Juan Pablo Montoya held off Penske team-mate Will Power to open the 2015 IndyCar season with a victory in St Petersburg.
Power had been in command for much of the afternoon before conceding the lead to the ex-Formula 1 racer during the final round of stops.
Montoya tried to capitalise by opening a gap, but the need to conserve fuel and tyres forced him to back off and allowed Power to close down what had been a four second lead in just a few laps.
The battle between them was intense but short: Power made an optimistic move with a handful of laps to go, Montoya shut the door (and damaged Power's front wing in the process), and then finished the job by making quicker work of the lapped traffic in the final run to the flag.
"It was a good day," Montoya said. "Everybody did an amazing job.
"I saw [Power] trying a move and he was way too far back; no way I was going to give him the position.
"It's a shame we touched, but it's all good. It's racing."
Power admitted that his move was an optimistic one.
"It was my only chance," he said. "If I hadn't damaged my wing I'd maybe have had another shot, but man, he was so fast."
Ganassi's Tony Kanaan rounded out the podium after passing Helio Castroneves during his second stop, thus disrupting what would have otherwise been a Penske 1-2-3-4.
Castroneves held on to fourth despite losing some time on a restart, while Simon Pagenaud overcame minor damage from contact to finish his first race with the team in fifth.
Ryan Hunter-Reay recovered from an early mistake that dropped him to 17th to finish seventh behind Sebastien Bourdais, making him the highest-placed Honda-powered driver.
Behind the leaders, the race was a scrappy affair interrupted several times for cautions to remove debris; an apparent indicator of the new aero kits' propensity to shed winglets during contact.
Several cars needed to pit for new nosecones during the afternoon, but few drivers were more in the wars than Simona de Silvestro.
Her IndyCar comeback race was punctuated by two collisions; the first being a friendly-fire incident involving Andretti team-mates Marco Andretti and Carlos Munoz, and the second being a misjudged passing move than ended with her spearing into James Jakes.
The latter earned her a drive-through for avoidable contact; a punishment that was also meted out to Graham Rahal after he hit the crippled car of Charlie Kimball.
Amid all the messiness, Jack Hawksworth capitalised on an aggressive pit strategy to climb from last to eighth, putting him just ahead of Luca Filippi, who spent most of his maiden outing for CFH Racing nursing a broken wing.
RESULTS - 110 LAPS:
|1||Juan Pablo Montoya||Team Penske||Dallara/Chevrolet||2h16m58.1079s|
|2||Will Power||Team Penske||Dallara/Chevrolet||0.9930s|
|3||Tony Kanaan||Chip Ganassi Racing||Dallara/Chevrolet||11.1685s|
|4||Helio Castroneves||Team Penske||Dallara/Chevrolet||11.4376s|
|5||Simon Pagenaud||Team Penske||Dallara/Chevrolet||12.3909s|
|6||Sebastien Bourdais||KVSH Racing||Dallara/Chevrolet||16.4923s|
|7||Ryan Hunter-Reay||Andretti Autosport||Dallara/Honda||27.7102s|
|8||Jack Hawksworth||AJ Foyt Enterprises||Dallara/Honda||34.9206s|
|9||Luca Filippi||CFH Racing||Dallara/Chevrolet||38.1564s|
|10||Marco Andretti||Andretti Autosport||Dallara/Honda||38.6910s|
|11||Graham Rahal||Rahal Letterman Lanigan||Dallara/Honda||40.3895s|
|12||Josef Newgarden||CFH Racing||Dallara/Chevrolet||51.7710s|
|13||Takuma Sato||AJ Foyt Enterprises||Dallara/Honda||52.2688s|
|14||Carlos Munoz||Andretti Autosport||Dallara/Honda||56.7210s|
|15||Scott Dixon||Chip Ganassi Racing||Dallara/Chevrolet||59.6613s|
|16||James Hinchcliffe||Schmidt Peterson Motorsports||Dallara/Honda||1m02.4581s|
|17||Gabby Chaves||Bryan Herta Autosport||Dallara/Honda||1m03.0667s|
|18||Simona de Silvestro||Andretti Autosport||Dallara/Honda||1m03.1422s|
|19||Sage Karam||Chip Ganassi Racing||Dallara/Chevrolet||1 Lap|
|20||Stefano Coletti||KV Racing Technology||Dallara/Chevrolet||1 Lap|
|21||Charlie Kimball||Chip Ganassi Racing||Dallara/Chevrolet||1 Lap|
|22||James Jakes||Schmidt Peterson Motorsports||Dallara/Honda||10 Laps|
|23||Francesco Dracone||Dale Coyne Racing||Dallara/Honda||Mechanical|
|24||Carlos Huertas||Dale Coyne Racing||Dallara/Honda||Mechanical|