Kanaan won the Indianapolis 500 in May with KVSH, but decided to leave for Chip Ganassi Racing next year. KVSH acted fast in offering the same deal it offered Kanaan to three-race winner James Hinchcliffe, but the team gave Hinchcliffe a short deadline to accept the contract that did not require the driver to bring any sponsorship.
When Hinchcliffe decided KVSH’s timeline was too fast, the team moved on to Bourdais, winner of four consecutive Champ Car titles from 2004 through 2007. Bourdais has 31 victories, tied with Franchitti and Paul Tracy for eighth on the all-time wins list.
“I have raced against him and can say without a doubt that he is an exceptional driver and a true champion. We look forward to winning a lot of races with him,” said Vasser, the 1996 CART champion.
Bourdais left American open-wheel racing for Formula One following his fourth Champ Car title, joining Scuderia Toro Rosso for the 2008 season. He was replaced nine races into the 2009 season.
Bourdais joined Team Peugeot after his release and finished second in the LMP1 class of the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2009, dabbling in a variety of series before returning to IndyCar in 2011 for nine races with Dale Coyne Racing.