Bourdais edges Sato to win IndyCar race

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Detroit (AFP) - France's Sebastien Bourdais won the second race of a weekend IndyCar doubleheader, holding off Takuma Sato in the closing laps to post his first victory of the season.

Bourdais on Sunday finished just 1.8 seconds ahead of Japan's Sato as he was able to conserve enough fuel in the late stages on the 14-turn Detroit Grand Prix street circuit.

"It was just about as nerve-racking as it gets," said Bourdais, who became the seventh different winner in eight races this season. "When we elected to stay out (and not pit late in the race) I was like, 'Oh man, it's all or nothing'."

"All I could hope for was one yellow (flag) after another. It was the right call. The difference is we obviously deserved it because the boys worked really hard and we were on the pace.

"We passed a bunch of cars and made the moves when it mattered. We made it stick all the way to the end."

Graham Rahal finished third, followed by Tristan Vautier and Marco Andretti at Detroit's Belle Isle Park.

Conor Daly, a rookie in the series this season, Jack Hawksworth, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Gabby Chaves and Juan Pablo Montoya, the current points leader and winner of last Sunday's Indianapolis 500, completed the top-10.

Bourdais started ninth on entrant points after heavy rain and strong winds forced qualifying to be called off earlier in the day.

Bourdais last pitted for fuel and tires with 31 laps left. He grabbed the lead for the first and only time on lap 51 when Daly pitted from the top spot during a caution.

Sato recorded his first podium finish in IndyCar since Sao Paulo in 2013.

"It was a long race, but it was a fantastic show," Sato said.

"It was difficult to overtake today with the conditions. Every restart was very exciting, especially the last few. We needed a little bit more, but it was a great day."