Bourdais, a four-time Champ Automotive title-winner, drove three races for Foyt final yr, however turned one of many earliest “free brokers” to be confirmed in a fulltime seat for 2021, as iconic former driver AJ Foyt makes an attempt to make his workforce race-winning contenders as soon as extra.
In his third race with the workforce, final yr’s season finale at St. Petersburg, Bourdais scored fourth place, simply behind new champion Scott Dixon.
Bourdais’ main drive in 2020 was within the JDC-Miller Motorsports Cadillac DPi-V.R, and he earned seven top-five finishes, together with three podium finishes, leading to fifth within the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship title race. JDC-Miller has retained him for the 4 Michelin Endurance Cup rounds, the place he’ll companion fulltimers Tristan Vautier and Loic Duval.
Bourdais is now assured he can reap rewards from each groups making progress.
Following Monday’s Sebring check of his Foyt #14 automobile – which is now prepped in Waller, TX the place its sister #4 entry was once prepped – Bourdais says the workforce has taken steps ahead, even because the shut of final season.
“We have been specializing in shock and damper work, making an attempt to convey the automobile to life,” he informed Motorsport.com. “Justin Taylor has come onboard [as new race engineer] so we have been additionally all making an attempt to get comfy collectively, see how we work, and it was a very good.
“Clearly, Sebring is hard by way of while you set your instances – the observe grips up so fast and different issues can affect your pace. There was a tail wind going into Turns 1 by 4, so we have been preventing fairly a little bit of rear-end instability. However we have been throwing stuff at it, making an attempt to enervate the damper packages.
“We validated a few issues that we realized from St. Pete, and checked off different stuff that the workforce has found within the three months since then, so it was very worthwhile. It’s necessary as a result of the veteran drivers don’t get plenty of check days.
“Truthfully, I believe we’re optimistic that we will actually make some good progress and drive in direction of the entrance. I really feel like I nonetheless have sufficient pace to assist the Foyt workforce – I believe St. Pete was a very good reminder of that – and we will present what the workforce has labored for thus exhausting, and collectively we will convey the Foyt title again to the entrance.”
Bourdais mentioned he was “grateful for the chance” to mix a full IndyCar season with collaborating in IMSA’s 4 most prestigious races, as a result of “there are guys who would so wish to do what I get to do. It is vitally satisfying, I’m fairly completely satisfied.”
Concerning the JDC-Miller Motorsports Mustang Sampling Cadillac DPi-V.R, Bourdais says it’s a “recognized amount,” with the workforce having made robust progress all through the 2020 season.
“We clearly don’t know what IMSA’s BoP [Balance of Performance] goes to appear to be making an attempt to convey all of the automobiles to the identical laptimes,” he mentioned, “however I believe 2020 was a robust stepping stone. We realized loads in regards to the automobile and I actually really feel like Tristan [Vautier] and Loic [Duval] could have a enjoyable yr this season as a result of the workforce is aware of its course.
“Additionally, with Wayne Taylor Racing switching producers [to Acura] I really feel like Dallara’s preparation of our chassis goes to be actually dedicated, it’s going to be extra of an open e-book with the opposite Cadillac groups [Chip Ganassi Racing and Action Express Racing]. We’ll discover out what we have been doing mistaken at instances final yr.”
Requested if he feels that he, Vautier and Duval are potential race winners within the 2021 IMSA season-opening Rolex 24 at Daytona, Bourdais responded: “So long as the BoP doesn’t change an excessive amount of and doesn’t hand it to a different producer, then sure, I believe we shall be within the combine and shall be lots robust.
“The automobile was already fairly aggressive within the July race at Daytona. Joao [Barbosa] had issues in the beginning of his stint and we misplaced 45-60sec however then he received higher once more, after which after I received within the automobile we made good progress as a result of different guys had needed to begin saving gas and we didn’t should. We have been actually working them down and will placed on a very good present.
“So there’s loads of indicators that we are going to be good at Daytona and for the remainder of the season. It’s actually optimistic.”
Picture by: Richard Dole / Motorsport Photos