Power Surges To Win In Brazil
The Will Power Show headed on down to Brazil for the weekend and it was a good down there as it has been up here: Power got the pole and the IZOD IndyCar Series victory.
The victory in the streets of Sao Paulo was the third straight for the Team Penske driver.
The victory was the fourth straight in four 2012 races for Penske.
Finishing second was Ryan Hunter-Reay of Andretti Autosport – who, like Power was driving a Chevrolet-powered Dallara DW12 – while Takuma Sato of Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing was third in a Honda-powered Dallara.
Power, driving the No. 12 Verizon Penske car, held off Hunter-Reay on a lap 71 restart and won by
0.9045 of a second.
“Very happy to get that third win here and third in a row,” Power said. “We need to make it four in a row at the most important race next.”
That net race, of course, is the Indianapolis 500.
“(The final restart) was the key to winning. Ryan (Hunter-Reay) got a really good jump,” Power said. “I knew I just had to go like you wouldn’t believe through the first complex of corners because I knew he could get a run on me. Ryan is one of the hardest guys you will ever race; he never gives up. Full credit to the Verizon guys, Chevy and Team Penske. These guys make it possible. We did it three for three.”
Sato, who started 25th because of an unapproved Honda engine change and overcame a lap-12 pit lane speed violation penalty, earned his first IZOD IndyCar Series podium finish.
“It is a fantastic feeling to finish third,” Sato said. “It was an eventful race starting from the back of the grid. I needed to fight back so hard to get the positions back. The first part of the race was really hard, not necessarily on the overtaking but to follow the strategy, and at one stage we had a pit speed penalty but we gradually moved up. One-by-one we overtook cars which was very exciting. In the end, the restart got me into a great place; it was very exciting for me. There is always opportunity on a restart but you never know until you hit the brake because there is no plan basically.
“When Helio and Dario were in front of me, two wide, initially I thought there was no chance but when I saw their braking point was earlier than I expected I saw a little opportunity to dive inside. I was confident that I would make the corner so I was very excited. Finally, after a difficult weekend, it is a relief to get this result and I am really pleased to bring the team a third place and see the first checkered flag of the season. It was a great day.”
Power is the first driver since Scott Dixon in 2007 to win three consecutive races (Watkins Glen, Nashville, Mid-Ohio).
Power inherited the point when Dixon pitted under caution on Lap 64, held off Hunter-Reay on the Lap 67 restart, which quickly turned into a Turn 1 parking lot that collected, among others, Dixon. Recognizing possibly his final opportunity to overtake Power, Hunter-Reay moved to the outside in Turn 1 of the lap 71 green flag.
Helio Castroneves overtook front-row starter Dario Franchitti on that restart to finish fourth. Franchitti’s No. 10 Lexar Media car for Target Chip Ganassi Racing was bumped from behind on a Lap 26 restart in Turn 1 to drop to 22nd.
Power leaves Brazil with a 45-point lead over Castroneves.
Results Sunday of the Itaipava Sao Paulo Indy 300 presented by Nestle IZOD IndyCar Series event on the 2.536 mile Sao Paulo Street Circuit, with order of finish, starting position in parentheses, driver, chassis-engine, laps completed and reason out (if any):
1. (1) Will Power, Dallara-Chevy, 75, Running
2. (5) Ryan Hunter-Reay, Dallara-Chevy, 75, Running
3. (25) Takuma Sato, Dallara-Honda, 75, Running
4. (18) Helio Castroneves, Dallara-Chevy, 75, Running
5. (2) Dario Franchitti, Dallara-Honda, 75, Running
6. (4) James Hinchcliffe, Dallara-Chevy, 75, Running
7. (14) JR Hildebrand, Dallara-Chevy, 75, Running
8. (15) Charlie Kimball, Dallara-Honda, 75, Running
9. (13) EJ Viso, Dallara-Chevy, 75, Running
10. (12) Rubens Barrichello, Dallara-Chevy, 75, Running
11. (23) Oriol Servia, Dallara-Lotus, 75, Running
12. (16) Simon Pagenaud, Dallara-Honda, 74, Running
13. (11) Tony Kanaan, Dallara-Chevy, 74, Running
14. (10) Marco Andretti, Dallara-Chevy, 74, Running
15. (17) James Jakes, Dallara-Honda, 74, Running
16. (6) Graham Rahal, Dallara-Honda, 74, Running
17. (3) Scott Dixon, Dallara-Honda, 74, Running
18. (22) Sebastien Bourdais, Dallara-Lotus, 74, Running
19. (7) Mike Conway, Dallara-Honda, 73, Running
20. (19) Ana Beatriz, Dallara-Chevy, 73, Running
21. (20) Ed Carpenter, Dallara-Chevy, 72, Running
22. (26) Justin Wilson, Dallara-Honda, 66, Mechanical
23. (8) Josef Newgarden, Dallara-Honda, 61, Contact
24. (21) Simona de Silvestro, Dallara-Lotus, 28, Contact
25. (9) Ryan Briscoe, Dallara-Chevy, 21, Contact
26. (24) Katherine Legge, Dallara-Lotus, 20, Contact
Winners average speed: 88.945
Time of Race: 02:08:18.2816
Margin of victory: .9045 of a second
Cautions: 5 for 15 laps
Lead changes: 5 among 5 drivers
Power 1 – 51
Castroneves 53 – 54
Dixon 56 – 63
Power 64 – 75No Comment