IndyCar Series - St.Petersburg: Sebastien Bourdais from 21st to 1st
Sebastien Bourdais (Dale Coyne Racing) sensationally wins the Firestone Grand Prix of St Petersburg, the season-opening race of the 2017 IndyCar Series, after starting from the last place on the grid because of a crash during a qualifying session.
36 CART/IndyCar wins for Bourdais
Bourdais scored his fifth IndyCar victory (36th win when counting CART races) by beating reigning champion Simon Pagenaud (Team Penske). Bourdais stole the lead from Pagenaud on Lap 37 and stayed in control until the end of the 110-lap race. Pagenaud also had a good race, considering he started from the 14th place on the grid. Scott Dixon (Chip Ganassi Racing) completed a podium, ahead of Ryan Hunter-Reay (Andretti Autosport) and Takuma Sato (Andretti Autosport).
Drive-through penalty ruined Power’s race
Will Power started a race from pole position but the race was interrupted by the first caution immediatelly after a start when Graham Rahal and Charlie Kimball collided on Turn 2, collecting few more cars. After a restart on Lap 5, James Hinchcliffe passsed Power into Turn 1. Power’s race was ruined when he pitted on Lap 14, but clipped an air hose exiting his pit box and gets a drive-through penalty.
The second caution followed on Lap 26 when Mikhail Aleshin and Tony Kanaan, damaging both cars. When the top seven cars made their first pit stops under the caution, Simon Pagenaud inherited the lead. The race restarted on Lap 31. Six laps later, Bourdais passed his countryman in Turn 1. French duo stayed in 1-2 positions until the end.
The next race in the IndyCar Series calendar is the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach on April 9.