The IZOD IndyCar Series has a new race winner among its ranks, after Andretti Autosport's James Hinchcliffe produced a flawless display to win the 2013 season opener at St Petersburg, Florida after starting from fourth place on the grid.

Initially it looked as though pole sitter Will Power and his Penske team mate Helio Castroneves had the measure of the field, but after problems struck Power mid-race Hinchcliffe was in position to take advantage of a slight mistake by Castroneves going into turn 1 during the final restart to claim the lead, which he held onto through to the chequered flag despite Castroneves' best efforts.

Hinchcliffe's team mate Marco Andretti managed to steal third place in the closing minutes from KV Racing's Simona de Silvestro, who had her best race in her IndyCar career to date but suffered from lack of rear grip in the final stint which dropped her to sixth place at the finish. Series rookie Tristan Vautier was another star of the race early on, running as high as fourth before being sidelined by mechanical issues.

A number of incidents and technical gremlins hit the 25-car field, including reigning series champion Ryan Hunter-Reay, Oriol Servi? and Josef Newgarden. Dario Franchitti was the first retirement after understeering into the wall on lap 18.

Race results

1. #27 James Hinchcliffe Andretti Chevrolet 2hrs 22mins 12.5502secs after 110 laps
2. #3 Helio Castroneves Penske Chevrolet + 1.0982s
3. #25 Marco Andretti Andretti Chevrolet + 16.3664s
4. #11 Tony Kanaan KV Racing Chevrolet + 19.6083s
5. #9 Scott Dixon Ganassi Honda + 20.7627s
6. #78 Simona de Silvestro KV Racing Chevrolet + 20.789s
7. #5 EJ Viso Andretti-HVM Chevrolet + 20.8229s
8. #14 Takuma Sato AJ Foyt Honda + 21.1878s
9. #19 Justin Wilson Dale Coyne Honda + 21.6832s
10. #98 Alex Tagliani Bryan Herta Honda + 22.5569s
11. #7 Sebastien Bourdais Dragon Chevrolet + 22.7354s
12. #83 Charlie Kimball Ganassi Honda + 24.5429s
13. #15 Graham Rahal Rahal Honda + 37.5324s
14. #20 Ed Carpenter ECR Chevrolet + 45.2054s
15. #16 James Jakes Rahal Honda + 45.7793s
16. #12 Will Power Penske Chevrolet + 3 laps


17. #22 Oriol Servi? Panther-DRR Chevrolet + 6 laps Contact
18. #1 Ryan Hunter-Reay Andretti Chevy + 31 laps Mechanical
19. #4 JR Hildebrand Panther Chevy + 32 laps Contact
20. #6 Sebastian Saavedra Dragon Chevy + 38 laps Contact
21. #55 Tristan Vautier Schmidt Honda + 41 laps Mechanical
22. #18 Ana Beatriz Dale Coyne Honda + 55 laps Mechanical
23. #67 Josef Newgarden SFHR Honda + 60 laps Mechanical
24. #77 Simon Pagenaud Schmidt Honda + 84 laps Mechanical
25. #10 Dario Franchitti Ganassi Honda + 92 laps Contact