2018 Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg

Go down

2018 Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg

Post by SpeedDemon37 on Fri Mar 09, 2018 5:46 pm

The next chapter begins in the history of American championship car racing, as the much-anticipated 2018 season of the Verizon IndyCar Series kicks off on the streets of St. Petersburg, Florida!

The six months of off-season that have passed since Josef Newgarden was crowned the IndyCar champion at Sonoma Raceway have left a lot of time for developments in driver lineups, sponsorship arrangements, and perhaps the most significant change to the series; the introduction of the universal aerokit. IndyCar and its partners have spent the previous couple of years working to produce a car that reduces overall downforce and transfers much of what remains from the body to the undertray, and in doing so, a) puts greater emphasis on driver talent, b) produces more competitive races, and c) allows for a streamlined look that pays homage to cars of the past. Consensus among drivers, analysts, and fans says that they succeeded in the departments of looks and downforce reduction, but only time will tell what changes may be seen regarding the on-track product.

On to this weekend's race, the streets of St. Pete will be hosting its 15th Champ Car/IndyCar race on Sunday. The curbs that were added to the turn 3 complex last year have been removed, returning the circuit to its traditional layout. An entry list of 24 cars includes all of the new teams that will be contesting anywhere from six races to the full schedule this year. With Hélio Castroneves now racing in IMSA, Will Power enters the weekend as the only driver on the grid with multiple wins here (with two in total), and local resident Sébastian Bourdais, racing once more in the Coyne car #18, enters as the defending winner, having scored a popular victory last year after starting the race from last-place. The only other two drivers racing this weekend to have won this race are Graham Rahal (2008) and James Hinchcliffe (2013).

For those who have not been following the silly season closely, I have attempted to briefly outline the major changes to the grid for the new season.

Spoiler:
In regards to teams, Harding Racing and Carlin have joined the grid with championship efforts for one and two cars, respectively. Juncos Racing and Michael Shank Racing will each be fielding a single car on a partial schedule, including here at St. Pete. Team Penske has downsized from four full-time cars to three, Chip Ganassi Racing has downsized from four cars to two, and Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing expands from one car to two.

In regards to drivers, the most notable absence is certainly that of Hélio Castroneves, the three-time Indianapolis 500 champion who is still racing for Team Penske, but in an IMSA prototype with co-driver Ricky Taylor (Hélio will fortunately still be racing in IndyCar's Indy GP and the 500). Conor Daly and Carlos Muñoz were released from A. J. Foyt Enterprises after only one season, each, with the team, and J.R. Hildebrand has been let go by Ed Carpenter Racing after only his third full-time season in a span of seven years.

New to the grid are Matheus Leist of Brazil, Robert Wickens of Canada, and Zach Veach of the USA on a full-time basis, driving for Foyt, Schmidt Peterson Motorsports, and Andretti Autosport, respectively. A number of rookies will contest partial schedules. After a handful of races last year, Jack Harvey is back and in the new Michael Shank car (a team which purchased the chassis that they are using in 2012). René Binder and defending Indy Lights champion Kyle Kaiser will split the new Juncos car (with Binder racing this weekend). Formula 2 driver Jordan King was convinced by Alexander Rossi to give IndyCar a try and is now the road course specialist for the ECR car #20. And Dale Coyne Racing's car #19, vacated by an unexpected departure of Ed Jones for the Ganassi car #10, will be shared between Zachary Claman DeMelo and Pietro Fittipaldi.

Spencer Pigot has been promoted to a full-time drive in ECR's car #21, Gabby Chaves returns for his first full-time season since 2015 with Harding, Tony Kanaan takes over the famed car #14 at Foyt, Charlie Kimball and Max Chilton have moved together from Ganassi to Carlin, Takuma Sato has reunited with RLL to drive an upgraded second-car for the team alongside Graham Rahal, and Alexander Rossi and Marco Andretti have swapped cars within the Andretti camp, with Rossi now piloting the #27 and Marco piloting the Andretti-Herta #98.

New cars, new sponsors, and hopefully some more new fans, as well. Ten years removed from the year in which American open-wheel racing reunited, things are looking up for the sport. I'm very excited to see what changes will be seen and where the sport will go as we continue the unending march into the future. But for the moment, it's simply time to go racing!

Coverage begins at 12:30 P.M. EST on ABC.



Last edited by SpeedDemon37 on Fri Mar 09, 2018 6:06 pm; edited 2 times in total
avatar
SpeedDemon37
Champion
Champion

Posts : 1681
Join date : 2012-05-11
Age : 20
Location : Michigan, USA

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: 2018 Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg

Post by PackerMan71 on Fri Mar 09, 2018 6:02 pm

We haven't even gotten to the race yet, and we already have our first WTF moment of the year.
avatar
PackerMan71
Legend
Legend

Posts : 2702
Join date : 2011-08-06
Age : 33
Location : Groveport, Ohio

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: 2018 Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg

Post by mtrimmer365 on Fri Mar 09, 2018 7:40 pm

You know, I haven't been paying attention to the cars that much this offseason, but boy do I regret that now. Some of those are beautiful.
avatar
mtrimmer365
Development Series Rookie
Development Series Rookie

Posts : 196
Join date : 2017-02-08
Age : 14
Location : The Octahedron

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: 2018 Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg

Post by Lucstar88 on Sat Mar 10, 2018 9:47 am

Let's go Team Canada!
avatar
Lucstar88
Legend
Legend

Posts : 2715
Join date : 2012-07-24
Age : 23
Location : Canada

View user profile https://www.youtube.com/user/TheLucstar88

Back to top Go down

Re: 2018 Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg

Post by PackerMan71 on Sat Mar 10, 2018 6:53 pm



Who in the Hell is Robert Wickens?

I've personally never heard of him, but he's starting on pole tomorrow... in his very first IndyCar start.

wat
avatar
PackerMan71
Legend
Legend

Posts : 2702
Join date : 2011-08-06
Age : 33
Location : Groveport, Ohio

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: 2018 Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg

Post by PackerMan71 on Sun Mar 11, 2018 12:47 pm

Isn't it kind of sad.

We had more excitement in the the first three laps of this race than the last two Cup races combined.
avatar
PackerMan71
Legend
Legend

Posts : 2702
Join date : 2011-08-06
Age : 33
Location : Groveport, Ohio

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: 2018 Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg

Post by bigdc48 on Sun Mar 11, 2018 3:00 pm

Wickens had this. Great drive all for nothing.
avatar
bigdc48
Regular Contender
Regular Contender

Posts : 940
Join date : 2012-10-05
Age : 25
Location : Manchester, NH (near Boston)

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: 2018 Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg

Post by mtrimmer365 on Sun Mar 11, 2018 3:01 pm

I'm not even gonna defend anyone here, that was straight crap

Good job Bourdais I guess
avatar
mtrimmer365
Development Series Rookie
Development Series Rookie

Posts : 196
Join date : 2017-02-08
Age : 14
Location : The Octahedron

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: 2018 Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg

Post by PackerMan71 on Sun Mar 11, 2018 3:04 pm

Best race I've ever seen at St. Petersburg. It's not even close.
avatar
PackerMan71
Legend
Legend

Posts : 2702
Join date : 2011-08-06
Age : 33
Location : Groveport, Ohio

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: 2018 Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg

Post by Ben Atkins on Sun Mar 11, 2018 3:07 pm

Rossi went for the win. Every other driver in the field would have done the same thing. The hate he's going for literally going for the win is just downright unnecessary.

Great win for Seabass and Dale Coyne though! Always great to see them in victory circle!

_________________


Follow me on Twitch!

NR2003 Online Wins: 121 (Latest - EFR Short Track Challenge at Abbotsford Speedway [06/08/17])
NR2003 Online Poles: 80 (Latest - EFR Short Track Challenge at Abbotsford Speedway [06/08/17])
iRacing Online Offical Wins: 20 (Latest - NASCAR Trucks at Atlanta [02/20/18])
NR2003 Championships: 6 (2013/2014 GOMA Trucks, Formula 5 Season 12, 2014 GOMA Trucks, Formula 5 Season 13, Formula 5 Season 14, Formula 5 Season 16)

Nico Nico Nii.
avatar
Ben Atkins
Legend
Legend

Posts : 4571
Join date : 2011-08-06
Age : 23
Location : zura

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: 2018 Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg

Post by racingfreak1999 on Sun Mar 11, 2018 4:35 pm

I totally forgot the race was on until about halfway, but what a way to start the season.

The incident on the final restart was just racing (to me at least).  Rossi made a move for the win and it didn't work. I do feel bad for Wickens though.
avatar
racingfreak1999
Champion
Champion

Posts : 1070
Join date : 2011-08-11
Age : 27
Location : Long Island

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: 2018 Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg

Post by MrDude68 on Sun Mar 11, 2018 6:00 pm

Wickens was the one who deserved that win, one hundred percent. If only that last caution hadn't come out, he would have had it. At least it was good to see a Coyne car in victory lane though.

MrDude68
Shop Sweep
Shop Sweep

Posts : 14
Join date : 2015-08-24
Location : Rochester, NY

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: 2018 Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg

Post by PackerMan71 on Sun Mar 11, 2018 7:57 pm

avatar
PackerMan71
Legend
Legend

Posts : 2702
Join date : 2011-08-06
Age : 33
Location : Groveport, Ohio

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: 2018 Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg

Post by Alpineopossum on Mon Mar 12, 2018 1:01 pm

Mindless move by Rossi ruined a great race. It really is a shame for Wickens.

That said, it was an exciting race. I like the new cars, they seem to produce a lot of overtaking. I'm excited for this season!
avatar
Alpineopossum
Champion
Champion

Posts : 1864
Join date : 2011-08-08
Age : 22
Location : Cleveland

View user profile http://ohioperspective.wordpress.com/

Back to top Go down

Re: 2018 Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg

Post by PackerMan71 on Mon Mar 12, 2018 7:00 pm

avatar
PackerMan71
Legend
Legend

Posts : 2702
Join date : 2011-08-06
Age : 33
Location : Groveport, Ohio

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: 2018 Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg

Post by SpeedDemon37 on Mon Mar 12, 2018 9:36 pm

What a race! It's always great to start the season off with a good one, and I feel that we got our fair share of thrills (and spills) to kick off 2018!

Ben Atkins wrote:Rossi went for the win. Every other driver in the field would have done the same thing. The hate he's going for literally going for the win is just downright unnecessary.

Great win for Seabass and Dale Coyne though! Always great to see them in victory circle!
100% agreed. We saw all weekend long just how skiddish that these cars were under braking for turn 1. Rossi's only chance required him to risk the car stepping out from under him, and it just plain didn't work. I'm sure that he doesn't feel good about the outcome, but when you're going for the win, it's all too easy to overstep the boundary of control.

Either way, it's a terrible shame for Wickens. He drove marvelously all weekend, and even though he's showcased plenty of talent elsewhere before this year, I admittedly was not expecting a P1 Award and a race-winning drive in his very first try. Sam Schmidt's big off-season shakeup appears to be paying off already, and with a couple of very talented drivers at the wheel, we will definitely be seeing them contend for more wins.

And finally, congratulations to Sébastien Bourdais!!! A hometown win for Bourdais, a win for Dale Coyne Racing, and all for the second year in a row! Considering how trying that the second half of the previous year was for both Bourdais (with the crash during qualifying for the 500) and Coyne (with many expensive cars wrecked and destroyed), today's victory is certainly one that they all could have used all the more, I'm sure. I sincerely hope that, this time around, good fortunes will come their way throughout the season!

Also of note, over the previous two years, the average finish for the driver who started from the final position on the grid is 1.5.
avatar
SpeedDemon37
Champion
Champion

Posts : 1681
Join date : 2012-05-11
Age : 20
Location : Michigan, USA

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: 2018 Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg

Post by JMac525 on Wed Mar 14, 2018 9:15 pm

Late response here, but that was a stellar way to start off the Indycar season. Felt terrible for Wickens, but Rossi went for the win and that's just how it works out sometimes. Also, I love how these new cars drive and how it looks like they're a bit more of a handful.

Hopefully this sets the tone for the rest of the Indycar season!
avatar
JMac525
Champion
Champion

Posts : 1241
Join date : 2011-08-13
Age : 25
Location : Indiana

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: 2018 Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg

Post by Cynon on Thu Mar 15, 2018 4:23 pm

I'm still celebrating Bourdais's win, and hoping he pulls a 6 or 7 win season out and gets himself and Dale Coyne Racing a championship.

... I can dream, damn it. D:<

_________________
Effort Equals Results

Online Wins: 23
Last Win: Formula 5 @ Road America
EFR's #1 A.J. Allmendinger fan, usually found curled up in the fetal position.
Nintendo ID (Wii U only): Cyriaan
Bob Ross wrote:Talent is a pursued interest. In other words, anything that you're willing to practice, you can do.

avatar
Cynon
Admin

Posts : 3151
Join date : 2011-08-05
Age : 29
Location : Chicago, Illinois

View user profile http://efr1.forumotion.com

Back to top Go down

Re: 2018 Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg

Post by historyracer on Fri Mar 16, 2018 3:33 pm

I blame Rossi. We saw 3 incidents in T1, but he proceeded to do a move anyway.
avatar
historyracer
Shop Sweep
Shop Sweep

Posts : 39
Join date : 2017-01-12

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: 2018 Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg

Post by gone-sovereign on Fri Mar 16, 2018 4:27 pm

I don't always meme, but when I do...



(Leave your opinions of what actually happened at the door, please.)
avatar
gone-sovereign
Champion
Champion

Posts : 1045
Join date : 2011-08-06
Age : 20
Location : Living in a box under the stairs in the corner of the basement in the house half a block away from Jerry's Bait Shop (You know the place).

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: 2018 Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg

Post by Sponsored content


Sponsored content


Back to top Go down

Back to top


 
Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum