Sebastien Bourdais will not race in this weekend's sixth round of Superleague Formula at Zolder for Olympique Lyonnais, and appears to have driven his last event in the European soccer club-based single-seater series for the foreseeable future.
Bourdais, who won the second round of this year's championship at Silverstone, has suffered a disastrous raft of results since. He languishes 17th in the points, ahead only of fellow ex-F1 racer Narain Karthikeyan, whose PSV Eindhoven club has skipped a round.
Former Toro Rosso driver Bourdais, a four-time Champ Car champion, claims that his LRS Formula team's car wasn't up to the preparation standard of its rivals, and has elected to stand down. The squad, which runs the F1 experience school based at Magny-Cours, only got its car 10 days before the first round.
"There was just no other way out of this situation," Bourdais told AUTOSPORT. "LRS was never a race team before, we started the program really late and the car wasn't race-ready when they got it. Despite that, we had a really good weekend at Silverstone, which was a big surprise to me, but since then we've gone from one problem to another."
"I've stopped for the moment and I'm not pointing fingers at anyone or anything, but I don't see it getting any better. The team doesn't have the time, the equipment or money to to compete against structured, experienced teams. We wanted to do well, but we were struggling along and breaking down every weekend. It's frustrating."
Bourdais also blamed crashes at Magny-Cours and Jarama for restricting the team's time to fixing accident damage, rather than preparing the car between races.
LRS team chief Laurent Redon added: "We haven't had the success we were expecting. We're not going to do the Zolder race and we are negotiating with different people to see if we are going to do Brands Hatch [the following round]. We will see after Zolder whether we can come back, if we can clarify and resolve these problems."
Bourdais says he remains open to offers from "good teams with good conditions" to race elsewhere this year. He is already committed to Peugeot's sports car program, as well as the Australian V8 Supercar event at Surfers Paradise in October.