Bourdais, RHR set for ‘super sub’ roles

May 2, 2019

Bourdais, RHR set for ‘super sub’ roles

May 2, 2019

Two IndyCar series champions will put in their nominations for “best guest driver” at this weekend’s ACURA Sports Car Challenge at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.

#66 Ford Chip Ganassi Racing Ford GT, GTLM: Sebastien Bourdais, Dirk Mueller

Four-time Indy car champion (2004-’07) Sebastien Bourdais will reprise his role with Ford Chip Ganassi Racing for a second straight race. The Frenchman will again deputize for Joey Hand as he did in Long Beach. Hand has been ill and seeks to return for the 24 Hours of Le Mans in June.

“It’s really been a rough few weeks dealing with this very strong virus,” Hand explained in a Ganassi team release.

“Under doctors’ orders, I’ve had to rest with no physical activity whatsoever. Only this week have I felt well enough and been given the okay to do light training and resume preparation for driving again.

“Having missed my home race at Long Beach and now effectively out of the drivers’ championship points chase, my main priority and focus is to be 100% for Le Mans.”

Bourdais shares the No. 66 Ford GT with Dirk Mueller in the GT Le Mans class. He has not raced the track in a sports car. But in an IndyCar, he has one pole (2014) and one runner-up finish (second in 2014) in eight starts.

#55 Mazda Team Joest Mazda DPi, DPi: Jonathan Bomarito, Harry Tincknell

Hunter-Reay, 2012 IndyCar Series champion and 2014 Indianapolis 500 race winner, meanwhile, makes his DPi return filling in a Multimatic-affiliated entry, the No. 55 Mazda RT24-P alongside Jonathan Bomarito. The two used to be teammates in the SRT Viper GT Le Mans program several years ago.

Hunter-Reay has driven the Cadillac DPi-V.R with Wayne Taylor Racing before. This week will mark his first Mazda start, as he fills in for Harry Tincknell. Tincknell is at the penultimate FIA World Endurance Championship race of the year in Spa-Francorchamps with Ford. Hunter-Reay has two Mid-Ohio podiums in IndyCar, including the first of his series career in 2003.

“Mazda has really put a lot into their program, and Mazda Team Joest have taken a big step up this season,” Hunter-Reay said.

“The car is obviously very fast and I’m excited to race it at Mid-Ohio. Jonathan is a good friend and we’ve been teammates in the past, so it will be great to share the No. 55 Mazda RT24-P with him and fight for a win. I’ve driven race winning Daytona Prototypes in IMSA for a long time, the Prototype field is as strong and deep as it has ever been, and I’m thrilled to be a part of it again this season.”

Bomarito will rejoin Tincknell and Andy Priaulx at Le Mans next month in that WEC-entered No. 67 Ford.

Several other new faces appear in new places in the slightly jumbled 36-car WeatherTech entry list at Mid-Ohio.

Marco Seefried fills in for Patrick Lindsey in the No. 73 Park Place Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R in GT Daytona. In LMP2, Eric Lux substitutes for Gabriel Aubry in the No. 52 PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports Oreca 07. Lindsey and Aubry are both in class championship contention in the WEC.

MID-OHIO EVENT CARD

The Michelin Mid-Ohio Event Card for the race is linked here.

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