Sebastien Bourdais won IndyCar opener with 'eighth-place car'

Dale Coyne says Sebastien Bourdais' win in the 2018 IndyCar season-opener at St Petersburg was more impressive than last year's because his car was only good enough for eighth

Sebastien Bourdais won IndyCar opener with 'eighth-place car'

Bourdais shadowed the leading duo of IndyCar debutant Robert Wickens and Andretti's Alexander Rossi during the final stint.

He hit the front after the leaders collided on a restart with two laps to go (pictured above) and then took the victory when the eighth full course-caution of the race was called.

Bourdais used an alternate strategy to go from last to first in the 2017 St Petersburg race and again used an early stop to get into contention this time around.

"We had an eighth-place car today," Coyne said. "[Bourdais'] consistency makes that a fourth-place car and luck made it a winning car.

"We were fine with third until those last two yellows but, hey, yellows always make it interesting.

"Last year we had a top-three car we came from the back and won.

"Today we didn't have a top-three car, but we came from the back and won again!

"We got lucky. Even if Sebastien had got a proper qualifying run in, we wouldn't have been at the front.

"With this [new aerokit], we're still missing the balance between front and rear for this type of track.

"We're not completely on top of what this car does, what changes do what.

"At Barber we should be OK, but on street courses, we've got work to do."

Bourdais now says he wants 2018 to mimic the start he had to '17, right up until he reaches the Indianapolis 500.

The four-time Champ Car champion led the standings for the first three races of 2017, adding second at Long Beach and eighth at Barber to his St Petersburg win.

Bourdais then crashed at Phoneix and had engine problems on the Indy road course before he was severely injured in qualifying for the Indy 500 and forced out of racing for several months.

"I hope history is going to repeat itself until Indy, to be honest," he said.

"It's kind of interesting [the win]. We ended up qualifying poorly. We didn't get a good lap."

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Sébastien Bourdais
Author David Malsher
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