Colombian racing driver Juan Pablo Montoya has won the St. Petersburg Grand Prix for the second consecutive year and continues the Team Penske dominance at the racing event. The St. Pete Grand Prix win was Team Penske’s eighth victory and fourth in the past five years on the 14-turn, 1.8-mile waterfront course.
Montoya crossed the line 2.3 second ahead of Penske teammate Simon Pagenaud and passed Conor Daly to take the commanding lead in the St. Petersburg race. Teammate Simon Pagenaud finished second after leading the first 48 of the 110 laps, while Ryan Hunter-Reay was able to grab the third place from Helio Castroneves and prevent a Team Penske-Chevrolet 1-2-3, and take a podium for Andretti Autosport-Honda team.
Castroneves was just able to hold off the fast-charging Mikhail Aleshin in the Schmidt Peterson Motorsports-Honda, while Foyt Racing’s Takuma Sato survived an off on lap 1 to take sixth for AJ Foyt Racing-Honda.
Ganassi Racing’s Scott Dixon moved from 14th place to seventh after an unscheduled stop on lap 70, to clear the radiators on his Chip Ganassi Racing-Chevrolet.
Making his IndyCar debut, Alexander Rossi finished 12th for Andretti Autosport, followed by fellow rookies Conor Daly of Dale Coyne Racing-Honda and Spencer Pigot of Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing-Honda.
“When you’re in Team Penske, there’s always that pressure that you’ve got to win races. You have to win. You’re in the best car, you’ve got to win races. So to start the year with a win, it’s like, `Oh, I got that one out of the way,” Montoya said, via the ESPN.
In the end, Montoya led the final 25 laps and beat Pagenaud by 2.3 seconds to win for the second consecutive year. Montoya’s Teammate Pagenaud dominated early stages of the race, leading the first 48 laps around the 1.8-mile, 14-turn street course.
This is the 15th IndyCar victory for Montoya and he now joined fellow teammate Helio Castroneves as the only drivers to win the grand prix in consecutive years.
Picture Courtesy: FDITG/Wikimedia Commons