for your iPhone
for your iPad
IndyCar

IndyCar Links

2015 Schedule

2014 IndyCar Rules

2014 Indy Lights Rules

2014 Pro Mazda Rules

2014 USF2000 Rules

2014 Drug Policy

2014 Teams

2014 Scanner Freq

Race Car Comparison

Lap Time Comparison

History CART/IRL Split


2014 Standings
After Fontana
Final Driver Standings

Rank Driver Points
1 Will Power 671
2 Helio Castroneves 609
3 Scott Dixon 604
4 Juan Pablo Montoya 586
5 Simon Pagenaud 565
6 Ryan Hunter-Reay 563
7 Tony Kanaan 544
8 Carlos Munoz 483
9 Marco Andretti 463
10 Sebastien Bourdais 461
11 Ryan Briscoe 461
12 James Hinchcliffe 456
13 Josef Newgarden 406
14 Charlie Kimball 402
15 Justin Wilson 395
16 Mikhail Aleshin 372
17 Jack Hawksworth 366
18 Takuma Sato 350
19 Graham Rahal 345
20 Carlos Huertas 314
21 Sebastian Saavedra 291
22 Ed Carpenter 262
23 Mike Conway 252
24 Oriol Servia 88
25 Kurt Busch 80
26 J.R. Hildebrand 66
27 Sage Karam 57
28 Luca Filippi 46
29 James Davison 34
30 Jacques Villeneuve 29
31 Alex Tagliani 28
32 Townsend Bell 22
33 Pippa Mann 21
34 Martin Plowman 18
35 Buddy Lazier 11
36 Franck Montagny 8
Castroneves tops opening day in St. Pete

IndyCar
Friday, April 04, 2008

Advertisement

Helio Castroneves gives a thumbs up after topping Friday's times

Helio Castroneves, the two-time defending winner of the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, staked an early claim at becoming a three-time winner. The Team Penske driver topped 2 ½ hours of IndyCar Series practice on the 1.8-mile, 14-turn temporary street circuit with a fastest lap of 1 minute, 3.3068 seconds, 102.359 mph.

Andretti Green Racing teammates Tony Kanaan, a three-time podium finisher at St. Petersburg, and Hideki Mutoh were second and third-fastest. Newcomers Justin Wilson and Will Power were fourth and fifth-fastest, respectively.

Kanaan missed 30 minutes of practice in the morning session serving a penalty for failure to follow the directions of Race Control during the final restart of the March 29 race at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

“The Team Penske car was handling well and we were able to put together a good lap this afternoon,” Castroneves said. “Even though there were a lot of cars out there, I was able to get a very clean run. I’m happy with where we are after the first day, but I know that tomorrow will be even faster.”

IndyCar Series drivers will have an additional 30 minutes of practice time Saturday morning before competing for the PEAK Motor Oil Pole Award in a new format that features three sessions that progressively narrow the field to the six fastest cars for the Firestone Fast Six Shootout.

Also on April 4, Raphael Matos led preparations for the Firestone Indy Lights St. Pete 100. Matos, who swept the doubleheader races in 2006, lapped the circuit in 1 minute, 7.4950 seconds, 96.007 mph.           

J.R. Hildebrand, Richard Antinucci, Jeff Simmons and Dillon Battistini rounded out the top five. Race 1 of the doubleheader is Saturday afternoon.

POST-PRACTICE QUOTES

HELIO CASTRONEVES (No. 3 Team Penske, fastest): “The Team Penske car was handling well and we were able to put together a good lap this afternoon. Even though there were a lot of cars out there, I was able to get a very clean run. I’m happy with where we are after the first day, but I know that tomorrow will be even faster.” (About new qualifying format): “Qualifying last year was a lot of fun, but the change in format this year will give us a new challenge. It's hard to predict how things will go because we haven’t done it yet. But it will be new for everyone, which levels the playing field, and hopefully things will go smoothly tomorrow.”

TONY KANAAN (No. 11 Team 7-Eleven, second fastest): “On paper it looks good. We’ll see after tomorrow what we think about it. It’s going to be interesting to see how the draw comes out. Maybe we’re going to see a group of very strong guys together in one group and maybe another not so strong group. Or maybe we’ll see a mix. So I don’t know what to expect, but I’m excited about it. It’s a new format, so we’ll see what’s going to happen. Personally I love the single-lap qualifying, but I’ll give it a try tomorrow. I’m pretty sure if some of us make it all the way to the end, you’re going to see some drivers with their arms falling off because pushing it for an hour, qualifying every time you go out, it’s going to be tough.”

HIDEKI MUTOH (No. 27 Formula Dream, third fastest): “I am a bit disappointed with how the second session ended, but until then I was doing well and the car felt very good. We were going to try one more set of tires at the end but we ran out of time. All in all we finished third fastest so I am pretty happy.  I am not sure about the weather tomorrow but I am looking forward to the qualifying session.”

JUSTIN WILSON (No. 02 McDonald’s Racing Team, fourth fastest): “This morning was good. The car felt pretty good straight out of the trailer. The team has worked pretty hard for the past five weeks now, and this is the first chance we’ve really had to try it on a road course. And so far, so good. I think we’re in reasonable shape. You never like to get too carried away but so far I feel like my McDonald’s car is quick and now it’s time to work on the race setup.”

WILL POWER (No. 8 Aussie Vineyard-Team Australia, fifth fastest): “This was a much better practice session for KVRT Aussie Vineyards – Team Australia. The car earlier was really out of the window, but we worked out a couple of things. The team made the adjustments we needed to make and now it is much better to drive, much more for my style, so I am looking forward to tomorrow’s qualifying. Hopefully, we can make a couple more improvements and we will see how we go.”

FIRESTONE INDY LIGHTS POST-PRACTICE QUOTES:

RAPHAEL MATOS (No. 27 Automatic Fire Sprinklers, Inc., fastest): “The day went pretty smooth. We were able to be the quickest in both sessions. In the first session, it was very slippery. I definitely thought the performance of the car was better in the second session when we had more grip in the track. We were able to try different aero configurations and setups for qualifying. The AFS/Andretti Green team did a great job. I think we’ll have a strong car for qualifying and the race tomorrow.” (About street course racing): “The last two years I raced in a series with a lot of street courses. I had to learn how to adapt quickly. You have to take your time and remember there’s walls around you. You can’t make a mistake. You can’t drive 100 percent, but you may drive 95 percent. You just need to get a car that is comfortable for you so that you can go fast.”

J.R. HILDEBRAND (No. 25 RLR/Andersen Racing, second fastest): “Like Raphael, I raced in (Champ Car) Atlantics, so I have some general road course experience. It’s my first time here, and it’s a little different from what I’m used to. It’s a good showing for us and a good showing for the team. I’m really proud of the guys. We’ve come out the gates really strong, and there’s no reason that we can’t keep getting better.” (About the hometown race for the team): “It’s a big race for the guys on the team since they are so close to home. Half the team is sleeping in their own beds and just going home at night. We have a lot of people here and a lot of people are here from Allied, one the biggest sponsors for the team. It would be great to have a great showing here for all of them.”

Indy Car Combined Practice Results

Rank Car Driver Name Session Time Speed
1 3 Castroneves, Helio Practice 2 01:03.3068 102.359
2 11 Kanaan, Tony Practice 2 01:03.3680 102.260
3 27 Mutoh, Hideki Practice 2 01:03.4491 102.129
4 02 Wilson, Justin Practice 1 01:03.5210 102.014
5 8 Power, Will Practice 2 01:03.5983 101.890
6 34 Perera, Franck Practice 2 01:03.6346 101.831
7 4 Meira, Vitor Practice 2 01:03.6505 101.806
8 26 Andretti, Marco Practice 2 01:03.6576 101.795
9 9 Dixon, Scott Practice 2 01:03.7358 101.670
10 5 Servia, Oriol Practice 2 01:03.7377 101.667
11 17 Hunter-Reay, Ryan Practice 2 01:03.7379 101.666
12 6 Briscoe, Ryan Practice 2 01:03.8044 101.560
13 14 Manning, Darren Practice 2 01:03.9905 101.265
14 06 Rahal, Graham Practice 1 01:04.1189 101.062
15 18 Junqueira, Bruno Practice 2 01:04.2090 100.920
16 15 Rice, Buddy Practice 1 01:04.2406 100.871
17 10 Wheldon, Dan Practice 2 01:04.2912 100.791
18 36 Bernoldi, Enrique Practice 2 01:04.5261 100.424
19 33 Viso, Ernesto Practice 1 01:04.6057 100.301
20 7 Patrick, Danica Practice 2 01:04.7718 100.044
21 23 Bell, Townsend Practice 2 01:04.7961 100.006
22 24 Howard, Jay Practice 1 01:04.8687 99.894
23 2 Foyt IV, AJ Practice 2 01:05.3497 99.159
24 20 Carpenter, Ed Practice 2 01:05.7426 98.566
25 19 Moraes, Mario Practice 2 01:05.8624 98.387
26 25 Roth, Marty Practice 2 01:08.7802 94.213

Feedback can be sent to feedback@autoracing1.com

Go to our forums to discuss this article