Experienced French open-wheel driver Sebastien Bourdais will partner with Holden’s Lee Holdsworth for this year’s Bathurst 1000.
The four-time Champ Car World Series title-winner will be Holdsworth’s co-driver for the 1000km V8 Supercars endurance classic as well as the Sandown 500 and Gold Coast 600 events.
It’s the first time Bourdais has driven in Australia since partnering with six-time V8s champion Jamie Whincup for the 2011 and 2012 Gold Coast events as an international co-driver.
Bourdais won two races alongside Whincup and says he’s relishing the chance to tackle the championship’s marquee race at Mount Panorama.
Walkinshaw Racing managing director Adrian Burgess was the team manager at Triple Eight Race Engineering when Bourdais drove with Whincup and the Frenchman said he was looking forward to re-igniting that partnership.
“After the great successes I enjoyed with Holden and Adrian in 2011 and 2012, it is great to come back to V8 Supercars,” Bourdais said.
“I will check off my bucket list races I have been wanting to compete in for a while.
“I am really excited and looking forward to discover Sandown and Bathurst, and to return to Surfers in Lee’s car.
“I met him a few years back, he is a great guy, a terrific driver.”
Holdsworth, who has only joined Walkinshaw Racing this season after a switch from the Mercedes-powered Erebus team, said he was confident Bourdais’ prior experience in a V8 Supercar would make him a good co-driver for this year’s endurance races.
“A good endurance series can make or break your championship so it’s important to give yourself the best opportunity,” Holdsworth said.
“Having Sebastien puts us in a really strong position.
“It’s a bonus he’s driven these cars in the past and been successful.”
Bourdais’ first taste of Holdsworth’s No.18 Walkinshaw Commodore will be at the team’s test day in Winton in early September.
The 36-year-old, who currently races for KV Racing Technology in the IndyCar series in the United States, is expected to be the first of several overseas co-drivers who will compete at this year’s endurance events.