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Information contained in this news release is current as of the date of the press announcement, but may be subject to change without prior notice.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tokyo, March 11, 2019 --- Hitachi Automotive Systems, Ltd. announced today that Team Penske driver Josef Newgarden won the opening race of the 2019 IndyCar Series, which was held on March 10 on a street circuit in St. Petersburg, Florida. Team Penske is sponsored by Hitachi Automotive Systems and the Hitachi Group.
The St. Petersburg street circuit features an unusual layout that incorporates part of the runways of Albert Whitted Airport as well as downtown streets. The 1.8 mile course combines high-speed sections of wide runway with technical sections that feature a succession of tight corners. The circuit hosts the opening race of the IndyCar Series every year, and the race is 110 laps filled with numerous overtakes and exciting battles.
Josef Newgarden was second in qualifying, and lined up on the grid behind teammate and pole-sitter Will Power in the finals. The opening laps of the race saw two course cautions—during which overtaking is not permitted, while the latter stages were filled with rapid changes of position due both to tire changes and a flurry of mechanical issues and failures that afflicted Team Penske’s rivals. Amid the chaos, Newgarden maintained his position toward the front of the field and, when he came in for his second pit stop on lap 56, a faster tire-change enabled Newgarden to take the lead. There were occasions when, hindered by lapped cars, his rivals closed in behind; however, Newgarden demonstrated his characteristic tenacity and succeeded in defending his lead to the end of the race.
Newgarden’s victory, which was his first since last season’s 10th round at Road America, was built on a combination of his own superb performance and the exemplary strategies and pit work of his crew; it very much marked a promising start for his ambitions to win the 2019 Championship title. Teammate Will Power also secured a spot on the podium with a third-place finish, rounding out an outstanding start to the season for Team Penske.
Moving forward, Hitachi Automotive Systems will continue to sponsor the IndyCar Series and other motorsports. In so doing, the company aims to further raise awareness of the Hitachi brand and, at the same time, contribute to the promotion of motorsports.
Josef Newgarden demonstrates complete
control of his racecar
Newgarden (center) lifts the winner’s trophy
Hitachi Automotive Systems, Ltd. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Hitachi, Ltd., headquartered in Tokyo, Japan. The company is engaged in the development, manufacture, sales and services of automotive components, transportation related components, industrial machines and systems, and offers a wide range of automotive systems including engine powertrain systems, electric powertrain systems and integrated vehicle control systems.
For more information, please visit the company's website at