SPEEDWAY, Ind. – A ferocious crash in last year’s Indianapolis 500 qualifying left Sebastien Bourdais with a broken pelvis and hip. You would understand if he had one or two misgivings about returning to competition at the Speedway oval, but a conversation on pit road during an open testing session with Helio Castoneves reveals a much different attitude.
“Turn 2 still turns the same way,” said Bourdais.
“It doesn’t change,” smiled Castroneves.
“It’s better when you’re not upside down and on fire,” replied Bourdais.
Clearly the Frenchman’s humor outweighs his hesitancy.
“It feels kind of abnormally normal,” Bourdais told FOX59/CBS4 about returning to the Speedway. “But it’s been a full year. I’ve been in the car, back for the last three (races last season) and since the beginning of this season. There’s a lot of water that’s gone under the bridge.”
For Bourdais, the best way to continue to put the wreck in the past seems to be continuing to work toward the future. His first opportunity to do so was last week’s open testing, and he’ll continue to do so throughout Indy 500 practice.
“You can take your time to get back into it and rebuild the confidence,” he explained.
Bourdais should be feeling confident for reasons even beyond a few comfortable testing sessions. He enters the month of May third in the IndyCar points standings, already with a win under his belt in the season-opening race in St. Petersburg.
“There’s obviously a clear path (moving forward this season),” Bourdais said.
“We’re in it. It’s all up to me not to send it in the wall in a ball of fire.”