Hinchcliffe takes maiden IndyCar win
24 March 2013 – Andretti's James Hinchliffe claimed his maiden IndyCar victory at St. Petersburg on Sunday afternoon, stealing the lead at a late restart to take the chequered flag just ahead of Penske driver Hélio Castroneves. Some 15 seconds further back, Marco Andretti kept KV Racing rival Tony Kanaan at bay to secure the final podium position.
Pole-sitter Will Power made a strong getaway as the lights went out to keep his lead over Takuma Sato into the first corner, with Hinchcliffe and Castroneves following closely. In the first stint, the Australian had proceedings under control until Dario Franchitti crashed and initiated the first caution period. The entire field came in, with Castroneves rejoining in second before launching past Power at the restart.
Despite several incidents and subsequent yellow phases, Castroneves held onto his lead for most of the race. Oriol Servià spent a small number of laps in front on a unique tyre strategy, but pitted under green flags and stalled when trying to pull away from his box. Further drama quickly unfolded as Power, who had lost a position to Hinchcliffe, got tangled up in a clash with J.R. Hildebrand. The Penske driver was forced to make an extra pit-stop and would finish 16th, while the latter retired.
When the race restarted for the final time with 25 laps remaining, Hinchcliffe grabbed the race lead from Castroneves and held onto the position to the end. Andretti and Kanaan wound up a long way behind the relentless front pair in third and fourth respectively, with fifth-place finisher Scott Dixon leading home a seven-car train.
KV Racing's Simone de Silvestro wound up sixth after her impressive qualifying performance, fending off E.J. Viso and front row starter Sato. Britain's Justin Wilson came home in ninth place, while Alex Tagliani completed the top ten runners. In addition to the high profile retirements of Franchitti and Hildebrand, current Champion Ryan Hunter-Reay failed to make the finish due to mechanical problems.
The IndyCar Series continues at Barber Motorsports Park from 5-7 April