LEXINGTON, OH - August 2, 2014 - KVSH Racing driver Sebastien Bourdais captured his second pole in as many races and will lead the field to the green flag in tomorrow's Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio on the 2.258-mile, 13-turn Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course permanent road course in Lexington, Ohio.
Today's qualifying was preceded by a massive downpour that forced drivers to switch to rain tires. However, the wet conditions didn't seem to affect Bourdais, who had been among the fastest drivers on a dry track during all three practice sessions leading up to qualifying.
Piloting the No. 11 Team MISTIC E-Cigs - KVSH Racing Chevrolet/Dallara/Firestone machine, the 35-year-old Frenchman went out in Group Two in Round One of qualifying and recorded a fast lap of 92.4245 seconds (86.088 mph) placing him second among the 11 drivers in his group. He therefore advanced into Round Two where he dominated, posting the fastest time of the 12 drivers with a lap of 92.0390 seconds (88.319 mph).
The final round, the Firestone Fast Six, held a bit more drama. Even with the track drying rapidly, all six drivers remained on Firestone rain tires, but the Mistic E-Cigs - KVSH Racing team was one of only two to switch to a new set. As the session progressed, Bourdais jumped to the top of the speed charts only to fall to the middle and then to the back of the pack. With time for just one more lap, and trailing by almost .7 of a second, Bourdais laid down his fastest lap posting a time of 84.1610 seconds (96.586 mph) to vault into the top spot. However, Bourdais, his crew and sponsors had to wait a few anxious seconds for Josef Newgarden, who Bourdais had moved past by more than a half a second, to complete his lap. When Newgarden crossed the time line and Bourdais was still at the top of the speed charts the pits erupted for the second time in as many races.
Commenting on the run for the pole, Bourdais said, "It was a totally different (in the Firestone Fast Six) from the first two segments, there was a developing dry line. So we went from totally outside to having to venture into not really well known territory with wet tires, which was difficult. The last lap I knew I was shy and needed some more, so I just went for it and made it stick and that Mistic machine gave me everything it had and it was enough - so thanks to Chevy and all our sponsors."
Bourdais went on to say, "I couldn't be any happier for the Mistic crew they did a great job, gave me a great car and deserve a lot of respect for all the hard work they put in. It's just great when it finally turns into results. Things are finally starting to align for us - sometimes it's the difference between things going your way or not going your way. I like it a lot better like (this), it's a lot of fun. Hopefully we can capitalize on this pole tomorrow at a place where track position is so key."
Today's pole was the 33rd of Bourdais' nine-year IndyCar career tying him for seventh on the all-time list with Dario Franchitti. It is his second of the 2014 Verizon IndyCar Series season, second since 2007 and first at Mid-Ohio.
Bourdais, who is 10th in the championship standings with 358 points on the strength of six top-10 finishes including four top-five showings with one win (Toronto Race One), is making his fifth appearance at Mid-Ohio. He has now qualified in the top-10 three times in five attempts. Today's pole surpasses a third place qualifying spot in 2003 (in his only Champ Car start at Mid-Ohio) for his best starting position. In fourprevious starts on the scenic and extremely challenging Mid-Ohio circuit, Bourdais has finished in the top-10 three times with two top-five performances and a best showing of fourth in 2012 (fifth in 2003).
In the first 15 races of the 2014 Verizon IndyCar Series season, Bourdais has now qualified in the top-12 in11 of 15 races (only once on an oval, Iowa, sixth), includingfour top-five efforts and two poles (Mid-Ohio and Toronto Race One).In the eight full road/street qualifying sessions this season, he has advanced to the second round sevenout of eight times and made the Firestone Fast Six three times, here, Toronto and Long Beach (qualified 11th, fifth and 10th respectively for the second race of the Detroit, Houston and Toronto doubleheaders where the qualifying format is just a single round with two groups).
This weekend's Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio will be broadcast live on NBC Sports Network beginning at 3:00 p.m. (ET) on Sunday 3rd August. They can also be heard live on IMS Radio Network affiliates, XM Channel 209, Sirius Channel 213 IndyCar.com, IndyCarRadio.com or via the Verizon IndyCar14 app.