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Takuma Sato, Sebastien Bourdais fight after Toronto practice

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Sebastien Bourdais explains why he should be the one who’s upset, not Takuma Sato
Jim Ayello, jim.ayello@indystar.com

TORONTO — Following Saturday’s practice session, a pair of IndyCar veterans got into a scrape as an enraged Takuma Sato confronted Sebastien Bourdais after the Frenchman passed him during the final lap of the morning session.

According to those who witnessed the fight, Sato marched down to Bourdais’ pit box and grabbed the Frenchman by the collar of his firesuit. Bourdais, standing up in his seat, responded by trying to shove Sato away before fists started flying.

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The fight was broken up before any damage could be done, and the drivers were separated.

According to his manager, Steve Fusek, Sato was enraged that Bourdais passed him in the closing seconds of practice after IndyCar had allowed every driver one final timed lap following Graham Rahal’s crash.

“Bourdais had to try and make a pass on Takuma, and then he crowded and Takuma thought he hit (Josef) Newgarden in Turn 5, which then backed up Takuma,” Fusek said. “If he had just stayed in line and made his own space, it’d be fine. But why did he have to try and pass and deal with the next guy. It just makes no sense. I don’t know what he was trying to accomplish.”

“It was just stupid. It’s just Bourdais. … Takuma was, I’m sure, frustrated by the session anyway (he finished 18th of 22 drivers), and so he went over and had a go at him.”

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Takuma Sato sounds off on Sebasiten Bourdais following their incident Saturday in practice on the streets of Toronto.
Jim Ayello, jim.ayello@indystar.com

Kevin Diamond, a spokesman for Bourdais’ racing team DCRVS, confirmed the scuffle and said Bourdais plans to comment after Saturday’s qualifying session.

The incident between these two veterans does not appear to be an isolated one. At the most recent IndyCar event at Road America, Bourdais left the race frustrated with Sato, saying the Japanese driver initiated contact with him and perhaps derailed his race.

“We had a pretty good start, then I was side-by-side with Takuma and coming off Turn 3, maybe he got his wheels in the curb or something,” Bourdais said. “He wiggled and his car turned hard right and his side pod made contact with my left front. After that the wheel was off and the car felt weird. I don’t know if our race was dictated by that initial contact or by something else, but it was a very average day, starting seventh and finishing 12th.”

This story will be updated.

Follow Ayello on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram: @jimayello.





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