IndyCar — David beats Goliath on the Streets of St. Petersburg

Sebastian Bourdais (No. 18) and Team Owner Dale Coyne embrace after their season-opening victory at St. Petersburg. -- Photo courtesy of Chris Jones, INDYCAR Photo

David vs Goliath stories in the sport are always fun. It’s exciting when the little teams bring home the big prizes ahead of the larger, better-funded race operations. Well, that’s exactly what happened today in the Verizon IndyCar Series Firestone Grand Prix of St Petersburg.

Dale Coyne Racing and former multiple Champ Car World Series champion, Sebastian Bourdais ignited the start of their new partnership by claiming victory in Bourdais’ first race for the team, ahead of the might of Team Penske and Simon Pagenaud. Bourdais also has Craig Hampton, his race engineer from those magical days at Newman-Haas, and it all came together fantastically today in Florida.

Also, what is clear from the results is that Honda is back in a competitive fashion. Seven of the top 10 cars were powered by Honda. Clearly, a substantial amount of work by HPD and American Honda went into developing the competitiveness of that programme over the winter, giving Chevrolet quite the wake-up call.

The switch for Ganassi in the winter from Chevrolet to Honda power is also paying off well for the multiple championship-winning IndyCar powerhouse team with Scott Dixon rounding out the podium this weekend on the first race of their new partnership.

Full results
1. Sebastian Bourdais – Dale Coyne Racing Honda
2. Simon Pagenaud – Team Penske Chevrolet
3. Scott Dixon – Chip Ganassi Racing Honda
4. Ryan Hunter-Reay – Andretti Autosport Honda
5. Takuma Sato – Andretti Autosport Honda
6. Helio Castroneves – Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet
7. Marco Andretti – Andretti Autosport Honda
8. Josef Newgarden – Team Penske Chevrolet
9. James Hinchcliffe – SPM Honda
10. Ed Jones – Dale Coyne Racing Honda
11. Alexander Rossi – Andretti Autosport Honda
12. Tony Kanaan – Chip Ganassi Racing Honda
13. JR Hildebrand – Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet
14. Mikhail Aleshin – SPM Honda
15. Conor Daly – AJ Foyt Chevrolet
16. Max Chilton – Chip Ganassi Honda
17. Graham Rahal – RLL Honda
18. Charlie Kimball – Chip Ganassi Honda
19. Will Power – Team Penske Chevrolet (DNF)
20. Spencer Pigot – ECR Chevrolet (DNF)
21. Carlos Munoz – AJ Foyt Chevrolet (DNF)

A full review and analysis of the race will be available here at FBC soon.

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charlie white

My, how the sport turns. A victory by Dale Coyne Racing, once known as a perenial backmarker and low-budget team from the CART days over Penske and Ganassi. I guess there is one Honda engine development program showing positive results.


This is a rare occurrence. While the championship will likely go to either Power or Pagenaud (just like F1 I think only a couple drivers in the past years have a realistic shot at the tile) anyone can win on any given day. Since his return from F1 Biurdais has been remarkable in the sense that he’s won without the best equipment. It makes me glad that he is still on a weak team because it adds to the excitement and sustainability (to an extent) of the already limited number of teams.

Max Johnson

Well, at least Honda is winning something.