Indy Toronto, Race 1, Sebastien Bourdais of KVSH Racing. This is Sebastien's second win at Toronto, won also here in 2004. His 32nd career win. Last one came in Mexico City in November 2007. Sebastien how great for you personally does it feel to be back on the top step, especially here at Toronto where you won before?

SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS: I got a big smile across my face and I can't seem to get rid of it. It's just really cool. The whole race I was stressed out, it felt too easy, it felt like it was way too much under control and it felt like it was way going to go wrong at some point.

I don't know, it didn't. I was surprised about that because that's what happened all season long so far, so I couldn't be any happier. The guys give me a really good car and the combination, Sulli, Kevin and Jimmy putting this package together with Hydroxycut and Circle K, Techtronics, a lot of partners that have become good friends of the family and it's working out, you know, everybody is really, really pumped up. They come to pretty much every race. It's not that they have to, it's because they want to be here when the thing is going to win, and today most of them was here, and only the guys from Mystic couldn't make it, and I know I'm going to give him trouble for not coming, because if he shows up and we can't win again, it's going to be bad karma or something.

 

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It's just really sweet. When you got a good scenario like yesterday, and you start from the front like this, it's easier, especially in Toronto where relation is high and team and truck positions are very important. So from green to checkered flag, it doesn't quite get much better than that. We have a second race and we will see if we can go back to the front. It's going to be very different because we will start probably 10th, so with the entrance points. So it is what it is, but we will keep at it and see what we can get out of Race 2 and whatever happens we will have something to celebrate tonight.

Q. Is there any special significant Sebastien, first win in a long time, at an old Champ Car track?

SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS: It's definitely one of the tracks where I've been the most consistent since my return to IndyCar to start my career. It was one of the very hardest races I had in '03. I just couldn't get comfortable with the car, didn't figure out the whole thing with the patches and stuff, and then I came back in '04 after looking at a bunch of video and camera data and stuff and I figured something out, and I got to point out what was the track, what was the car, and where you had to focus on to make the car good and quick around the track, and it's definitely a place that I've been putting on good, very strong performances and to be back on the top step in the way we have done it today pretty much like the "good 'ole days" it's very special.

Q. Sebastien, speaking of the good 'ole days, your Champ Car series career, you won so often you made it look easy. How much do you appreciate this win because of how hard it was to get here?

SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS: A whole lot more, obviously. All of us at Newman/Haas, we probably realized how special this time was when it was behind us, and it's always like that. Now when you reflect on everything that happened, it was very, very, very extraordinary, and now, you know, to be able to do it with the density of the field in the way we have done it today is very special and shows that I still got it, and I'm here for I'm here to stay and, you know, hopefully we can get on a roll and there is not going to be any domination like we had from '04 to '07 just because there are too many good drivers, too many strong cars, the way the racing is these days. You look at it, you're either P1 or P10, so you can't have the consistency but we can still be contenders and to win a championship in a series, you have to finish five almost every weekend, which on paper can look easy but it's not.

We are going to keep digging and see what happens and hopefully enjoy more moments like this.

Q. Congratulations. Nice to see you back as a winner. You had 31 wins in Champ Car. This is your first against the IndyCar field. Can you reflect on your journey? You went to Europe and came back.

SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS: There have been quite a few wins not in IndyCar, but obviously I had my success with Peugeot and won a couple of races, and F1 was miserable, but that's what happens.

Yeah, it's been quite a journey, but that's the career of a race car driver. You're only as good as your car is and you get some up's and down's and you gotta fight through and hope you keep the motivation and that you keep challenging yourself, so you stay on top of yourself and kind of keep the passion. As long as the passion is here, you know, you just make it up and it's a perfect example today.

Q. Sebastien, you looked pretty frustrated yesterday when the race was called in pit lane, and I was wondering what your mental state was last night, what it was last night and what you were expecting ahead of the race?

SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS: I was very pissed last night because I saw the race was cancelled, the only one it that would have been cancelled was the one I was on poll, which is like, you gotta be kidding me, so when it was announced that it was going to be two short races, I was back to, okay, all right, just going to have to sleep and get at it tomorrow.

I woke up this morning and looked at the parking lot and looked mostly dry, and I guess it's not raining, so we can think about racing in the dry, and it's going to make it quite interesting because two 65 lap races is not exactly the same as racing two rain affected races. I didn't think about anything. I just knew we had a good car, and we were going to start in the front, it was going to be a rolling start and hopefully we could hang on to the lead and that's exactly what happened out there pretty much.

Q. You didn't think your luck had ran out last night? This morning before the race you thought you were in good position?

SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS: Yeah, I knew we were going to be in contention, I was just dreading the whole race, when it was going to be run, because like I said it only takes a couple of yellows to shuffle things around and guys get out of sync and all of the sudden they're cycled to the front and you're behind and the race is over.

That was the only scare I had, but toward the end, once everybody was good on fuel, we still got to save quite a bit because we pitted earlier than most, so I was afraid of, you know, I guess, somebody coming through the field charging hard, running wide open and then, you know, the one thing you don't want at the end of the race is a yellow flag where it bunches everybody up and it's chaos again, so I was happy with the 3, 4 second lead. We had and managed fuel and managed tires because there was a lot of that today, obviously, to make the one stop you had to save quite a bit of fuel, and the yellow made it easier but not a whole lot so we still had to make quite a few laps on that tank.

Q. Sebastien, you've worked with stout engineers in your career but this year you're with a fairly new at least lead engineer, Olivier, and he's also French. Can you explain how your relationship has grown throughout the year? You guys have had the pace but the results have finally started to come.

SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS: Yeah, I guess it's like it reminds me a little bit of '03, to be honest with you, a lot of pace and the worst luck ever. Every time things can work out they go sideways, and then we have these happy moments hopefully from now until the end of the season. It's been a great relationship with Olivier. I managed to carry over Roberto who was my assistant engineer at Dragon last year, and that was a massive piece of the puzzle because you can at least bring continuity, what we had set up, what works for me, what doesn't.

He's very analytical about it and starting to put numbers in front of problems, which is really starting to pay off and help us react to issues throughout. It's always a learning process but we're definitely getting pretty good at it. Having the eye of the driver on the timing stand being standing a little behind but always guiding Olivier and Roberto, we also got Mike Sicerelli on that, so it was a bit of a reshuffling, but it's a three way relationship in the engineering office and it works really, really nice, and it's not quite like the old days yet but it's getting there and it's gone through a lot of hard work and it's paying off. It's quite awesome to be honest.

Q. Sebastien, I think you did have kind of a scary moment out there when there was a big piece of what looked like came out from under Ryan Hunter Reay's race car. Were you concerned when you ran over that?

SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS: Sure. I was like, "Oh, here we go."

The kind of thing that, when is it going to go wrong? It just did! You know? I went through turns 3 and 4 and there was yellow flags there and sure enough it was a piece there, and I get to turn 8 riding on the outside line and max lock, and I get off the curve and there is nowhere to go, nothing to do and straight line with it, my left front tire and run over the plate and the wing, I think, so it's a lot of carbon in there. I was just waiting for the guys to call me in the pit saying, sorry man we got a slow puncture on the left front or something like that, and then you start to be paranoid about it because you run over a big piece of debris you start to make up stuff, I'm pretty sure I cut the tire, the thing doesn't turn sharp and for four or five laps you are wound up inside the car.

It was enough one of these moments but thankfully didn't affect it.

Q. How big of a relief was it to see that they had actually attached to the crystal to the base of the trophy this year?

SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS: They didn't. The good thing is they didn't present the pedestal with the base, they only give the crystal. It was good promotion for IndyCar. We're on every single morning show and evening show. Leave it there

THE MODERATOR: Sebastien, you have an autograph session coming up, congratulations.


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