Sebastien Bourdais started the day in last place. He finished in first.
Bourdais took the St. Petersburg Grand Prix Sunday, beating reigning Series champion Simon Pagenaud by more than 10 seconds. Bourdais, who is from France but lives in St. Petersburg, started the day in 21st place – last – after a problem in qualifying.
“It’s probably the hardest race to recover. The (passing) windows are super narrow, and it’s difficult to pass,” Bourdais said. “We had a pretty good car, and I just threw it away. I really didn’t know what to do myself. To turn the result from yesterday to today, I just thank the guys.”
Bourdais earned his 36th career victory, which broke a tie with Bobby Unser for sixth on IndyCar’s all-time win list. It was the fifth career win for the Coyne team.
“From last to first, that’s about all you can do,” Coyne said, adding of his new hires, “we knew we’d be much better than we were before.”
Bourdais led 69 of the 110 laps to give Honda a much-needed victory over Chevrolet.
Scott Dixon finished third for Chip Ganassi Racing, in its first race back with Honda. Ryan Hunter-Reay was fourth for Andretti Autosport, and Honda appeared much improved with four drivers in the top five. Takuma Sato was fifth in his first race with Andretti.