Span­ish suc­cess

Se­bastien Bour­dais earns 1st Indy­Car win of sea­son


The first cau­tion pe­riod be­gan about mid­way through the race.

It was fol­lowed by an­other. And then an­other. Yel­low flags all the way un­til the fi­nal laps.

It made for te­dious view­ing for fans — but the con­stant cy­cle of start­ing and then slow­ing down was ex­actly what Se­bastien Bour­dais needed.

On a wet day at Belle Isle, Bour­dais had enough fuel to make it to the end in first place for his first Indy­Car victory of the year. There were eight cau­tion pe­ri­ods Sun­day, short­en­ing the race from 70 laps to 68 be­cause of a two-hour time limit. That made all the dif­fer­ence for the French driver. Bour­dais held on in his No. 11 Chevrolet, fin­ish­ing 1.8 sec­onds ahead of Takuma Sato. Gra­ham Ra­hal fin­ished third. Indy 500 win­ner Juan Pablo Mon­toya was awarded the pole based on en­try points when qual­i­fy­ing Sun­day morn­ing was halted by bad weather. Mon­toya fin­ished 10th. Mon­toya re­mained atop the sea­son stand­ings. Car­los Munoz, who won Satur­day’s rain-short­ened race, fin­ished last Sun­day.

Penske team­mates Will Power and He­lio Cas­tron­eves crashed late in the race, lead­ing to a red flag with 5:33 re­main­ing. Bour­dais was lead­ing at that point, but he was con­cerned with the stop­page be­cause he’d been hop­ing a yel­low pe­riod would help run more time off the clock.

Af­ter the red flag, there was an­other cau­tion pe­riod be­fore the restart.

There wasn’t time for 70 laps, and Bour­dais held on af­ter the fi­nal restart.

Sato had passed Mon­toya on a pre­vi­ous restart, and Bour­dais said he was try­ing to avoid that sce­nario.

Bour­dais’ fi­nal lap of 1 minute, 17.9133 sec­onds was the fastest for any­one on the day. It was the 33rd Indy­Car win of his ca­reer.

Bour­dais’ victory for KVSH Rac­ing was a bright spot for Chevrolet on what was oth­er­wise a fine week­end for Honda. Munoz won Satur­day in a Honda, and the next eight spots af­ter Bour­dais on Sun­day were taken up by Hon­das.

Ra­hal was pleased with his third-place fin­ish, although he was dis­ap­pointed that he was or­dered to give up po­si­tion to Sato late in the race for block­ing.

“I don’t think it was de­served, based on what the rules are,” Ra­hal said. “You’re al­lowed to move be­fore the per­son be­hind you does.”

On a chilly, rainy day in the Detroit area, Mon­toya led for 35 laps, dom­i­nat­ing the first half of the race. He was still sec­ond head­ing into the restart af­ter the sixth cau­tion, but Sato passed him, and Mon­toya even­tu­ally faded.

The first cau­tion didn’t come un­til lap 37, but it was the first of many as the restarts gave driv­ers more op­por­tu­ni­ties to jockey for po­si­tion.

Munoz com­pleted only five laps be­fore en­coun­ter­ing me­chan­i­cal trou­ble. Power, who along with Mon­toya opened up a de­cent amount of ground over the rest of the field early on, fell back af­ter hav­ing shift­ing prob­lems on lap 26. He ended up 18th af­ter his crash with Cas­tron­eves, who fin­ished 19th.


Spain’s Al­berto Con­ta­dor kisses the tro­phy af­ter win­ning the Giro d’Italia, Tour of Italy cy­cling race, in Mi­lan, Sun­day, May 31. Al­berto Con­ta­dor clinched his sec­ond Giro d’Italia ti­tle on Sun­day, re­main­ing on course to be­come the first cy­clist since 1998 to win the Ital­ian clas­sic and the Tour de France in the same year.

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