Schmidt Peterson Motorsport and James Hinchcliffe displayed great potential during the Verizon IndyCar Series season opener at the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg this weekend.
The Petro-Canada Lubricants supported team and driver qualified third. Hinchcliffe made quick work of the opposition to take the lead, a position he would hold for 21 laps. An unfortunate full-course caution saw the Canadian fall to the mid-pack after pit-stop cycles, and from there the team and driver struggled to make much progress. Through quick pit-stops and consistent laps, the Ontario-native was able to bring the #5 Arrow Electronics Schmidt Peterson car home in 9th place.
“Honestly a pretty disappointing result” said Hinchcliffe. “We started on the inside of Row 2, got a good start and slipped into second. We did well on the restart and led pretty much the entire first stint. The yellow caught us off guard; a bunch of the guys behind us had already pitted, so that kind of put us behind the eight ball. There’s not a whole lot you can do about the way the yellow flags fall - that was a tough break. I think we would have had a solid top five if it wasn’t for that, and that’s something we can build off of heading into Long Beach."
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Photo credit: Indianapolis Motor Speedway Photography