The last domino on the IndyCar grid has fallen. Ana Beatriz will round out the 25-car St. Petersburg lineup in Dale Coyne’s second car, the No. 18 Dallara-Honda that should carry Ipiranga sponsorship. She tested for the team three out of the four sessions at Barber Motorsports Park last week.
This marks Beatriz’s fourth season of IndyCar, but only in 2011 did she compete full-time and therefore, on the streets of St. Petersburg. I 2011, Beatriz qualified 20th and finished 14th driving for Dreyer & Reinbold at St. Pete.
Beatriz and Stefan Wilson, younger brother of Justin Wilson, who is in the other Coyne entry, may share the second car this season. The elder Wilson has been confirmed to his third season with Coyne, second consecutive, on Monday.
Official practice for the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg begins on Friday.
Saturday’s Punta del Este ePrix did not disappoint, with Techeetah’s Jean-Eric Vergne and Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler’s Lucas di Grassi engaging in a thrilling battle throughout the entire race.
Vergne led the way from the pole, having been promoted up the grid after original pole sitter di Grassi was ruled to have cut a chicane during his pole lap, but di Grassi was right on the back wing of Vergne the entire way and made several attempts to get by.
The intense battle between the two, which saw them nearly lock Vergne’s rear wing with di Grassi’s front nose, stayed remarkably clean for the most part, and Vergne was able to hold off all of di Grassi’s advances, a few of which can be viewed below, to take the win.
DS Virgin Racing’s Sam Bird was also on the charge, the British driver coming from ninth on the grid to take third.
Full race results can be viewed here. The victory sees Vergne extend his points lead over Mahindra Racing’s Felix Rosenqvist, who finished fifth, to 30 points, with Vergne on 109 markers and Rosenqvist on 79.
Bird sits third with 76 points, respectively.