O2 Racing race report

St. Pete

O2 Racing Begins Season Strong

O2 Racing began the 2011 Firestone Indy Lights season with an exciting weekend at the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg. Peter Dempsey and the #36 Pulse car raced their way to the podium finishing in third place. Mikael Grenier and the #63 CellSafety car battled from the back of the field to finish 7th.

Peter Dempsey in the O2 Racing 36 Pulse/MicroBiology International car took the lead on the first turn of the first lap from his fifth position on the grid. He held the lead for the first 11 laps, when eventual winner Josef Newgarden overtook him in turn 5 of lap 12. Dempsey stayed with the lead pack dropping back to fourth in the middle segment of the race. A late race full course caution grouped the field together and the #36 car gained one additional position on the final restart putting Dempsey and O2 Racing on the Podium.

Mikael Grenier ran an impressive race as well. The 63 car suffered a mechanical issue in the Saturday morning practice sending Mik into the tires and damaging the nose of the CellSafety car. The O2 team worked diligently to bring the 63 car back to competition level, but unfortunately missed qualifying. This meant Mik would start from the rear of the field.

Undeterred, Mik gained four positions in the first lap. He drove a very smart race, conserving his tires, applying pressure when needed and consistently moving up through the field. When the late cautions fell, the young Canadian driver took advantage, having saved his equipment for such an opportunity. He gained two more spots by the time the checkered flag fell finishing the race in 7th position.

O2 Racing Team owner Mark Olson states,

It was a pretty good weekend for us. We knew we had a great team assembled – drivers, equipment, and crew. So it was nice to get a chance to show it on the race track. We couldn’t be prouder of Peter and Mik, they both did a great job on and off the track.

The O2 Racing team will compete at Barber Motorsports Park April 7-10.

- source: o2 racing

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About this article
Series INDYLIGHTS
Tags dempsey, grenier, o2 racing, st. pete