Channel NewsAsia

Auto Racing: Bourdais ends 52-race IndyCar win drought

French pole-sitter Sebastien Bourdais ended a seven-year win drought by capturing the first of two races at the Toronto Indy double-header.

TORONTO, Canada: French pole-sitter Sebastien Bourdais ended a seven-year win drought by capturing the first of two races on Sunday at the Toronto Indy double-header.

Bourdais, who had been winless in 52 races, took his first victory since 2007 in Mexico City in the 65-lap feature over a 1.7-mile, 11-turn, temporary street course.

"It's damn sweet," Bourdais said. "I'm a bit speechless. It went perfect from green to checkered flag."

Brazil's Helio Castroneves was second with Brazil's Tony Kanaan third, France's Simon Pagenaud fourth and New Zealand's Scott Dixon fifth.

Bourdais won four IndyCar series titles from 2004-2007 in the ChampCar era before leaving two seasons in Formula One and returning to IndyCar in 2011.

The 35-year-old from Le Mans had led only two laps all season before this week, but led 58 laps Sunday in winning his 32nd career IndyCar race, moving into seventh on the all-time list.

"It was a pretty dominant performance from the machine," Bourdais said. "It was back to the old days. I made it stick. I couldn't be any happier."

The morning race was rescheduled from Saturday by heavy rain, the first IndyCar weather postponement since Sao Paulo in 2011 creating the rare two races in one day scenario.

The regularly scheduled second race was set for Sunday afternoon with the start order determined by season points, putting overall leader Castroneves on the pole for race two.

Bourdais won the pole for the opening race in time trials Saturday before the downpour wiped out efforts to begin the event.

Sunday's first attempt to start the race lasted only four turns before a chain-reaction crash involving six cars halted the race for 17 minutes.

But Bourdais, on pole for the first time since a Dutch race in 2007, pulled away on the restart and seized command quickly, maintaining the edge after mid-race pit stops.

Indianapolis 500 champion Ryan Hunter-Reay crashed after contact with 2013 Indy 500 winner Kanaan in the third turn on lap 38.

Bourdais ran over a piece of the American's shattered front wing, but escaped with no damage and cruised to victory.

"Hopefully there's more of that to come," Bourdais car owner Jimmy Vasser said. "When he gets on a roll he's unbeatable. It's nice to be back in victory lane."

Bourdais was only the second IndyCar winner from the pole this season after Colombia's Juan Pablo Montoya did it at Pocono two weeks ago.

Tweet photos, videos and updates on this story to  @channelnewsasia