The 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series opening race, the Firestone Grand Prix of St Petersburg exceeded all the pre-season hype. The new universal aero-kit looked fantastic on the streets of St Pete.
Schmidt Peterson Motorsports rookie Robert Wickens in the No.6 Lucas Oil Honda grabbed pole position for his debut race and led 69 of the 110 lap event to lose the lead right at the end of the event following contact from Andretti Autosport’s Alexander Rossi in the No.27 NAPA Auto Parts Honda who went on to finish the race in third place.
Behind the top three, James Hinchcliffe gave Schmidt Peterson Motorsports something to smile about as he ended the race in fourth place in the No.5 Arrow Electronics Honda.
It was a disappointing race all round for the Verizon IndyCar Series rookies, Robert Wickens, Matheus ‘Matt’ Leist, Rene Binder and Jordan King. who despite promising starts to the weekend were left to rue what might have been following the 110 lap race.
Three time Indianapolis 500 winner Helio Castroneves served as grand marshal for the opening race of the season however his Penske team mates had a disappointing race with defending series champion Josef Newgarden in the No.1 Hitachi Chevrolet ending the race in seventh place while Will Power in the No.12 Verizon Chevrolet ended the race in tenth place. Simon Pagenaud ended the race in 13th place in the No.22 Menards Chevrolet.
When it came to overtaking, there were plenty during the 110 lap race with over 250 passes over the course of race.
The Verizon IndyCar Series fans have come out as the winners following today’s race.