Thursday, April 7, 2011

Bagman Returns

Just a reminder: Start your race weekend off right tomorrow with IndyCar Advocate’s Grand Prix of Alabama Preview!

I have made no secret of the fact I’m a fan of Bertrand Baguette. I think he showed poise and progress in what was (for much of the year), a marginal ride. He came into a seat with most folks having zero expectations of him, and continually improved throughout the year.

The Return of Triple B!
With the news that Bertrand Baguette is joining Rahal-Letterman-Lanigan Racing for the Indy 500, I’m pleased, because I think the RLLR seat is going to be a solid one, and Baguette should do well there. A broken mirror plagued what otherwise would have been a very solid run in last year’s race, but this was a guy many people projected as getting bumped. Instead, he qualified on Pole Day, faster than drivers such as Vitor Meira and Tony Kanaan, and within a tenth of a second of Danica Patrick, Tomas Scheckter, and Simona de Silvestro.

RLLR’s announcement seemed to have taken many people by surprise; both Buddy Rice and Robert Doornbos and had been discussed as potential candidates for the seat, but it appears that the deal Baguette had been working on for some time finally came to fruition. If he does well at Indy, I have a feeling it won’t be the last time we see the Breadman in an IndyCar. He was a dominant winner in Formula Renault 3.5, he went toe-to-toe with Michael Schumacher in the offseason at the Race of Champions, and I believe he can be successful in IndyCar if or when he gets a regular ride again.

Graham Rahal was able to pilot the Rahal-Letterman entry to qualifying 7th last year. I’m not saying Bertrand Baguette will do the same this year, but it would be a mistake to sell him short.

(Image courtesy of IndyCar Media)

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