Detroit Two Race Review: Bourdais Haze

May 31, 2015; Detroit, MI, USA; IndyCar Series driver Takuma Sato (left) Sebastien Bourdais and Graham Rahal celebrate in victory circle after the Dual in Detroit Race 2 at Belle Isle road course. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports ORG XMIT: USATSI-225300 ORIG FILE ID:  20150531_lbm_aw3_258.JPG

Photo from sports.usatoday.com

Frenchman Sebastien Bourdais prevailed in the rain in Detroit on Sunday for KV Racing for the thirty third win of an IndyCar career that spans a decade.  Happily Bourdais even managed not to drop the trophy off the podium this time. AJ Foyt Racing’s Takuma Sato recovered from a poor string of races to finish second ahead of RLL’s Graham Rahal, who was penalized for blocking Sato in the frenzied street fight.

Sebastien Bourdais, of France, drives in the rain during the second race of the IndyCar Detroit Grand Prix auto racing doubleheader Sunday, May 31, 2015, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Dave Frechette) ORG XMIT: MIPS109

Photo from sports.usatoday.com

The race saw a wet start, a clean and green first half and a second half reminiscent of Saturday’s stinker. After another aero kit explosion of debris thanks to a Penske tussle the race was eventually red flagged for clean up. This set up a mad dash to the finish of a timed race and an exciting ending to a water logged weekend on the border.

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Photo from indycar.com

ABC aired a brief fifteen minute pre race show that was typically heavy on the Capn’s team. It didn’t ignore Andretti Autosport though, allowing Carlos Munoz to correct the record and say “it feels good” to have won his first race rather than just “ok.” Graham Rahal also got some air time after his poor showing Saturday. After GM’s CEO gave the command to start engines, another rain race began on Belle Isle. In a double file start which always adds some drama the drivers behaved themselves for a caution free fifty laps of racing.

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Photo from indystar.com

First race winner Munoz’s AA Honda went up in smoke in the first ten laps having given its all the previous day. First out of the race, he recklessly drove his car across the racing line to a pull off area, smoke billowing out the back. Fortunately no one hit him as he did so. It was a case of karma for the young Colombian who never should have described an IndyCar win as ok.

Not only was the racing better than on Saturday, but the broadcast of Bestwick, Cheever and Goodyear was improved as well. Goodyear had plenty of tedious commentary on tires, but at least Bestwick didn’t steal our ideas again. They did cut away from a great battle involving Rahal at one point though, and oddly inserted some two seater footage under a yellow. ABC stayed with the race five minutes after the hour and beyond the window in order to interview SeBass, to their credit. This weekend’s race in Texas will be carried on NBCSN and fans will easily see the difference.

montoyaindystarcom

Photo from indystar.com

The powerhouse Penske pair of Juan Pablo Montoya and Will Power pulled away from the pack and the field shuffled during green flag pit stops early in the contest. Teams had to choose between rain tires and slicks as the race wore on and the track dried at points. Hoosier Conor Daly filled in admirably for Hinchcliffe giving the car another competent drive to the front and finishing sixth behind Marco, who also had a decent day.

gonzohoyvenezuela.info

Photo from hoyvenezuela-info

“Speedy” Gonzalez who desperately needs a new nickname brought out a caution for the second day in a row, starting a series of crashes and cautions. Josef Newgarden ran with the leaders during part of the race but ended up running into trouble, having contact and retiring from the race. Team mates Power and Helio tangled on track as well, finishing a disappointing eighteenth and nineteenth as a result for the Cap’n. Montoya encountered trouble in the pits and on track and finished tenth, while Pagenaud ended up fourteenth after a drive through penalty for blocking.

WillPower

Photo from dailytelegraph.com.au

After the red flag for Power and Helio’s crash, a five lap/seven minute shootout was set up and the drivers didn’t disappoint. Sato challenged Bourdais while Rahal harassed him in an entertaining conclusion to a soggy weekend. Bourdais emerged from the haze for the win, though he hilariously failed to accomplish a spin out for the tiny crowd that remained in attendance. It was a fitting end to the Frenchman’s win.

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Photo from dailymail.co.uk

Post Race Quote

Sebastien Bourdais: “Chevrolet at home, man!”

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