Plowman, Bourdais Complete Test With Coyne
Indianapolis, Feb 2, 2011: The IZOD IndyCar Series driver lineup would gain an interesting storyline if four-time Champ Car champion Sebastien Bourdais and former champion Paul Tracy -- who have had run-ins in the past -- land full-season rides.
Tracy has been working on a sponsorship package, and Bourdais joined Firestone Indy Lights race winner Martin Plowman Jan. 31 in testing with Dale Coyne Racing at Sebring International Raceway.
Team owner Dale Coyne said if Bourdais signs with the team it would be for road/street course races.
"We have talked with Sebastien before and this is an opportunity that has great potential," said Coyne, whose team ran Alex Lloyd and Milka Duno in 2010. "We are very serious about moving our effort forward and this, coupled with the continuing Boy Scouts of America program from last season, is one of the most important steps in that direction we can possibly make."
Bourdais, who has 31 Champ Car victories, has been away from Indy car racing for three years, during which he competed in Formula One as well as the International Le Mans Cup (to which he is committed to continuing with Peugeot in 2011). His lone INDYCAR-sanctioned race was the 2005 Indy 500 in which he finished 12th.
"The car was very good and it really felt good to be back in an IndyCar," Bourdais said of the test. "I was not sure what to expect, but I was impressed with the way the car handled, and look forward to putting together the pieces to get back into IndyCar racing. I really believe in what Dale is doing with his team and it can be a great workable opportunity for both of us this year."
Plowman, who a week earlier returned from the 11-day Indy 500 Centennial Tour of military bases in the Middle East and Europe and an aircraft carrier, competed the past two seasons in Firestone Indy Lights with Panther Racing (2009) and AFS Racing Andretti Autosport (2010).
"I am very pleased that everything went exceptionally well," said Plowman, who was third in the Firestone Indy Lights championship last year. "The car was very stable and quick right out of the box, allowing me to improve our times all day long."
An IZOD IndyCar Series Open Test is scheduled for March 14-15 at Barber Motorsports Park in Alabama. The season opener is March 27 on the streets of St. Petersburg, Fla. Coyne, who plans to run two cars again, didn't rule out Lloyd -- the 2010 IZOD IndyCar Series Rookie of the Year -- returning.
Added Coyne: "We have tested a lot of new drivers over the years, and you generally know what you have on the first day. Martin is one of the best that we have seen and we look forward to a positive growth curve with this aspiring young talent. When all is said and done, 2011 will be a stronger year for our team."