Monday, March 12, 2018

Bourdais Goes Back-To-Back

The 2018 Grand Prix of St. Petersburg consisted of 110 laps. Robert Wickens, a rookie, led 69. The Schmidt Peterson Motorsports driver started from pole and was dominating his maiden Verizon IndyCar Series race, until lap 109.

With just a few laps to go the Chevrolet powered car of Max Chilton made contact with a tire barrier, stalling the car. The newly renamed AMR INDYCAR Safety Team was quick to the scene, restarting the car in seconds, allowing for the green flag to fly for the final 2 laps.

The running order entering Turn 1 was Wickens, Rossi, Bourdais and Rahal. Entering Turn 2 the order was shuffled to Bourdais, Rahal, Rossi... (jump to P18)... Wickens.

After looking at the tape, it appears Wickens entered the turn on the same racing line that he the previous 108 trips through the corner. The only difference being this time the No. 27 of Alexander Rossi was on the inside. The two made contact, spinning Wickens, pushing Rossi out of line, and the rest was history.

Race Notes:
- 366 on-track passes to break the old race record of 323 set in the VERY wet 2008 event
- Honda powered 8 of the top 10 cars, including the top 6
- Rookies Filled 7 of the last 9 finishing positions
- Carlin Teammates Chilton & Kimball filled the other two
- 4 different teams filled the first 4 finishing positions
- 6 different teams filled the first 7 finishing positions

The finishing order:

1 - Bourdais
2 - Rahal
3 - Rossi
4 - Hinchcliffe
5 - Hunter-Reay
6 - Dixon
7 - Newgarden
8 - Jones
9 - Andretti
10 - Power
11 - Kanaan
12 - Sato
13 - Pagenaud
14 - Chaves
15 - Pigot
16 - Veach
17 - Claman De Melo
18 - Wickens
19 - Chilton
20 - Kimball
21 - King
22 - Binder
23 - Harvey
24 - Leist

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