Bourdais snatches IndyCar victory on streets of St. Pete - InfoNews

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Bourdais snatches IndyCar victory on streets of St. Pete

Robert Wickens, of Canada, poses for photos next to his pole-position sticker on his car taking the pole in qualifying Saturday, March 10, 2018, in St. Petersburg, Fla, for the IndyCar auto race. (Gabrellia Angotti-Jones/Tampa Bay Times via AP)
March 11, 2018 - 12:47 PM

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - Sebastien Bourdais won IndyCar's season-opening race in St. Petersburg on Sunday, a victory handed to him when Alexander Rossi and Canadian Robert Wickens crashed racing for the lead.

Wickens, from Toronto, was heading to a victory in his IndyCar debut until two late cautions gave Rossi a chance to take it away.

On a restart with two laps remaining, Rossi tried to dive inside of Wickens entering the first turn. The two cars made contact and Wickens spun off course.

Bourdais slid by both cars from third for the victory.

It is the 37th career victory for the Frenchman, who ranks sixth on IndyCar's all-time list. Bourdais trails Al Unser by two wins for fifth on the list.

It was the sixth victory for Dale Coyne Racing, the first since Bourdais won at St. Petersburg last year. The team this year has been bolstered by the ownership group of Jimmy Vasser and James Sullivan, which reunited Bourdais with his former bosses.

Wickens finished a heartbreaking 18th.

Rossi was not penalized for the contact and finished third.

The race debuted IndyCar's sleek new race car that is designed to improve competition, level the playing field and cut costs. Sunday saw a race-record 366 on-track passes, breaking the mark of 323 set in 2008.


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