Juan Pablo Montoya secured his second consecutive victory around the streets of St Petersburg to start the 2016 Verizon IndyCar Series season in the best possible manner on Sunday.
The former Champ Car champion and ex-Formula 1 and Nascar racer defeated Team Penske team-mate Simon Pagenaud to secure his fourth win for the team since he returned to single seater racing in 2014.
Montoya was running a new paint scheme for the first time at St Petersburg, with both he and Will Power’s #12 entry running in silver to celebrate fifty years of Penske.
“It was good. The Chevy was good all day,” said race winner Montoya. “It was exciting to have a new paint scheme (on his car) and come out and win with it.
“It’s just awesome. We started the year last year like this. I felt this morning we had a really good car and it paid off.”
Montoya revealed to the press after the race that the pressure is always on to take victories when part of the Penske team, and insists he can take a lot more wins in 2016 on the back of the opening race’s performance.
“To come back here after being down, start the season with a win again, it shows everybody we’re here,” said Montoya. “That’s good. I feel like we can get a lot of wins this year.
“To be honest with you, when you’re in Team Penske, there’s always that pressure that you got to win races. You have to win. You’re in the best car, you got to win races.”