Roughly three months after Sebastien Bourdais had a massive accident during qualifying for the Indianapolis 500, the Frenchman is set to get back behind the wheel.
Bourdais will return to competition during Saturday’s Verizon IndyCar Series race at Gateway Motorsports Park, 14 weeks after fracturing his hip and pelvis, Dale Coyne Racing announced Wednesday, via IndyCar.com. He completed his first test since his crash July 31 at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, and subsequently was cleared by IndyCar’s medical director, Dr. Geoffrey Billows, on Aug. 16.
The rehabilitation period felt like an eternity for the Le Mans, France, native, who was unable to defend his class victory in the No. 68 Ford GT at this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans due to his injuries.
“You have no idea how excited I am to be getting back in the car this weekend and for the remainder of the season,” Bourdais said in a statement. “It’s been a long 14 weeks and I’ve worked very hard to get to this point.”
The 38-year-old driver’s perseverance paid off big time, as he will make his comeback three races earlier than he was aiming to. His early return spells the end of former Haas F1 Team driver Esteban Gutierrez’s maiden IndyCar campaign, though team owner Dayle Coyne praised the Mexican for his performances while filling in for Bourdais inside the No. 18 Honda.
“It’s great to have Sebastien back, but I want to thank Esteban for the amazing job he did filling in for him these last few months,” Coyne said. “It wasn’t easy for him coming in and having never driven an Indy car, but he did a fantastic job, especially on the ovals.
“For someone that had never driven on an oval track before Iowa in July, he impressed a lot of people including myself. Hopefully we get to work with him again in the future.”
Thumbnail photo via Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports Images
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