Sebastien Bourdais is happy to be a part of IndyCar but looking to regain Champ Car pace

USA TODAY Sports

Four-time Champ Car World Series champion Sebastien Bourdais is looking to close out the season with momentum in hopes of regaining his championship form by next season.

Sebastien Bourdais has long moved on from the open-wheel split and seems happy to be part of the "big family" that is the now-combined IZOD IndyCar Series.

Bourdais, the four-time Champ Car champion and face of that organization downplayed starting on the same front row at Toronto alongside Dario Franchitti -- the face of the IRL and its four-time champion.

"I guess we've put all that behind us," Bourdais said on Thursday in the IndyCar media teleconference. "I think now we're one big family. They merged all the stats not very long ago and I'm in a club of pretty successful open‑wheel and U.S. drivers. I don't look much in the rear view mirror, so I don't really care much about it."

Bourdais says he's happy to finally have the speed that he expected of himself at the beginning of the year, especially since 2012 ended with a lot of momentum. When Tom Brown came on board as Bourdais' engineer, it immediately produced a pair of podiums at Toronto and reestablished the Frenchman amongst IndyCar racing's elite.

"It just felt really, really good to be at the front and to be competing with guys like Dario and Scott (Dixon) and Will (Power) and Ryan (Hunter-Reay)," Burdais said. "For us, it's where we thought we would be at the start of the season after a strong end of the season last year. It was so disappointing not to be in a position to do that."

Bourdais added that many of the current IndyCar drivers spent some time in Champ Car and while he enjoyed his time in that league, he finds it "pretty cool" that everyone is now unified in the IndyCar Series.

"It really doesn't matter right now if you're Champ Car or IRL -- you're under the same banner," Bourdais said. "It's IndyCar now and it's a unified series. That's what we've all been waiting for, for a long time."

Bourdais says his partnership with former engineer Neil Fife produced encouraging data but felt the team didn't adjust accordingly to the new tires introduced at the start of the season. It was for that reason that Bourdais felt it was important to work with Brown and get a fresh perspective on the technical front.

"We're very short staffed in the engineering office -- and obviously when everything works and the philosophy of the race engineering is working -- everything is good," Bourdais said "But when you're struggling, sometimes you need a different eye and some additional analysis and more brain storming."

With momentum and a fresh new perspective, Bourdais is hoping to finish the season on a high note with the hopes that he can once again become a championship contender in 2014.

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