2017 St Pete Winner Overcame A Near Career-ending Crash at Indy
ST. PETERSBURG, FL - RIS – Last year’s race winner, Sebastien Bourdais, had his season cut short after a near career-ending crash during practice for the 2017 Indianapolis 500. Bourdais broke his hip during a fiery crash that flipped his Dale Coyne Racing Honda upside down after striking the SAFER Barrier at 227 mph. The French native now living in St. Petersburg, Florida, sat out nine races. Amazingly he returned to compete in the final three races of the season – Gateway, Watkins Glen and Sonoma.
Bourdais will pilot the No. 18 Team Sealmaster Honda for Dale Coyne Racing with Vasser-Sullivan. He is a veteran of racing at St. Pete. “My first Indy car race was here in 2003 and I took the pole,” Bourdais said. “But until last year I really didn’t have a lot of success. It took 15 years, and now I am the defending champion and that feels good. I don’t feel any additional pressure to do well, but it’s nice to be able to sleep in my own bed and have friends and family at the track.” (About the start of the season): “I am looking forward to the start of the 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series season. I want to thank Dale Coyne, Jimmy Vasser and (James) Sulli (Sullivan) for the opportunity to move forward with the program that Dale started a year ago with the support of Honda. I also want to thank Sealmaster and all of our sponsors for their support. This is a small team, but we have proven we can take poles and win races. However, I think we are now putting together what hopefully is a consistent program that can compete at the highest level and contend for a championship.”
Dave Chess has been writing for RIS since the late 1980s during the CompuServe days. His work has also appeared in Auto Week magazine, Chicago Gearhead News newspaper, ATA airlines in-flight magazine, National Speed Sport News and on many websites.