IndyCar Predictions and Prognostications: St. Pete Effete


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From the Latin, effete is usually defined as either “weak,” “soft” or “ineffectual.” Our initial prediction is that the new aero kits will prove to be all of the above. Why beat around the bush? We came right out and said IndyCar aero kits look ugly, silly and new fangled. We forthrightly continue to stand by those views. After all, when you’re right you’re right. Aero kits will allow the mega teams to separate from the pack due to testing, number of cars, resources and the like. Get ready for the opposite of parity and for plentiful Penske celebrations.


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Prediction number two is regarding the overall show in St Pete on Sunday. It’ll be the eleventh race IndyCar has held on the streets of St. Pete in addition to a Champ car race in 2003 and it’s been the scene of some memorable moments. Graham Rahal’s first and only win came there in 2008 making him the youngest winner of an IndyCar race at age 19. The late Dan Wheldon’s 2005 victory in IndyCar’s inaugural race at St. Pete was another instance that stands out.


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The show will be decent to fair, with teams and drivers still learning the new cars and bits and the safety/cleanup crews working overtime betwixt the narrow concrete walls of the temporary road course picking up all those broken bits. Expect the race to be slow at points due to the cautions, but also exciting at the start, restarts and perhaps the finish. There’ll even be a surprise winner thrown in for good measure.


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The pole will be won by Mad Will Power and Penske, although Frenchman Sebastian Bourdais and KV have a shot at it. The initial pole session of the new year with newly kitted cars is anybody’s guess, though both these drivers are exceptionally quick and Bourdais holds the record, though on a different track configuration.


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Our pick for first out of the race is Colombian Gabby “Pat” Chavez, a rookie with the smallest of small teams in Bryan Herta Autosport. Gabby’s an Indy Lights winner but perhaps way over his head when it comes to racing the big cars on a grand-ish stage. He pancakes the wall early on, smearing that beautiful black and white Bowers & Wilkins paint job all to pieces.


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We predicted the winner weeks ago and we see no reason to change it now. It’ll be Helio Castro Neves prevailing over his teammates and the rest for his 30th career win. Helio the Fence Climber will be back Sunday in west Florida, setting a tone of Penske domination early in the season with several “Helio-isms” to look forward to – “De Hitachi car was really good!” If the Cap’n can’t pull it off, then keep an eye on KV Racing‘s entries as the team’s been getting its act together of late.


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The biggest surprise of the race will be either KV’s hot footed rookie driver Stefano “faster than Andretti” Coletti who’s been exactly that in testing or CFH Racing’s Luca Filippi, who’s shown speed but lacks experience and patience. Another surprise at least to some will be the poor performance of the Hondas all weekend. Too many wings!


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We’re looking forward to IndyCar shaking off the dust of a seven month off season. Check back often for full coverage and updates throughout the week.

7 thoughts on “IndyCar Predictions and Prognostications: St. Pete Effete

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