Bourdais snatches victory from Canadian Wickens in IndyCar opener

Bourdais snatches victory from Canadian Wickens in IndyCar opener

For Bourdais, it's his second straight Gran Prix of St. Petersburg win.

IndyCar rookie Robert Wickens, who started on pole, led the race for 69 laps and had the win in his grip until contact with Alexander Rossi on a restart took him out of contention, Associated Press reports. The two cars made contact and Wickens spun off course. Bourdais' victory is the sixth in the history Dale Coyne Racing and the fifth for Bourdais in cars entered by the co-owners Jimmy Vasser and James Sullivan. "[Bourdais'] consistency makes that a fourth-place vehicle, and luck made it a winning auto". "Luck made it a winning auto".

Rossi, who finished third, said he got the jump on Wickens for the decisive restart by activating earlier his push-to-pass - which provides an engine boost of approximately 60 horsepower.

The first race of the IndyCar season is off to a messy start on the streets of St. Petersburg.

They quickly learned the answer: Chaos.

The second meet in the 17-race series is the Phoenix Grand Prix in Arizona on April 7.

Ryan Hunter-Reay also had to go immediately to pit road when his vehicle wouldn't accelerate at the start of the race. Charlie Kimball got off-course and stalled near the tires in turn 13.

The restart with two laps to go could have been a do-over for Rossi, who had a chance on a lap 106 restart that ended with a small slide and loss of about two seconds.

The Auckland motor racing driver Scott Dixon has finished sixth in the opening round of the Indycar series in Florida.

But the new cars also delivered the kind of racing IndyCar wanted. Sunday saw a race-record 366 on-track passes, breaking the mark of 323 set in 2008.

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There was not, however, much action at the top of the field - until the very end.

Asked if he felt Race Control's "no call" on the clash between himself and Wickens was a vindication of his perspective on the shunt, Rossi replied: "Yeah, they made it very clear in the drivers meeting that the rule on blocking was that you can't move in reaction".

Two cautions in the final 10 laps led to more drama.

"I don't have to be all four cars in the part of the track that - all four wheels on the part of the track nobody goes on".

"When you're put in the marbles, it's hairy".

"When I got the verdict of what was broken and I was going to heal pretty well, it was never a question on whether I should continue or stop", the 39-year-old Frenchman said. "I feel bad because I feel like I could have won and he could have gotten second".

But on the restart, Rossi attempted to put his #27 Andretti Autosport Honda inside of Wickens heading into Turn 1 at the end of the Albert Whitted Airport runway straight, but Rossi's auto slid wide and the two made contact.

"I didn't get the best restart in the world", he said.

He acknowledged that his tears came at the realization of how far he's come since May, when he suffered several fractures to his pelvis and a fracture to his right hip when he crashed during qualifying for the Indianapolis 500.



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