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Old 09 Mar 2019, 12:41 pm
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Default Honda Racing: Hunter-Reay, Honda Set Opening-Day Pace in St. Petersburg

This release contains: 1 Related Document, 1 Photo

  • Ryan Hunter-Reay leads a 24-car field as 2019 season begins

  • Five Honda drivers post top-seven times in practice


As he did in 2018, Honda-powered Ryan Hunter-Reay again led the way in opening day practice to officially start the 2019 NTT IndyCar Series season in advance of Sunday's Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg. 


Even by NTT IndyCar Series standards, the 24-car field was incredibly close after a pair of Friday practice sessions, with less than three-tenths of a second separating the top 10, and less than eight-tenths of a second between first and 20th positions on the opening-day timesheet.


Marco Andretti ended the day an encouraging third quickest, while Colton Herta led the five rookies in the field and ran fourth on the day.  Alexander Rossi finished sixth overall, with previous St. Petersburg race winner James Hinchcliffe seventh, as Honda drivers claimed five of the top seven positions.


Activities on the temporary street circuit continue tomorrow with final practice and qualifying.  Sunday's 110-lap season-opening race starts at 1:30 p.m. EDT, with live network television coverage on the NBC Sports Network.


Ryan Hunter-Reay (Andretti Autosport Honda) quickest in opening-day practice: "We definitely made some changes between the sessions. At first, I thought the car was a bit of a handful, and it still is, we are right on the edge of tipping it over. But it was a good outing. The car is a handful at the moment; I'd like it to be a little bit more 'polite' in a few areas. We will put our heads together as a team and work to get this #28 DHL Honda up front, but it is a good first step."


NTT IndyCar Series Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg
Circuit: Bayfront Park (1.8-mile temporary street circuit) St. Petersburg, FL
2018 Winner: Sebastien Bourdais (DCR with Vasser-Sullivan Honda) 86.207 mph average
Weather: Sunny, warm, 78 degrees F


Top-10 Friday Practice Session Results:






























































































Ps.



Driver      



Team



Manufacturer



Best Time



Notes



  1.



Ryan Hunter-Reay



Andretti Autosport



Honda



1:00.8969



106.409 mph avg.



  2.



Spencer Pigot



Ed Carpenter Racing



Chevrolet



1:00.9812



 



  3.



Marco Andretti



Andretti Autosport



Honda



1:01.0351



 



  4.



Colton Herta-R



Harding Steinbrenner Racing



Honda



1:01.0776



 



  5.



Max Chilton



Carlin Racing



Chevrolet



1:01.1171



 



  6.



Alexander Rossi



Andretti Autosport



Honda



1:01.1388



 



  7.



James Hinchcliffe



Arrow Schmidt Peterson



Honda



1:01.1453



 



  8.



Charlie Kimball



Carlin Racing



Chevrolet



1:01.1681



 



  9.



Josef Newgarden



Team Penske



Chevrolet



1:01.1811



 



10.



Will Power



Team Penske



Chevrolet



1:01.1896



 



Other Honda Results














































































11.



Graham Rahal



Rahal Letterman Lanigan



Honda



1:01.2129



 



12.



Takuma Sato



Rahal Letterman Lanigan



Honda



1:01.2700



 



13.



Scott Dixon



Chip Ganassi Racing



Honda



1:01.4284



 



14.



Felix Rosenqvist-R



Chip Ganassi Racing            



Honda



1:01.5020



 



18.



Sebastien Bourdais



DCR with Vasser-Sullivan     



Honda



1:01.5635



 



19.



Marcus Ericsson-R



Schmidt Peterson Motorsports



Honda



1:01.6238



 



20.



Jack Harvey



Michael Shank Racing



Honda



1:01.6610



 



21.



Santino Ferrucci-R



Dale Coyne Racing                



Honda



1:01.6736



 



23.



Zach Veach



Andretti Autosport



Honda



1:02.0331



 



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