Comunicato Stampa disponibile solo in lingua originale.
Taking advantage of a late-race opportunity, #marcusericsson moved past race leader Pato O’Ward to take the victory in Sunday’s NTT INDYCAR SERIES season-opening #firestonegrandprixofstpetersburg.
Moving into the lead with just four laps remaining in the 100-lap contest, Ericsson claimed his fourth career INDYCAR win and his first since winning last year’s Indianapolis 500.
The stage was set for an incident-filled race shortly after the green flag, when a multi-car pileup exiting Turn 3 led to a red flag. After approximately 19 minutes, the race resumed, but the caution flag would wave five more times for various incidents throughout the 100-lap contest.
Ericsson’s Chip Ganassi #racing teammate, six-time series champion #scottdixon, rounded out the #stpetersburg podium with a well-judged run to third; while veteran #grahamrahal jumped from 20th on the starting grid to sixth at the finish following an overnight brake change aboard his Rahal Letterman Lanigan #honda.
Today’s win for Ericsson and #honda is also the first in a major #racing series using 100% renewable fuel. The second-generation ethanol supplied to the full INDYCAR field by Shell provides a 60% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and does not impact the food chain.
In addition to the Shell 100% renewable race fuel, the #stpetersburg race also featured the 2023 debut of Firestone Firehawk race tires made with natural guayule natural rubber grown and extracted at the company’s R&D facility in Arizona. Featuring a green sidewall, the guayule served as the softer “alternate” tire for this weekend’s INDYCAR race.
Marcus Ericsson (#8 Chip Ganassi #racing Honda) race winner: "We’ve had such a good weekend, the car has been fantastic all the way through, and the #honda was super strong all weekend. I’m really proud of the way Chip Ganassi #racing has started out this season. We’re here to win the championship. We won the 500 last year and we were leading the championship for a long time. So that’s our mission this year, and this is a good start.”
Scott Dixon (#9 Chip Ganassi #racing Honda) finished third: “It was a great day for all of us at Chip Ganassi #racing – and obviously tremendous for [race winner] Marcus [Ericsson]. We had a great car all weekend, all credit to our team. It was great today to get the driveability and tuneability out of the #honda, plus the fuel mileage was fantastic, so it was easy to get what we needed, which gave us all the pit strategy options we needed.”
Graham Rahal (#15 Rahal Letterman Lanigan #racing Honda) finished sixth: “Our guys did a tremendous job today, very proud of them. I thought the #honda engine was really strong for me. I know this weekend didn’t start the way we wanted [qualifying 20th]. Literally, it was the brakes. Once we swapped the brakes out, our weekend got a heck of a lot better. This race was all about whoever was going to race the smartest. They’d find their way to the front and that’s pretty much how it played out.”
David Salters (President and Technical Director, #honda Performance Development) on today’s season-opening victory for #honda at #firestonegrandprixofstpetersburg: “Pole on Saturday and race win on Sunday, that’s a pretty good weekend! Well done to the marvelous women and men at HPD for all their hard work, as well as everyone at Chip Ganassi #racing. The teamwork paid off. It been a busy off-season and it’s nice to see everyone’s efforts rewarded.
“I would also like to note the standout work from INDYCAR, Shell, Firestone and both engine manufacturers on sustainability – particularly with the renewable fuel and guayule tires. We really are leading the motorsports world in terms of sustainability.”