Streets of St. Petersburg Racing Report

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Circuit: Bayfront Park (1.8-mile temporary street circuit) St. Petersburg, FL
2012 Winner: Helio Castroneves (Team Penske Chevrolet) 90.113 mph average speed
Weather: Overcast, windy, 71 degrees F

Top-10 Race Results:

Fn.

St.

Driver     

Team

Engine - Chassis

Laps

Average Speed/Notes

1.

4.

James Hinchcliffe

Andretti Autosport

Chevrolet Dallara

110

83.539 mph avg.; led 26 laps

2.

5.

Helio Castroneves

Team Penske

Chevrolet Dallara

110

-1.0982 seconds; led 42 laps

3.

7.

Marco Andretti

Andretti Autosport

Chevrolet Dallara

110

-16.3664 seconds

4.

11.

Tony Kanaan

KV Racing Technology

Chevrolet Dallara

110

-19.6083 seconds

5.

20.

Scott Dixon

Target Chip Ganassi

Honda Dallara

110

-20.7627 seconds

6.

3.

Simona de Silvestro

KV Racing Technology

Chevrolet Dallara

110

-20.7890 seconds

7.

22.

E.J. Viso

Andretti Autosport

Chevrolet Dallara

110

-20.8229 seconds

8.

2.

Takuma Sato

A.J. Foyt Racing

Honda Dallara

110

-21.1878 seconds

9.

13.

Justin Wilson

Dale Coyne Racing

Honda Dallara

110

-21.6832 seconds

10.

17.

Alex Tagliani

Barracuda Racing/BHA

Honda Dallara

110

-22.5569 seconds

Other Honda-powered Results:

12.

14.

Charlie Kimball

Chip Ganassi Racing

Honda Dallara

110

-24.5429 seconds

13.

15.

Graham Rahal

Rahal Letterman Lanigan

Honda Dallara

110

-37.5324 seconds

15.

18.

James Jakes

Rahal Letterman Lanigan

Honda Dallara

110

-45.7793 seconds

21.

6.

Tristan Vautier-R

Schmidt Peterson

Honda Dallara

69

Did not finish – exhaust

22.

25.

Ana Beatriz

Dale Coyne Racing

Honda Dallara

55

Did not finish – exhaust

23.

16.

Josef Newgarden

Sarah Fisher Hartman

Honda Dallara

50

Did not finish – differential  

24.

19.

Simon Pagenaud

Schmidt Hamilton

Honda Dallara

26

Did not finish – exhaust

25.

10.

Dario Franchitti

Target Chip Ganassi

Honda Dallara

18

Did not finish – crash

Dixon Fights Back to Fifth at St. Petersburg

After a troubled qualifying that left him starting from an uncharacteristic 20th on the grid, Target Chip Ganassi Racing's Scott Dixon charged through the field to run as high as fourth on Sunday at the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, then held on to finish fifth despite a broken exhaust wastegate in the closing laps, passing Simona de Silvestro in the run from the final corner to the checkers.

Dixon gained 10 positions in the first segment of the season-opening IZOD IndyCar Series event, and broke into the top five on Lap 75 of 110. Five laps later, he passed Marco Andretti for fourth.  On Lap 85, Dixon began to feel the effects of the failed wastegate, and fell back behind Andretti and Tony Kanaan. But on the final lap, Dixon caught a slowing de Silvestro to claim fifth in a side-by-side finish.

Takuma Sato started on the outside of the front row, second, and ran just behind early leader Will Power in the opening laps. But his A.J. Foyt Racing Honda Dallara received minor front wing damage that slowed his pace as Sato fell to 13th mid-race. A late-race change to a new nose and front-wing assembly restored the handling, and Sato recovered to finish eighth.

A promising debut from IndyCar rookie Tristan Vautier came to a halt on Lap 69 after he had run as high as fifth, when a broken exhaust ended his race. A similar problem also eliminated his Schmidt Peterson Motorsports teammate, Simon Pagenaud, earlier in the contest.

Jen French, winner of the Silver Medal in sailing at the London 2012 Paralympic Games and U.S. Sailing's Yachtswoman of the Year, led the field prior to the race start in the two-seat Honda IndyCar driven by racing legend Mario Andretti. For more information on how you can receive the ride of a lifetime in the  Honda Fastest Seat in Sports sweepstakes, go to www.shophonda.com.

The IZOD IndyCar Series now takes a week off for the upcoming Easter weekend, then resumes with the first permanent road course race of 2013, the April 7 Honda Grand Prix of Alabama, at the scenic Barber Motorsports Park near Birmingham, Ala.

 

IZOD IndyCar Series Drivers' Championship (after 1 of 19 rounds):

1. James Hinchcliffe 61 points (1 win) 6. Simona de Silvestro 28
2. Helio Castroneves 43 7. E.J. Viso 26
3. Marco Andretti 35 8. Takuma Sato 24
4. Tony Kanaan 32 9. Justin Wilson 22
5. Scott Dixon 30 10. Alex Tagliani 20
 

Manufacturers' Championship:

1. Chevrolet 9
2. Honda 6

Scott Dixon (#9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Honda) started 20th, finished 5th: ";After our struggles earlier this weekend, the car was really good in the race, especially on the 'red' [optional, softer tires]. On the reds, the balance was really good. We made up a lot of ground for the first two-thirds of the race, but on that last caution [Lap 85], it looks like we broke the left-hand side [exhaust] wastegate. That cost us a lot of power and I wasn't able to move up. On the final laps, it seemed like some of the cars [in front] started to come back a bit, and everyone was all over the road on the last lap, so we were able to get around Simona [de Silvestro] right at the finish."

Takuma Sato (Driver, #14 A.J. Foyt Racing Honda Dallara) started 2nd, finished 8th: "It was a tough race, a very busy day. The race started well for us, but on the second re-start [on Lap 26] there was a contact in front of me and unfortunately, it damaged my front wing. The car was not as good after that, and made it a bit difficult for us. Later in the race, we were able to change the nose, and then I was able to pick up the pace and regain some positions. That was good fun. It was not a perfect day for us, but we were able to run up front for most of the weekend and I think that is a good sign for us for the rest of this season."

Art St. Cyr (President, Honda Performance Development) on today's season-opening race: "Obviously, it was a disappointing start to our IndyCar season, but we will learn from this and everyone at Honda Performance Development will work, together with our teams, to get back to the top of the podium. Congratulations to Scott Dixon for an inspiring drive in today's race, and to Takuma Sato and the A.J. Foyt team for their weekend-long performance. They have certainly stepped up a level this season, and that is encouraging."

For photographs from today's race, go to:

http://www.sportssystems.com/hosting/display.cfm?key=101660

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