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Bourdais, Kanaan close in on race deals

Sebastien Bourdais looks increasingly set to return to US open wheel racing with Dale Coyne, while Tony Kanaan is rumoured to be close to a seat at KV Racing Technology.
A deal to bring former dominant Champ Car champion Sebastien Bourdais back to US open-wheel racing in IndyCar looks to be close, while Tony Kanaan looks set to win a seat at KV Racing Technology after a frustrating winter.

Rumours that Bourdais would sign up to appear in the 2011 IndyCar street course events began when the Frenchman tested with Dale Coyne Racing in January at Sebring in Florida. At the time, team owner Dale Coyne was quoted as saying "We have talked with Sebastien before and this is an opportunity that has great potential," adding: "We are very serious about moving our effort forward."

It's now emerged that the squad has this week run a second private test with Bourdais at Sebring, and has officially named him as one of their two drivers at next week's official pre-season public testing event at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Ala.

"There're a couple little things to work out," Coyne told SI.com, stressing that no deal had yet actually been inked. "Everything should come together here. It's a fluid beginning of the season for a lot of people. We're happy with him and I think he's happy with us, so we'll see what we can work out."

Coyne has already added a new team manager and engineer to his outfit this week to prove his commitment to Bourdais. "A couple [of] good people became available and obviously when you have a driver of his calibre, you have more people that are interested, so it all kind of works together. It's good for what he wanted. It's good for what I wanted."

Bourdais is clearly smarting from his F1 experience with Toro Rosso where he didn't feel sufficiently supported by Red Bull's junior team. "[If] there's not the right people around, [Dale] might as well just save the money because I'm no super hero," he said. "I'm a good guy if I'm surrounded by quality people and a good team. There is no magic in this."

Coyne revealed that the possibility of Bourdais entering IndyCar actually emerged midway through last year, but that it had proved "just too much last-minute and too complicated, so we stayed in touch" given issues with Bourdais' LeMans Series campaign and also the fact that he had just become a father for the second time.

Bourdais was completely dominant in Champ Car from 2004 until 2007 when he drove for Newman/Haas Racing, winning 31 races and four consecutive championships. He even managed to clinch third in the preceding CART World Series in his rookie year in America in 2003. His one official IndyCar appearance was the 2005 Indianapolis 500, where he finished 12th. He left the US series for a short-lived run in F1 with Toro Rosso in 2008.

Meanwhile there has been speculation that veteran Brazilian driver Tony Kanaan is closing in on a deal to drive for KV Racing Technology in 2011, after Kanaan tweeted a message to his fans saying "I will have a good ride in 2011."




Related Pictures

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Sebastien Bourdais (FRA), Toro Rosso STRO3, Chinese F1 Grand Prix, Shanghai, 17th-19th October 2008
Tony Kanaan, driver of the #10 Target Chip Ganassi Chevrolet IndyCar V6, races to victory Saturday, August 30, 2014 during the last Verizon IndyCar Series race of the season at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. This is the third consecutive win for Chevrolet at Auto Club Speedway. Chevrolet wins the Manufacturer`s Championship for the third straight season. (Photo by Gregg Ellman/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Team Chevy sweeps the podium as Tony Kanaan (center), driver of the #10 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates his victory Saturday, August 30, 2014, during the last Verizon IndyCar Series race of the season at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. Teammate Scott Dixon (left), driver of the #9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet V6, finishes second, and Ed Carpenter, driver of the #20 Fuzzy`s Ultra Premium Vodka/Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet V6, finishes third. Chevrolet wins the Manufacturer`s Championship for the third straight season. (Photo by Gregg EllmanLAT for Chevy Racing)
Tony Kanaan, driver of the #10 Target Chip Ganassi Chevrolet IndyCar V6, takes the chequered flag while racing to victory Saturday, August 30, 2014 during the last Verizon IndyCar Series race of the season at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. This is the third consecutive win for Chevrolet at Auto Club Speedway. Chevrolet wins the Manufacturer`s Championship for the third straight season. (Photo by Michael L. Levitt/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Tony Kanaan, driver of the #10 Target Chip Ganassi Chevrolet IndyCar V6, makes a quick pit stop while racing to victory Saturday, August 30, 2014 during the last Verizon IndyCar Series race of the season at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. This is the third consecutive win for Chevrolet at Auto Club Speedway. Chevrolet wins the Manufacturer`s Championship for the third straight season. (Photo by Brian Cleary/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Will Power, driver of the #12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates winning the 2014 Verizon IndyCar Series Championship by posing with the Astor Challenge Cup Saturday, August 30, 2014 after the last race of the season at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. Chevrolet clinches its third straight Manufacturer`s Championship. (Photo by Michael L. Levitt/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Will Power, driver of the #12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates winning the 2014 Verizon IndyCar Series Championship by hoisting the Astor Challenge Cup Saturday, August 30, 2014 after the last race of the season at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. Chevrolet clinches its third straight Manufacturer`s Championship. (Photo by Michael L. Levitt/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Will Power, driver of the #12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates winning the 2014 Verizon IndyCar Series Championship by kissing the Astor Challenge Cup Saturday, August 30, 2014 after the last race of the season at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. Chevrolet clinches its third straight Manufacturer`s Championship. (Photo by Michael L. Levitt/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Will Power, driver of the #12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates winning the 2014 Verizon IndyCar Series Championship with his wife Liz Saturday, August 30, 2014 after the last race of the season at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. Chevrolet clinches its third straight Manufacturer`s Championship. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Tony Kanaan with his MAV TV 500 trophy (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Tony Kanaan and crew celebrate winning the MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California on Saturday August 30 2014 (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Tony Kanaan celebrates winning the MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California on Saturday August 30 2014 (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Tony Kanaan and wife Lauren celebrate winning the MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California on Saturday August 30 2014 (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Tony Kanaan and wife Lauren with the Winners Trophy after winning the MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Confetti falls on the podium trio Scott Dixon, Tony Kanaan and Ed Carpenter celebrate after the MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Scott Dixon, Tony Kanaan and Ed Carpenter celebrate after the MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Tony Kanaan celebrates winning the MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Tony Kanaan celebrates with Chip Ganassi after winning the MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)

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Don - Unregistered

March 11, 2011 9:46 PM

I hope everything gets worked out. There's going to be an interesting driver line up this year. Hope Paul Tracy can join the mix too. Seb is a fantastic driver. He never got to show it driving that piece of crap for Torro Rosso.

steve - Unregistered

March 12, 2011 8:04 AM

Such good news for both Bourdais and Kanan! This is the future of Indycar..... The best. fastest. drivers in the world, no more Milkas, if she cant earn it, she doesnt deserve it. Only the strong survive.



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