Andretti Autosport’s James Hinchcliffe scored his, and sponsor GoDaddy’s, first victory in the IZOD IndyCar Series Sunday at the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.
On the final restart of the race at Lap 85, Hinchcliffe slid past leader Helio Castroneves on the inside of Turn 1, and held off Castroneves the remainder of the extended 110-lap race. The Canadian ran his last stint on Firestone’s black primary tires, Castroneves on the red alternates that tend to go off a little quicker.
“I was really excited for this race,” Hinchcliffe told NBC Sports Network in victory lane. “My engineer Craig Hampson asked for better restarts, be more aggressive, and save fuel when we need to. GoDaddy is in victory lane. Grabbed the first win in St. Pete. I am throwing out to Dan (Wheldon), with his face, this car, and my name to go on that memorial is so special.”
Hinchcliffe is the first Canadian to win in IndyCar since Paul Tracy won the Champ Car race in Cleveland in June, 2007.
Marco Andretti rallied to score a podium in third place, ahead of Tony Kanaan and Scott Dixon in the top five. It’s Andretti’s first top-three effort on a road/street circuit since finishing third on the Twin Ring Motegi road course in 2011.
Dixon led a three-way photo finish across the line ahead of Simona de Silvestro and EJ Viso. De Silvestro drove an excellent race for KV Racing Technology in her first race with Chevrolet power, and ran third until the final two laps, but her Firestone reds went off in the final laps that caused her to lose positions.
Polesitter Will Power had poor luck when he got hit by JR Hildebrand under a caution; the American flew over Power’s rear wheel guard into the wall at Turn 9. Power finished 16th, while Ryan Hunter-Reay (18th), Simon Pagenaud (24th) and Dario Franchitti (25th) were also big name retirements.
Rookie Tristan Vautier also starred for Schmidt Peterson Motorsports, but retired with an exhaust issue after running in the top five most of his debut race.
|ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Results Sunday of the Honda Grand Prix of St Petersburg IZOD IndyCar Series event on the 1.8-mile St Petersburg Street Circuit, with order of finish, starting position in parentheses, driver, chassis-engine, laps completed and reason out (if any):|
|1. (4) James Hinchcliffe, Dallara-Chevrolet, 110, Running|
|2. (5) Helio Castroneves, Dallara-Chevrolet, 110, Running|
|3. (7) Marco Andretti, Dallara-Chevrolet, 110, Running|
|4. (11) Tony Kanaan, Dallara-Chevrolet, 110, Running|
|5. (20) Scott Dixon, Dallara-Honda, 110, Running|
|6. (3) Simona de Silvestro, Dallara-Chevrolet, 110, Running|
|7. (22) EJ Viso, Dallara-Chevrolet, 110, Running|
|8. (2) Takuma Sato, Dallara-Honda, 110, Running|
|9. (13) Justin Wilson, Dallara-Honda, 110, Running|
|10. (17) Alex Tagliani, Dallara-Honda, 110, Running|
|11. (21) Sebastien Bourdais, Dallara-Chevrolet, 110, Running|
|12. (14) Charlie Kimball, Dallara-Honda, 110, Running|
|13. (15) Graham Rahal, Dallara-Honda, 110, Running|
|14. (23) Ed Carpenter, Dallara-Chevrolet, 110, Running|
|15. (18) James Jakes, Dallara-Honda, 110, Running|
|16. (1) Will Power, Dallara-Chevrolet, 107, Running|
|17. (12) Oriol Servia, Dallara-Chevrolet, 104, Running|
|18. (8) Ryan Hunter-Reay, Dallara-Chevrolet, 79, Mechanical|
|19. (24) JR Hildebrand, Dallara-Chevrolet, 78, Contact|
|20. (9) Sebastian Saavedra, Dallara-Chevrolet, 72, Contact|
|21. (6) Tristan Vautier, Dallara-Honda, 69, Mechanical|
|22. (25) Ana Beatriz, Dallara-Honda, 55, Mechanical|
|23. (16) Josef Newgarden, Dallara-Honda, 50, Mechanical|
|24. (19) Simon Pagenaud, Dallara-Honda, 26, Mechanical|
|25. (10) Dario Franchitti, Dallara-Honda, 18, Contact|