Sebastien Bourdais has best weekend since joining IndyCar Series in Toronto

USA TODAY Sports

Sebastien Bourdais was a four-time Champ Car World Series champion but has struggled since joining the IndyCar Series. He scored his first two career podiums this weekend at Exhibition Place.

The Honda Indy Toronto represented a return to form for the four-time Indy car champion Sebastien Bourdais.

It's been a rough transition for Bourdais, who went from dominating in the Champ Car World Series to struggling in the IZOD IndyCar Series in recent seasons since joining the grassroots Dragon Racing operation.

It took 31 starts but Bourdais has finally captured his first podium and backed it up with a second one on Sunday -- without the use of assist overtake. And for the first time since joining Jay Penske's team, Bourdais seems to have found the foundation for future success.

"I think we've got a really workable base to begin with now," Bourdais said after the race on Sunday. "It's not perfect. (Scott Dixon) is obviously gone, so we've got some work to do and we'll keep at it. To go from where we were to be challenging for the podium -- that's pretty sweet."

While Bourdais hopes that the Indy car community hasn't forgotten his Champ Car dominance with Newman-Haas Racing, he said that his role in establishing a relatively new team in Dragon Racing has presented a new set of trials and tribulations.

"At the end of the day it's a completely different challenge when you have to start from scratch," Bourdais said. "It's a challenge to bring people onboard and try to get the right chemistry...

"I really thought at the end of last year that we were going to have an awesome season... We just didn't adapt very quickly to the new tires. Finally I think we understood something and it's the turnaround for our season."

With Scott Dixon now on a three-race winning streak, it would be easy to compare the past few weekends to Bourdais' championship seasons from 2004-2007 -- but he doesn't see it that way. He agreed that Dixon was the class of the field but doesn't see a lot of similarities one way or the other.

He was in a league of his own," Bourdais said. "I've experienced that in the past but it doesn't remind me of me. I'm just a regular guy who is trying to do the best job I can.

"Scott did just that this weekend. Good for him. He earned every bit of it. I think he passed me three times this weekend. It's not like I can deny he was the fastest guy."

If Dragon continues with the momentum earned this weekend in Toronto, that's a title that Bourdais surely hopes to reclaim for himself.

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