Helio Castroneves’ Victory Paces 6 Chevy-Powered Teams in the Top 10
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (March 25, 2012) – Helio Castroneves punctuated Chevrolet’s return to Indy car racing following a six-year absence by winning the IZOD IndyCar Series season-opening Grand Prix of St. Petersburg. Castroneves led 28 laps en route to his third career win at the 1.8 mile street course.
“This was a great effort for everyone,” said Castroneves, who moved into a tie for 13th place on IndyCar’s all-time list with his 26th career victory. “Chevy did a great job to keep everything under control. We had some issues in the beginning that we have to raise the revs so that we can have the battery, or something like that. But, to be honest, it didn’t upset us, it makes our temperature in the engine very nice and everything went really smooth.”
Castroneves, who drives for legendary team owner Roger Penske, paced six Team Chevy drivers in the top eight: Ryan Hunter-Reay (third), James Hinchcliffe (fourth), Ryan Briscoe (fifth), pole-sitter Will Power (seventh) and E.J. Viso (eighth).
“This weekend was very satisfying from the perspective that all of the Chevrolet teams worked together to prepare for this first race, and the outcome was terrific,” said Jim Campbell, Chevrolet’s North American Vice President of Performance Vehicles and Motorsports. “I’m very proud of all of the teams that were here competing. This was a terrific day for all of the teams, and for Chevrolet as we introduce the twin-turbo Indy V-6.”
The victory was Chevrolet’s first in the series since Sept. 21, 2003, when Sam Hornish Jr. won at then-California Speedway.
“This is a great day for Chevrolet who made the commitment to come back into IndyCar racing,” said Roger Penske. “This is really an event that shows the commitment in the automobile industry in the U.S. All the engineers within Chevrolet teaming with Ilmor to bring a product to the marketplace like this car in one year is amazing.
“It’s going to be a great season. It’s great to be back racing.”
Chevrolet—now with a purpose-built Chevy IndyCar twin-turbocharged, direct-injected V-6—previously competed in Indy-style competition from 1986-93 and 2002-05 with a V-8, winning 104 races—including seven Indianapolis 500 wins—and powering six driver champions.
Chevrolet will next compete in IZOD IndyCar Series next weekend at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Ala., on April 1, 2012.
Founded in 1911 in Detroit, Chevrolet is now one of the world’s largest car brands, doing business in more than 140 countries and selling more than 4 million cars and trucks a year. Chevrolet provides customers with fuel-efficient vehicles that feature spirited performance, expressive design and high quality. More information on Chevrolet models can be found at www.chevrolet.com.