Sebastien Bourdais was delighted to secure his first Verizon IndyCar Series victory of 2016 during race one at Detroit after seeing his strategy pay out at the end of the 70-lap event around the street circuit on Saturday.
The Frenchman made the decision to pit early to switch from the red alternate tyres to the black prime tyres, and spent much of the early part of the race amongst the midfield runners before moving gradually towards the front of the field.
The KVSH Racing driver hit the front for the first time on lap 55, and vitally stayed ahead of the Team Penske trio of Helio Castroneves, Simon Pagenaud and Juan Pablo Montoya, before pulling away to take the victory ahead of Conor Daly.
“The call (to pit) was obviously really quick and all we needed was clean air to come back from the pretty average qualifying and I really couldn’t dream of that,” said Bourdais. “I don’t even know how we got there.
“We just ran like stink most of the race and it worked out, so I couldn’t be any happier for Chevrolet and Hydroxycut today. It (pitting on Lap 3) would have worked even better if we had not pitted with everybody else because we ended up just pretty much where we were before.
“So, I couldn’t press Gabby (Chaves). For a long time I really thought the strategy was a total mess and it was never going to work, and when we finally got some clean air then I could start to get some quick lap times and make it happen.”