Matty Brabham endures tough Indy Lights debut
Young Matthew Brabham has claimed ninth place in his Indy Lights ice-breaker as his team-mate went on to score an emphatic victory on the streets of St Petersburg.
Starting from third, Brabham held his position until shortly after a restart when he slid wide and brushed the wall at the exit of turn 3 resulting in a puncture to his left rear tyre.
He managed to nurse the car back to the pits before returning to the battle however the ensuing drama had cost him a lap.
“It was looking good there at the start… I just made a mistake and clipped the wall; my own fault,” Brabham said.
“I’m disappointed in myself and disappointed for the team – I let the United Fiber & Data/Mazda guys down.
“Mistakes happen, so I’ll forget about this one and start looking forward to Long Beach.”
His Andretti Autosports team-mate Zach Veach pinged into the lead from second on the grid to lead all 39 laps.
Poleman Gabby Chaves was second with Jack Harvey the first rookie home in third.
Nine of the 12 starters are in their rookie Indy Lights year.