Indy driver Sebastien Bourdais participates in a press conference held ahead of the Toronto Indy in Toronto, on Thursday, July 12, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Christopher Katsarov

Bourdais ‘glad’ to see English WCup loss quiet Brits at Toronto Indy

TORONTO — Max Chilton and Jordan King’s despair was Sebastien Bourdais’ delight.

As England’s dreams of making its first World Cup final since 1966 were dashed off the leg of Croatian striker Mario Mandzukic in the 109th minute of their semifinal match in Russia on Wednesday, the French IndyCar driver took pleasure in knowing that he wouldn’t have to listen to the British drivers discuss their “Three Lions” at the Toronto Indy.

“I’m kind of glad the English didn’t make it, because it would’ve been just all we would’ve talked about all weekend,” said Bourdais.

“So no offence, just kind of happy it’s not happening.”

The two-time Toronto Indy winner is hoping to catch part of final between France and Croatia before Sunday’s race as Les Bleus look to win their first World Cup title in 20 years.

“I think they’ve done the homework and it would be cool to see them get the win,” said Bourdais.

“They seem to quite deserve it.”

The 39-year-old driver has been keeping tabs on his country’s results by watching on his phone while juggling a busy schedule on the IndyCar series. He’s appreciative that a team loaded with stars — such as Kylian Mbappe, Antoine Griezmann and Olivier Giroud — has bought into a team-first system.

“They have no issues playing for each other,” said Bourdais.

“Obviously, there are some individual world talents on the team, but they’ve definitely got no issues or ego to put themselves aside, if they’re boxed in like Mbappe in the last (match against Belgium).”

Chilton, who is in his third year on IndyCar series, and King, a rookie, were both still lamenting England’s loss and deflecting clumsy chirps from some of their American colleagues.

Chilton said some of the tech workers from his Carlin team left a few surprises on his Chevrolet.

“They stuck a piece of paper to the back of the car saying, ‘Unlucky. Better luck next year,” said Chilton.

“First of all, it’s every four years. So it’s not next year. They put the United Kingdom flag. I don’t think they quite understand Scotland, Ireland, Wales and England are four separate places.”

“They also put the Union Jack upside down,” he added with a smirk.

King, who’s from Warwick, said he’s still recovering and regretted being unable to enjoy England’s success with his countrymates across the pond.

“I’m just about getting over it. I’ve got another day to wipe away the tears, then I’ll be all right,” he said.

“In my lifetime, it was the best run we’ve had, and actually I was quite envious of my friends back home and being able to enjoy it at the pubs back home.”

Bourdais already knows the joy of seeing his country winning soccer’s most prestigious trophy.

He recalled watching an underdog French team outperform expectations through the early rounds on home soil in 1998, culminating in its only World Cup title.

“You really could see the group jelling and coming up with structures that worked extremely well,” said Bourdais

“Then you were like, ‘Man, they can actually maybe do this.”’

And he hopes to see a similar result unfold Sunday.

“That was just an unbelievable feeling,” said Bourdais.

“I remember the craziness on the streets. … There were a lot of people on top of cars’ roofs and hoods, and just like going crazy. Just so, so ecstatic about the win. Just some fond memories.”

Just Posted

WATCH: Rappelling down Red Deer’s Stantec Building a thrilling, scary experience

Advocate reporter chronicles his trip down the 13-storey buildling

Red Deer raises $60,000 for Make-A-Wish Foundation

27 brave residents rappell down Stantec Building

People hurt in rollover near Red Deer

Occupants of a vehicle that rolled south of Hwy 11A were airlifted… Continue reading

Eager-beaver cannabis entrepreneurs already waiting outside Red Deer City Hall

Appications will be accepted on a first-come basis starting on Tuesday

Like father like son: Red Deer area Dreeshen family dedicates life to public service

There are three jobs that could be considered the Dreeshen family business:… Continue reading

WATCH: Gazebo groundbreaking in Waskasoo

Fifty per cent of the $100,000 project is funded by a provincial government grant

Woman killed in collision near Olds

A woman is dead after a collision west of Olds Saturday afternoon.… Continue reading

Evacuation numbers remain at nearly 1,000 as B.C. wildfires rage on

SUMMERLAND, B.C. — Officials in British Columbia’s Okanagan region hope that fire… Continue reading

Survivors recount deadly Missouri duck boat sinking

BRANSON, Mo. — “Grab the baby!” Those were the last words Tia… Continue reading

HMCS St. John’s to return to Halifax after six-month deployment overseas

HALIFAX — The countdown is on for the homecoming of a Halifax-class… Continue reading

Trump says lawyer taping him may be ‘illegal’

BRIDGEWATER, N.J. — The Latest on President Donald Trump and his onetime… Continue reading

Spieth part of 3-way tie for British lead as Woods lurks

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland — Jordan Spieth has a share of the lead in… Continue reading

WWII hero’s lost Purple Heart returned to his family

NEW YORK — A lost Purple Heart medal has been returned to… Continue reading

California girl, 2, accidentally shot and killed by boy, 4

SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. — Authorities say a 4-year-old boy accidentally shot and… Continue reading

Most Read

Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month