tampabay.com

Bourdais gets crash course driving ovals

By wire services
Published April 14, 2005


Tampa resident Sebastien Bourdais hasn't had much experience driving on ovals. But that is changing quickly.

The 26-year-old Frenchman is the reigning champion in the Champ Car World Series, which races mostly on road and street circuits. The only ovals on its 14-race schedule this year are in Milwaukee and Las Vegas.

But Bourdais is getting a crash course in the techniques of oval racing and drafting this year as part of the invitation-only Crown Royal International Race of Champions Series, which will compete Friday at Texas Motor Speedway in the second of four races this season.

Coming off a season-opening Champ Car victory Sunday on the temporary street course in Long Beach, Calif., Bourdais jumped into an IROC car Monday for his first laps on the banked 11/2-mile Fort Worth oval.

"It's quite different than what I've been doing over the last week, for sure," Bourdais said.

It was also announced earlier this week that Bourdais will get to experience another big fast oval in May, when he takes part in his first Indianapolis 500, joining IRL star Buddy Rice, the defending Indy champion.

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