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Auto racing: Hinchcliffe wins IndyCar season-opener

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(GlobalPost/GlobalPost)

Canada's James Hinchcliffe won the IndyCar season-opening Grand Prix of St. Petersburg on Sunday for his first career victory in the series.

Hinchcliffe, driving for Andretti Autosport, passed Helio Castroneves for the lead after a restart on lap 85.

He then held off the Brazilian for the remaining 25 laps on the 1.8-mile street circuit.

Hinchcliffe is the first Canadian to win a US open-wheel series race since Paul Tracy took the chequered flag at Cleveland in 2007 in a Championship Auto Racing Teams series event.

Castroneves, who won here last year, settled for second place, with Hinchcliffe's teammate Marco Andretti third.

Brazil's Tony Kanaan and New Zealand's Scott Dixon rounded out the top-five.

Australian Will Power started from pole position and was running strongly until he was involved in a late crash with J.R. Hildebrand. He finished three laps back in 16th.

Scotland's Dario Franchitti hit a wall immediately after his first pit stop on lap nine.

The four-time IndyCar series champion was last in the 25-car field.

Reigning IndyCar champion Ryan Hunter-Reay was knocked out of contention by mechanical problems, but was eventually classified as the 18th finisher.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130324/auto-racing-hinchcliffe-wins-indycar-season-opener