St. Petersburg Saturday IndyCar, MRTI, PWC results

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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – There are seven total races (four Mazda Road to Indy presented by Cooper Tires, two Pirelli World Challenge and one Stadium Super Trucks) today, plus two other qualifying sessions, and Verizon IndyCar Series third practice and qualifying.

Here’s Friday’s notebook and results.

Quick results and notes from the sessions that have occurred, by series, are below. We’ll update this post as the day goes on.

Verizon IndyCar Series

Mazda Road to Indy presented by Cooper Tires

RESULTS

Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires

  • It was a banner qualifying session this morning for Andretti Autosport, ahead of race two. Colton Herta in the No. 98 Andretti-Steinbrenner Racing delivered the team its first pole since the introduction of the Dallara IL-15 Mazda and at 16 years old, he is the youngest polesitter in series history. The younger Herta turns 17 later this month. In third and sixth, Dalton Kellett has his best start yet in Indy Lights while Nico Jamin is sixth. Santiago Urrutia starts second with Pato O’Ward and Kyle Kaiser completing the top five.
  • In the race, Aaron Telitz dominated from pole position to win in the No. 9 Belardi Auto Racing entry. Telitz, who also won his first Pro Mazda race in race two at St. Petersburg last year, took the checkered flag by 11.033 seconds over Colton Herta and Neil Alberico, who joined Telitz as Indy Lights first-time podium finishers, with Telitz and Herta doing so on their respective series debuts. Although Telitz had a huge margin of victory, the battle for second on back behind him was excellent and saw all five active Indy Lights teams in the top six. Belardi won over the Andretti-Steinbrenner entry for Herta, Carlin’s for Alberico, Belardi’s for Shelby Blackstock, Team Pelfrey’s for Pato O’Ward and Juncos Racing’s for Kyle Kaiser. Herta was a passing demon, having made several successful moves at the inside of Turn 1 for position, and surviving a near bit of contact with Alberico when trying to get around another Californian. Santiago Urrutia retreated to the pits on lap one in his first race for Belardi with damage in a first-corner mess, while Matheus Leist was slowed by an apparent loss of power in his debut for Carlin and Juan Piedrahita saw a career-best qualifying run of third go for naught with front wing damage at Pelfrey.

Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires

  • Anthony Martin took his second pole of the weekend in as many opportunities in his debut weekend in the series with Cape Motorsports, again ahead of Victor Franzoni for Juncos Racing.
  • The same two drivers went 1-2 in the race itself, Martin led from Franzoni the entirety of the race en route to a debut race victory. TJ Fischer of Team Pelfrey scored his first podium of his career in third. Martin was over the moon with the victory, Franzoni equally effusive with happiness because of his late arrival into the series, and Fischer pleased to break through for his first podium. Outside of Nikita Lastochkin passing Phillippe Denes for fifth, the top eight drivers finished as they started in the same order.

Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda

  • Robert Megennis executed a brilliant defense of the lead in his No. 80 Team Pelfrey entry to win in the debut of the new Tatuus USF-17 Mazda, which seemed to race pretty well in the first of two races. The 17-year-old series sophomore started from pole and led flag-to-flag in the 24-lap, caution-free race. He defended against series debutantes Oliver Askew, the Team USA Scholarship winner for Cape Motorsports, and Rinus Van Kalmthout, the talented Dutch driver who’d been set with Benik and Carlin before their separation, tested with Newman/Wachs Racing before signing with Pabst Racing. Askew and Van Kalmthout have a bunch of karting experience.
  • In the afternoon race, polesitter Parker Thompson ran wide on a restart at Turn 1 which opened the door for Askew to get through. The 20-year-old native of Jupiter, Fla. ran consistently from there en route to his first career victory, perhaps the first of many in his Mazda Road to Indy career. Van Kalmthout was second with Thompson making a late dispatch of Kaylen Frederick for third, to get on the podium for Exclusive Autosport. Megennis, the race one winner, crashed out late in the race and fell to 19th.

Pirelli World Challenge

RESULTS

  • Alvaro Parente, the defending series champion, has claimed overall victory in the kickoff to the new PWC GT/GTA/GT Cup season. The GT race was marred by a long caution that took more than 20 minutes in the 50-minute race for one of the two GT Cup entries, a Ferrari Challenge entry driven by Marko Radisic. But once the caution was over, there was a spirited battle behind Parente after he’d got to the lead by Turn 4 of the second lap, past polesitter Daniel Mancinelli. Mancinelli then led Pierre Kaffer, James Davison, Johnny O’Connell and Patrick Long before Long and O’Connell engaged in an epic scrap. Davison got by Kaffer for third late, with Long following in behind but unfortunately cutting Kaffer’s tire and knocking the Magnus Racing driver from a potential podium. On the final lap, Davison and Long both got past Mancinelli for podium spots at Turn 4, and Mancinelli’s baptism by fire ended against the Turn 8 wall, leaving him 14th. Last year’s GT Cup champion Alec Udell won his GTA debut while Preston Calvert, the sole remaining GT Cup driver, won that class by default.
  • The second GTS race of the weekend saw the same 1-2 as on Friday, with Andrew Aquilante in his Phoenix Performance Ford Mustang Boss 302 ahead of Lawson Aschenbach in the Blackdog Speed Shop Chevrolet Camaro GT4. Parker Chase ended third in his Ginetta G55 for his first podium of the weekend.

IndyCar releases schedule for 2023 season

IndyCar schedule 2023
Douglas Stringer/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
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The NTT IndyCar Series’ 2023 schedule will feature the same number of races and tracks as this season with some minor reshuffling of dates.

IndyCar will open the 2023 season March 5 on the streets of St. Petersburg, Florida, and will conclude Sept. 10 at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca in Monterey, California. The 107th Indy 500 will take place May 28 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

The 17-race schedule will conclude with a stretch of eight races in the final nine weeks.

“The NTT IndyCar Series is on an impactful upward trajectory, making progress at a pace that befits our thrilling style of competition,” Penske Entertainment Corp. president and CEO Mark Miles said in a release. “The 2023 season provides an opportunity to further build on this trend, bringing our sport and its stars to more markets and households and reaching new consumers across the globe.”

There will be 15 events on NBC: 13 races (including six of the final seven) plus Indy 500 qualifying May 20-21. There also are three races on USA Network and the Toronto race exclusively on Peacock. All races on NBC and USA also will have live simulstreams on Peacock.

In partnership with NBC Sports, the 2022 IndyCar season was the most-watched in six years and the most-watched across NBC Sports on record. The 2022 season also was the most streamed season on record.

“We’re very excited for our 2023 NTT IndyCar Series schedule and to build on this past season’s viewership milestones,” NBC Sports vice president of programming Mike Perman said in a release. “In providing comprehensive coverage across NBC, Peacock and USA Network, NBC Sports is once again looking forward to telling the stories of these world-class drivers and this compelling series.”

Notable elements on the 2023 schedule:

–There will be the same balance of seven road course races, five street courses and five ovals.

–St. Pete will be the season opener for the 13th time.

–The Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix will move from Belle Isle to the streets of downtown.

–The NASCAR doubleheader weekend at the IMS road course will shift to mid-August.

–The World Wide Technology Raceway event will move from Saturday to Sunday.

Start times for the 2023 events will be announced at a later date.

Here’s the 2023 IndyCar schedule:


Date Race/Track Network/Platform
Sun., March 5 Streets of St. Petersburg NBC, Peacock
Sun., April 2 Texas Motor Speedway NBC, Peacock
Sun., April 16 Streets of Long Beach NBC, Peacock
Sun., April 30 Barber Motorsports Park NBC, Peacock
Sat., May 13 Indianapolis Motor Speedway (Road Course) NBC, Peacock
Sun., May 28 The 107th Indianapolis 500 NBC, Peacock
Sun., June 4 Streets of Detroit NBC, Peacock
Sun., June 18 Road America USA Network, Peacock
Sun., July 2 Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course USA Network, Peacock
Sun., July 16 Streets of Toronto Peacock
Sat., July 22 Iowa Speedway – Race 1 NBC, Peacock
Sun., July 23 Iowa Speedway – Race 2 NBC, Peacock
Sun., Aug. 6 Streets of Nashville NBC, Peacock
Sat., Aug. 12 Indianapolis Motor Speedway (Road Course) USA Network, Peacock
Sun., Aug. 27 World Wide Technology Raceway NBC, Peacock
Sun., Sept. 3 Portland International Raceway NBC, Peacock
Sun., Sept. 10 WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca NBC, Peacock

*dates and networks/platforms are subject to change