Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg
St. Petersburg, FL
12 p.m. EDT Sunday, April 25, 2021
NBC and NBC Peacock
IndyCar Radio Network and SiriusXM
- Honda claimed the initial lead in the 2021 INDYCAR Manufacturers’ Championship with Alex Palou’s victory Sunday at the season-opening Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama.
- As a result, Honda holds a 17-point lead in the Manufacturers’ Championship, with 90 points to 73 for rival Chevrolet. The company is seeking its fourth consecutive NTT INDYCAR SERIES Manufacturers’ Championship in 2021.
- Palou also takes the early-season lead in the Drivers’ Championship standings, with 53 points to 41 for Team Penske’s Will Power. Palou’s Chip Ganassi Racing teammate, defending and six-time INDYCAR champion Scott Dixon, is third with 35 points.
- Seven wins in 2020 brought Honda the company’s ninth INDYCAR Manufacturers’ Championship, and third consecutive title, with Honda driver Scott Dixon prevailing to win his sixth Drivers’ Championship, highest among all active drivers in the series.
- Honda will present an impressive lineup in St. Petersburg, all utilizing the Honda HI21TT twin-turbo V6 engine and Dallara chassis. It begins with six-time, defending series champion and 2008 Indianapolis 500 victor Dixon, and includes two-time and reigning Indianapolis 500 winner Takuma Sato; 2012 series and 2014 Indianapolis 500 champion Ryan Hunter-Reay; 2016 Indianapolis 500 winner Alexander Rossi; multi-race winners Colton Herta, Graham Rahal and James Hinchcliffe.
- Following his remarkable run in NASCAR Cup competition, seven-time stock car racing champion Jimmie Johnson will continue his rookie INDYCAR SERIES season in his #48 Chip Ganassi Racing Honda.
- Accomplished Formula One racer Romain Grosjean will also has made the move to INDYCAR racing this year, driving the Honda-powered Dale Coyne Racing with RWR effort.
- Run in August due to the COVID pandemic, Sato’s victory at the 2020 Indianapolis 500 was the 250th for Honda in Indy car competition since 1994, and the 13th win by the manufacturer at the “500” – a record unmatched by any other OEM in the same period.
HONDA AT ST. PETERSBURG
- The 24-car starting field at the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg will once again be led to the green flag by the Honda Civic Type R Pace Car. The Civic Type R is the latest in a series of Honda Pace Cars utilized for NTT INDYCAR SERIES competition since 2006.
- The Boost Blue Honda Civic Type R Pace Car is powered by a turbocharged, intercooled 2.0-liter VTEC engine that produces more than 300 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque, Modifications for Pace Car duty include Honda Performance Development competition rotors, racing pads and stainless steel brake lines; an interior safety roll cage; and four-point racing harnesses.
- Honda-powered drivers have won nine of the 16 NTT INDYCAR SERIES races at St. Petersburg since the race weekend was revived for the 2005 season. The late Dan Wheldon led a Honda and Andretti Green Racing sweep of the top four positions in the inaugural 2005 event, with teammates Dario Franchitti, Tony Kanaan and Bryan Herta filling out the top-four finishing positions.
- Local resident Sebastien Bourdais is a two-time winner for Honda at St. Petersburg, driving for Dale Coyne Racing in both 2017 and ’18. Team Penske’s Helio Castroneves also won twice with Honda during the “single engine supplier” era, in 2006 and ’07.
- Other Honda-powered winners on the streets of St. Petersburg include Graham Rahal, with Newman-Haas-Lanigan Racing in 2008; Team Penske’s Ryan Briscoe and Will Power in 2009 and ’10, respectively; and Franchitti with Chip Ganassi Racing in 2011.
WHERE TO WATCH
- Sunday’s 100-lap Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg starts at 12 p.m. EDT, with live network television coverage on NBC. Complete, flag-to-flag race coverage also will be available on NBC Peacock, the NBC Sports App and the INDYCAR Radio Network.
- Honda Racing social media content and video links from St. Petersburg can be found on Instagram (www.instagram.com/hondaracing_hpd), Twitter (twitter.com/HondaRacing_HPD) and Facebook (www.facebook.com/HondaRacingHPD). Additional features and long-form videos can be found on the Honda Racing/HPD YouTube channel (https://www.youtube.com/HondaRacingHPDTV).