Montoya triumphs in St. Petersburg once again


Juan Pablo Montoya started the IndyCar season on a high note by winning the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg for a second successive year on Sunday.

The 40-year old controlled the closing laps to cross the finishing line 2.33 seconds ahead of Team Penske team-mate Simon Pagenaud, with Ryan Hunter-Reay (Andretti Autosport) taking third spot.

Ex-Formula One driver Montoya missed out on the title to Scott Dixon in the final race of last season, but made an encouraging start to his quest to go one better this time around.

Montoya said: "It was good. The Chevy was good all day. It was exciting to have a new paint scheme and come out and win with it. It's just awesome. 

"We started the year last year like this. I felt this morning we had a really good car and it paid off."

Team Penske were able to celebrate a 179th IndyCar victory in what is their 50th anniversary season and an eighth in 12 attempts in this race.

Helio Castroneves failed to make it an all-Team Penske podium after Hunter-Reay passed him three laps from the end.

Pole-sitter Will Power was unable to race after being diagnosed with mild concussion as a result of a crash on Friday, so Oriol Servia replaced him and finished 17th after being involved in a multi-car crash midway through the race.