2012 Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg

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United States   2012 St. Petersburg
Race details
1st round of the 2012 IndyCar Series season
St. Petersburg street & airport racing circuit.svg
Date March 25, 2012
Official name Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg
Location Streets of St. Petersburg
Course Temporary street circuit
1.800 mi / 2.897 km
Distance 100 laps, 180.000 mi / 289.682 km
Weather 77 °F (25 °C), partly cloudy
Pole position
Driver Australia Will Power Team Penske
Time 1:01.3721
Fastest lap
Driver Australia Will Power Team Penske
Time 62.7575 (on lap 5 of 100)
Podium
First Brazil Helio Castroneves Team Penske
Second New Zealand Scott Dixon Target Chip Ganassi Racing
Third United States Ryan Hunter-Reay Andretti Autosport

The 2012 Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg was the first race of the 2012 IndyCar Series season. The race was run on March 25, 2012 in St. Petersburg, Florida, United States on the city's temporary street course, and was won by Helio Castroneves. [1]

Hélio Castroneves making the run down Dan Wheldon Way on the final lap of the 2012 Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.
Hélio Castroneves stopped on Dan Wheldon Way (Turn 10) victory lap after winning the 2012 Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg to pay respects to the sign honouring the late resident of the city, a two-time Indianapolis 500 champion.

Report[edit]

Background[edit]

This race was the first event since Dan Wheldon was killed in an accident at the 2011 IZOD IndyCar World Championship at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in October 2011. It was also the first race run with the new ICONIC chassis by Dallara, which Wheldon was helping to develop and is named "DW12" in his honor. This race also marked the first time since the end of the 2005 season that Honda will not be IndyCar's exclusive engine supplier. Chevrolet re-enters Indy racing for the first time since that season and Lotus will be the third supplier.

Qualifying[edit]

For the third consecutive year, Will Power took the pole position for the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg with a circuit-qualifying record of 1:01.3721. Alongside of Power, Penske teammate Ryan Briscoe will start in row one, in second position. The second row will be occupied Ryan Hunter-Reay and James Hinchcliffe, both of Andretti Autosport.[2]

Race[edit]

The 2012 Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg started with pole sitter Will Power leading the field for the majority of the first few laps, with Ryan Briscoe, who qualified second, trailing behind him. Briscoe would eventually take the lead after Power pitted, in for fuel strategy. However, the pit stop by Power would eventually take him out of contention for the race, as he would not near the top spot for the remaining laps. While Briscoe did hold the top position for eight laps, it was Scott Dixon, who was consistently around the top and eventually would inherit the lead on lap 20. Throughout the enterity of the race, Lotus Cars such as rookie Katherine Legge and Simona de Silvestro face mechanical problems, as Lotus finished third between the manufactures, behind Chevrolet and Honda. During the mid-portion of the race, drivers such as Takuma Sato, defending series champion Dario Franchitti and J.R. Hildebrand would all hold a lead in the race. However, coming down to the end, it would be Hélio Castroneves and Dixon battling for the lead in the race and the victory. After a series of pit stops on lap 72, Castroneves would make a bold pass on Dixon, giving him position behind, then leader Hildebrand. This position would eventually allow him to inherit the lead of the race, as Castroneves would lead the final 26 laps, giving him the victory, his first victory since the 2010 season.[3]

Classification[edit]

Starting grid[edit]

Row Inside Outside
1 12 Australia Will Power 2 Australia Ryan Briscoe
2 28 United States Ryan Hunter-Reay 27 Canada James Hinchcliffe
3 3 Brazil Hélio Castroneves 9 New Zealand Scott Dixon
4 26 United States Marco Andretti 11 Brazil Tony Kanaan
5 10 United Kingdom Dario Franchitti 38 United States Graham Rahal
6 14 United Kingdom Mike Conway 5 Venezuela E.J. Viso
7 8 Brazil Rubens Barrichello 15 Japan Takuma Sato
8 18 United Kingdom Justin Wilson 77 France Simon Pagenaud (R)
9 98 Canada Alex Tagliani 4 United States J.R. Hildebrand
10 67 United States Josef Newgarden (R) 19 United Kingdom James Jakes
11 78 Switzerland Simona de Silvestro 83 United States Charlie Kimball
12 22 Spain Oriol Servià 20 United States Ed Carpenter
13 6 United Kingdom Katherine Legge (R) 7 France Sébastien Bourdais
Pagenaud penalised 10 places for changing engine

Race Results[edit]

Pos No. Driver Team Engine Laps Time/Retired Grid Laps Led Points1
1 3 Brazil Hélio Castroneves Team Penske Chevrolet 100 1:59:50.9863 5 28 50
2 9 New Zealand Scott Dixon Chip Ganassi Racing Honda 100 + 5.5292 6 37 42
3 28 United States Ryan Hunter-Reay Andretti Autosport Chevrolet 100 + 7.5824 3 0 35
4 27 Canada James Hinchcliffe Andretti Autosport Chevrolet 100 + 10.6526 4 0 32
5 2 Australia Ryan Briscoe Team Penske Chevrolet 100 + 11.7854 2 9 30
6 77 France Simon Pagenaud (R) Schmidt Hamilton Motorsports Honda 100 + 31.2623 16 0 28
7 12 Australia Will Power Team Penske Chevrolet 100 + 34.6582 1 11 27
8 5 Venezuela E.J. Viso KV Racing Technology Chevrolet 100 + 35.5943 8 0 24
9 83 United States Charlie Kimball Chip Ganassi Racing Honda 100 + 43.1425 22 0 22
10 18 United Kingdom Justin Wilson Dale Coyne Racing Honda 100 + 44.3141 15 0 20
11 67 United States Josef Newgarden (R) Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing Honda 100 + 44.8275 19 0 19
12 38 United States Graham Rahal Chip Ganassi Racing Honda 100 + 45.1080 10 0 18
13 10 United Kingdom Dario Franchitti Chip Ganassi Racing Honda 100 + 45.8468 9 1 17
14 26 United States Marco Andretti Andretti Autosport Chevrolet 99 + 1 lap 7 0 16
15 98 Canada Alex Tagliani Team Barracuda – BHA Lotus 99 + 1 lap 17 0 15
16 22 Spain Oriol Servià Dreyer & Reinbold Racing Lotus 99 + 1 lap 23 0 14
17 8 Brazil Rubens Barrichello KV Racing Technology Chevrolet 98 + 2 laps 13 0 13
18 20 United States Ed Carpenter Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet 98 + 2 laps 24 0 12
19 4 United States J.R. Hildebrand Panther Racing Chevrolet 96 Off Course 18 3 12
20 14 United Kingdom Mike Conway A. J. Foyt Enterprises Honda 75 Mechanical 11 0 12
21 7 France Sébastien Bourdais Dragon Racing Lotus 73 Off Course 26 0 12
22 15 Japan Takuma Sato Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Honda 73 Electrical 14 11 12
23 6 United Kingdom Katherine Legge (R) Dragon Racing Lotus 59 Off Course 25 0 12
24 78 Switzerland Simona de Silvestro HVM Racing Lotus 22 Mechanical 21 0 12
25 11 Brazil Tony Kanaan KV Racing Technology Chevrolet 21 Electrical 8 0 10
26 19 United Kingdom James Jakes Dale Coyne Racing Honda 19 Contact 20 0 10
Notes

1 Points include 1 point for pole position and 2 points for most laps led.

Championship standings after the race[edit]