IndyCar driver Sebastien Bourdais returned to the racetrack Monday, just 72 days after a frightening crash in Indianapolis 500 qualifying that left him with multiple fractures to his hips and pelvis.
Bourdais, 38, took 80 laps on the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course to see how his body would respond to the forces of driving a race car again.
The Frenchman, who drives for Dale Coyne Racing, said he felt great with the exception of his neck, still adjusting to high-speed life.
"Just have to restart those muscles," Bourdais told the Indianapolis Star. "They were in shock a little bit, but they'll be fine. ... It just felt good to get back in the saddle."
Bourdais will have to get clearance from IndyCar before he can race for real, but he is expecting to be ready for the season finale at Sonoma, and possibly a couple weeks earlier at Watkins Glen, both road courses.
"There's no intention to run ovals this year," Bourdais told Racer.com. "Sonoma for sure, and Watkins ... it all kind of depends on how things go coming into that race. We have two ovals and three [Dale Coyne Racing] cars left, so if there's any problems there, and because it's a back-to-back-to-back, I don't want to put a burden on the team to fix cars and run a third one for me, so we'll have to wait and see.
"I crashed and got hurt and made this problem, so I don't want to be another problem for them."