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Posts Tagged ‘Le Mans’

Sebastien Bourdais in Turkey

Scuderia Toro Rosso confirmed on Friday that Sebastien Bourdais will continue as a driver for the team in 2009. After many months of speculation about his future at the team, he narrowly avoided being replaced by Japan’s Takuma Sato.

Bourdais had a difficult, and some might say, unlucky season with Toro Rosso in 2008. He was largely overshadowed by team mate Sebastian Vettel who, after some impressive showings last year which included a race win at Monza, has been promoted to the Red Bull senior team. Towards the end of the season doubts were starting to form as to whether STR would retain him, and after the conformation that the team were looking for a pay driver to fill their second seat, Sato, who fell victim to the collapse of Super Aguri, became a favourite for the seat with his Japanese backing. Bourdais managed to cling on though, and will partner rookie Sebastien Buemi in the upcoming season.

Bourdais has announced he will also be competing in this years 24 Hours of Le Mans race for Peugeot. He is the first active F1 driver to do so since fellow Frenchman Franck Montagny in 2006. STR’s decision leaves all the driver positions for 2009 filled, with the exception of the two seats at the former Honda team, who are yet to announce a buyer.

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1961 Formula one world champion, Phil Hill, passed away last night aged 81. He was in California and died due to complications relating to Parkinson’s disease. Hill remains the only American-born world champion and was a strong supporter of Ferrari.

Although he only won three F1 races, he became 1961 champion after the death of his Ferrari teammate, Wolfgang Von Trips, in Monza. He entered 49 F1 events and 13 Le Mans 24 hour races. He won the endurance race three times and retired from racing in 1967. After his retirement, he became a regular face in the Formula One paddock and in recent years built up a large vintage car collection. President of Ferrari, Luca di Montezemolo, has said everyone at Ferrari is deeply saddened by the news.

Hill is survived by his wife Alma, son Derek, daughters Vanessa and Jennifer, and four grandchildren.

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