ELKHART LAKE, Wis. — Sebastien Bourdais speaks reverently about the 24 Hours of Le Mans — in his hometown — as if some mythical force has a hand in the competition.
"I don't know what's the criteria … All I can tell you is Le Mans picks its winner," Bourdais said. If that's the case, this year, the race finally picked him.
After a memorable trip back to France, the St. Petersburg resident is back this weekend with the IndyCar series, which races at Road America for the first time since 2007. His class victory at Le Mans last week was his first win in 11 tries on his home track.
"For me, it's been a long time coming, trying to chase this one for quite some time," Bourdais said Friday between practices.
He teamed with Joey Hand and Dirk Mueller in the No. 68 Ford Chip Ganassi Racing Ford GT on a day memorable for another reason for the team 50 years after Ford's 1966 podium sweep at Le Mans.
Bourdais chose to deflect the attention to Ford's milestone.
"As a driver, especially for me, I'm the helper on the team. I'm the third driver, I come for the long races," Bourdais said. "It's not your program, so you're just trying to bring your experience … and be a benefactor."
NHRA: Doug Kalitta led the first day of Top Fuel qualifying at the Summit Racing Equipment Nationals in Norwalk, Ohio. Del Worsham (Funny Car), Greg Anderson (Pro Stock) and Eddie Krawiec (Pro Stock Motorcycle) also led their classes.