AJ Foyt Enterprises confirmed today that it has signed an agreement with Sebastien Bourdais to have him race full-time for the historic team for the 2021 IndyCar season, as well as the rest of this season.
After being let go from Dale Coyne Racing at the end of last year, Bourdais had originally planned to race a part-time schedule with the AJ Foyt this season, splitting road course duties with Dalton Kellett.
The emergence of the pandemic changed those plans, however, and the Frenchman has not been behind the wheel for any IndyCar races so far this year.
“I’m happy to have this deal done and welcome Sebastien to AJ Foyt Racing,” said Larry Foyt, president of AJ Foyt Racing.
“The short time we have been able to work together showed a great deal of promise, and it was a shame that his races with us were derailed by the pandemic. I’m glad we were able to add some of these races back on the schedule, as it will undoubtedly help us kickstart his full-time campaign for 2021.
“His resume speaks for itself, and there is no denying he is a great addition to our program.”
Bourdais had competed in the top level of American open-wheel racing since 2003, dominating CART for a time and winning four consecutive championships with Newman/Haas Racing.
The 41-year-old’s last IndyCar win came on the streets of St. Petersburg, Florida in 2018, when he completed an impressive climb from 14th on the grid amid a messy, caution-filled race.
“As soon as the door closed on my ride from last year, I wasn’t ready to say good-bye to IndyCar,” said Bourdais.
“Everywhere I feel like there is a good opportunity in IndyCar and I can add something to the table, I’m going to be interested. It’s where my heart is. I love driving those cars. Who doesn’t want a good challenge?
“Super happy and excited to be onboard the journey. I couldn’t be more excited to get things going and get back in the #14.”
Bourdais will run the remaining three races for AJ Foyt this season at the Harvest GP double-header and at St. Petersburg, the Frenchman’s hometown, when IndyCar visits in late October for the final race of the season.
By then it will have been eight months since has been behind the wheel of an open-wheel car, as the last time he got to drive one was during the preseason test at COTA back in February.
Even though he was without a full-time IndyCar ride this season, that doesn’t mean Bourdais hasn’t been busy. In addition to running IndyCar’s iRacing Challenge races in April, he has been competing full time in WeatherTech Sportscar Championship this year, and will be driving a Ferrari 488 GTE in the GTE Pro class of the 24 hours of LeMans next week, his 14th entry in the great race.
The Harvest GP double-header from the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course takes place October 2-3.