Sebastien Bourdais James Jakes

The Dale Coyne IndyCar team has announced that it has signed four-time ChampCar title holder Sébastien Bourdais and rookie driver James Jakes to its driving roster.

Team owner Dale Coyne has confirmed his championship line-up today, although the deal will see Bourdais concentrate on road- and street-circuit events only in order to accommodate the Frenchman’s commitments to race in the Le Mans Series with Peugeot, a role he has held since he was jettisoned from Formula 1 in 2009.

Sebastien Bourdais returns to the US open-wheeler after a three-year absenceThe announcement sees the former Toro Rosso driver – who won four consecutive titles with Newman/Haas between 2004-7 and took an incredible 31 wins from 72 race starts – make a return to the US open-wheeler scene for the first time since his last title win.

Meanwhile, 23-year-old Jakes – a former GP3 and GP2 driver – will contest a full season for the team, and it has not yet been confirmed if a replacement driver will be sought to cover Bourdais’ absence during the oval races.

Meanwhile, Conquest Racing has announced it will only field one car for this weekend’s season-opening race at St Petersburg, which will be for Colombian Indy Lights driver Sebastian Saavedra, who was confirmed last week as the team’s new signing.

Conquest owner Eric Bachelart has said he hopes to confirm the identity of the team’s second driver before the second race at Barber Motorsports Park in mid-April.

[Original images via LAT]

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Richard Bailey

Founder & Chief Editor at MotorsportM8
Hasn't missed a Grand Prix since 1989. Has a soft spot for Minardi. Tattooed with 35+ Grand Prix circuits.