Wow!!!! What an incredibly dramatic Verizon IndyCar Series opening event of the season as Sebastien Bourdais on his return to Dale Coyne Racing started Sunday’s Firestone Grand Prix of St Petersburg from last on the grid and took victory just ahead of reigning series champion Simon Pagenaud for Team Penske while Scott Dixon did a fantastic job for Chip Ganassi Racing on their return to Honda power.
Bourdais took the lead on lap 34 and never looked back. Andretti Autosport’s new driver Takuma Sato did a fantastic job on his debut for his new team finishing the race in fourth place just ahead of his team mate Ryan Hunter Reay who recovered from his accident this morning.
Helio Castroneves was sixth for Team Penske with Marco Andretti ending the race in seventh place in the No.27 hhgregg Honda.
In his first race for Team Penske, Josef Newgarden finished the race in eighth place just ahead of James Hinchcliffe in the No.5 Arrow Electronics Honda for Schmidt Peterson Motorsports who lead for a number of laps who was ninth while on his Verizon IndyCar Series debut Ed Jones ended the race by rounding out the top ten.
Alexander Rossi in the No.98 NAPA Auto Parts Honda ended the race in 11th place just ahead of Chip Ganassi Racing’s Tony Kanaan in the No.10 NTT DATA Honda. JR Hildebrand was 13th for Ed Carpenter Racing.
Mikhail Aleshin ended the race in 14th place in the No.7 SMP Racing Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda ending the event just ahead of AJ Foyt Racing’s Conor Daly.
Max Chilton ended the race in 16th place just ahead of Graham Rahal in the No.15 Steak N’Shake Honda who spun on the opening lap following contact with Chip Ganassi Racing’s Charlie Kimball who finished the race in 18th place.
Pole sitter Will Power in the No.12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet was black flagged after failing to get up to speed following an issue and as a result was not classified. Spencer Pigot was forced to retire from the race following a brake failure while Carlos Munoz also retired for AJ Foyt Racing.
Next up on the Verizon IndyCar Series schedule is the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach which takes place on April 9.