Robby Gordon took the opening victory of the SPEED Energy Formula Off-Road Presented by Traxxas season at the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg in weather that he called the worst conditions he has ever competed in over a more than 30-year career.
The race lead was fought between Gordon, 16-year-old Jerett Brooks, Justin Lofton and PJ Jones over 10 laps trading places as other spun out in the wet conditions.
Brooks put in an impressive performance with his conservative style, keeping up with the leaders as they spun out in front of him. Lofton looked set for the victory as the race was coming to a close but spun for a second time in the race at Turn 1, allowing Gordon through to take the win. Brooks finished second and Lofton recovered to take third place.
“That was a lot of fun, but it was probably the slipperiest conditions I have ever raced in,” said Gordon.
16-year-old Gavin Harlein who only sat in a Stadium Super Truck for the first time Friday kept his head and came home fourth while Apdaly Lopez rounded out the top five. Scotty Steele spun his way to sixth place, while Jones and former IndyCar star Davey Hamilton finished just ahead of ninth-place Sheldon Creed who retired with mechanical issues.
“I have to thank IndyCar and the Green Savoree team (promoters of the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg) for allowing us to race here in front of so many great race fans. It was a really good race despite the rain and we’re looking forward to putting on another good show tomorrow.” added Gordon.
The series will run its second round Sunday immediately preceding the IndyCar season opener.