TORONTO — official release — Al Steinberg photo — It’s been a long and winding road between victories for Sebastien Bourdais.
Bourdais, driving the No. 11 Hydroxycut KVSH Racing Chevrolet, claimed his 32nd career Indy car win in Race 1 of the Honda Indy Toronto by 3.3408 seconds over Verizon IndyCar Series championship front-runner Helio Castroneves.
Bourdais broke a tie with Dario Franchitti and Paul Tracy for eighth on the all-time win list.
“It’s really sweet. We had to fight and wait for it for a long time but today was just kind of one of these days when the stars align,” said Bourdais, who earned the Verizon P1 Award on July 19. “I guess I was not expecting it because here I know how things can go. Last year we were second and third and it’s great to get this win.”
Bourdais, 35, who resides in St. Petersburg, Fla., closed the 2007 season with victories at Surfers Paradise, Australia, and Mexico City – the latter on Nov. 11 — to secure his fourth consecutive Champ Car World Series title for Newman/Haas Racing. He moved to Europe to compete in Formula One for two seasons, and then drove in the SuperLeague Formula in 2010.
Bourdais competed in nine Verizon IndyCar Series races in 2011 for Dale Coyne Racing, made 11 starts for Dragon Racing the next season and contested his first full season in 2013 with Dragon Racing.
His dominating victory was the first for KVSH Racing since Tony Kanaan won the 2013 Indianapolis 500 Mile Race and its fourth overall.
“He dominated from start to finish and we’re very proud of him,” team co-owner Kevin Kalkhoven said. “He’s had some unlucky breaks but showed today what a strong driver he is.”
Kanaan finished third for the second consecutive race in the No. 10 Target Chip Ganassi Racing car, while teammate Scott Dixon – who swept the Toronto doubleheader last July – finished fifth. Simon Pagenaud, whose No. 77 Schmidt Peterson Hamilton Motorsports car was involved in a Lap 1 incident that brought out a red flag, rallied to finish fourth.
Pagenaud reclaimed third place in the championship standings with 454 points. Castroneves, driving the No. 3 PPG Team Penske car, increased his points margin over Power from nine to 28. Power climbed to ninth place in after starting from the rear of the 23-car field.
Graham Rahal advanced five positions to finish sixth in the No. 15 National Guard Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Honda and Charlie Kimball improved 11 spots relative to his starting position to finish seventh in the No. 83 Levemir FlexTouch Chevrolet for Chip Ganassi Racing. James Hinchcliffe of Oakville, Ontario, placed eighth.
Race 2, featuring a standing start, has a green flag scheduled for 4:15 p.m. (ET). The lineup for the companion 65-lap race on the 1.755-mile, 11-turn street circuit at Exhibition Place will be set by entrant points as they stand following Race 1. Castroneves and Team Penske teammate Will Power will start on the front row.
The race will be broadcast by NBCSN (3 p.m.) in the U.S. and Sportsnet in Canada, the IMS Radio Network (Local affiliates, XM 209 and Sirius 213), the Verizon INDYCAR 14 App and www.indycar.com.