Sébastien Bourdais has insisted that he will face no difficulties in dovetailing two programmes in 2009 – after being re-signed by Scuderia Toro Rosso in Formula 1, whilst also returning to the Le Mans 24 Hours as part of Peugeot's star line-up.
Following a winter of bleak uncertainty, it was finally announced late last week that the Frenchman has been retained at the Red Bull 'junior' outfit for a second successive season [see separate story – click here
], on the back of an increasingly impressive debut campaign in the top flight last year.
In addition to that, however, the record-breaking former multiple Champ Car king will also be returning to La Sarthe as Peugeot chases Le Mans glory at the third time of asking in June, and will warm up for that challenge with an appearance in the Sebring 12 Hours in Florida next month, a race in which he achieved a class triumph in a Panoz Esperante three years ago.
Despite the gruelling American outing coming just a week before the 2009 curtain-raising Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne, and Le Mans placing in-between the Turkish and British Grands Prix, Bourdais is adamant that so different are the two machines, that his extra-curricular sportscar activities will not compromise his main focus on F1.
“It doesn't worry me,” the 29-year-old told French website sports.fr
. “It's something I have lots of practice in. I couldn't do it last year, but I did it in 2007 when I raced both Champ Car and Le Mans.
“It would not be fun to return to Europe between Sebring and Melbourne, though. Perhaps I will go directly to Melbourne from the US on the Monday or the Sunday [after Sebring], but it is not a big deal. I won't be too tired; it is possible to manage.”