Andretti Autosport St. Pete Race 1 Report
 March 9, 2018| 
  • Team News
Lights St Pete Race Recap 2018
MAZDA INDY LIGHTS GRAND PRIX OF ST. PETERSBURG
PRESENTED BY COOPER TIRES
RACE 1 REPORT
MARCH 10, 2018

 

The first race of the Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires season has concluded and it was Andretti Autosport's very own Patricio O'Ward who claimed the top spot of the podium after leading all 35 laps. Teammate and Andretti-Steinbrenner Racing driver, Colton Herta, joined the Mexican driver on the final step after starting from the second position.

Race 2 will go greentomorrowat10:45 a.m. ET with live timing and scoring available on racecontrol.indycar.com.
 

No. 27 CDMX MEXICO CITY MAZDA
 
  • STARTED 1st // FINISHED 1st
  • CHAMPIONSHIP: 1st (31 pts.)
  • OF NOTE: Qualified second and led the field to the green flag after pole sitter, Aaron Telitz, was unable to start the race. Led flag-to-flag to earn his first win in the Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires series.
      "I am really excited! This is my first win in Indy Lights, so I am excited to continue on the year and hopefully get some more wins. I want to thank Bob and Sharon Stellrecht, Mazda and Cooper Tires - these tires held up pretty well during the race. Tomorrow’s race is a bit longer, so we are going to adjust some things but I am really happy with the performance. The Andretti Autosport guys gave me an awesome car. I would like to thank all my sponsor - CDMX Mexico City, Riverina Natural Oils and everybody that has been helping me get to this point. I am pumped about tomorrow."

       

      No. 98 ANDRETTI-STEINBRENNER RACING/CURB MAZDA
      • STARTED 2nd // FINISHED 3rd
      • CHAMPIONSHIP3rd (22 pts.)
      • OF NOTEFell back to seventh on lap one and battled his way back through the field to claim his first podium of the season, while clocking the fastest lap of the race.

          "It was a fun race. Getting fastest lap and finishing third is a good way to start the year. I’m going to try to be on the podium every race this season - that’s what you need to do to win the championship, especially in this field. We have a smaller field, so if you can finish on the podium every race, you’ll be looking good in the championship.

           

          No. 48 JOURNEY MAZDA
          • STARTED 5th // FINISHED6th
          • CHAMPIONSHIP: 6th (15 pts.)
          • OF NOTE: Fell back to the eighth position before battling to gain two spots and move up the field to finish six.


              "We had decent pace during the race but I didn’t really have a great start. I got pinched in the middle going into Turn 1, so I had to let off of the gas. Two cars were pinching me in, so I had nothing to do but either lift or hit them. Then from the back everyone was doing the same pace so it was hard to pass. I was patient and allowed stuff to happen in front of me. I battled pretty hard for position and moved up to finish P6. We will be good tomorrow with the pace, but we need to start off stronger."

               

              No. 28 K-LINE INSULATORS USA MAZDA
              • STARTED 8th // FINISHED8th
              • CHAMPIONSHIP: 8th (13 pts.)
              • OF NOTE: Moved up three positions on Lap 1 to run fifth, his highest position of the race, before being passed by teammate Colton Herta and eventually getting spun by a competitor putting him down one lap.


                  "It was definitely a tough weekend up until this point starting with practice and qualifying. However, there are some positives from today. We are a lot closer to pace and closer to where we need to be. The race was going really well and we got an awesome start. The hard work from the off-season really showed. As far as racing goes, I can’t really control other people’s actions and I ended up getting turned around. We will collect our thoughts and make sure we do what it takes to stay in the top-five tomorrow."

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