Will Power takes Barber IndyCar victory
|By Mark Glendenning||Sunday, April 1st 2012, 20:52 GMT|
Will Power saw off a late challenge from Scott Dixon to take a superb win in Sunday's IndyCar race at Barber Motorsports Park.
The Penske driver started from ninth on the grid, but a combination of aggressive strategy and a bit of misfortune on Dixon's part helped the Australian to take the lead through the final cycle of pitstops.
Dixon (Ganassi) launched a final attack on the restart, and the lead duo quickly dropped the rest of the pack. The Kiwi was able to keep Power close initially before the Australian finally managed to open a gap. The final margin was 3.3 seconds.
Until just before the final round of stops, Dixon had the advantage. But after losing time behind HVM's Simona de Silvestro, he suffered a slow pitstop, which was compounded by having to then wait for EJ Viso's KV car to get out of the way before he could be released back into the pitlane. The time lost was enough for Power to take the lead, and after Dixon's pursuit was halted by fading tyres, the result was sealed.
St Petersburg winner Helio Castroneves was third for Penske, although he had to see off a determined charge from Ganassi's Graham Rahal to secure the place.
Despite Barber's processional reputation, the race was peppered with overtaking from the beginning. The combination of passing and differing strategies made for constant position changes, with one of the main beneficiaries being Dario Franchitti (Ganassi), who managed to cross the line in 10th place after starting 18th.
The reigning champion spent the final phase of the race in combat with Dragon Racing's Sebastien Bourdais, who delivered the Lotus engine's first top 10 finish when he crossed the line in ninth, and Marco Andretti (Andretti Autosport), who was classified 11th after spending more or less the entire afternoon either attacking or defending.
Rubens Barrichello (KV) took a step forward in his adaptation to IndyCar by finishing eighth, capping his afternoon with a passing move on Andretti in the final laps.
Results - 90 laps: Pos Driver Team/Car Time/Gap 1. Will Power Penske DW12-Chevrolet 2h01m40.1127s 2. Scott Dixon Ganassi DW12-Honda + 3.3709s 3. Helio Castroneves Penske DW12-Chevrolet + 19.1150s 4. Graham Rahal Ganassi DW12-Honda + 19.3395s 5. Simon Pagenaud Schmidt-Hamilton DW12-Honda + 20.1050s 6. James Hinchcliffe Andretti DW12-Chevrolet + 23.3093s 7. Mike Conway Foyt DW12-Honda + 24.5552s 8. Rubens Barrichello KV DW12-Chevrolet + 25.4023s 9. Sebastien Bourdais Dragon DW12-Lotus + 27.1815s 10. Dario Franchitti Ganassi DW12-Honda + 32.7377s 11. Marco Andretti Andretti DW12-Chevrolet + 33.5038s 12. Ryan Hunter-Reay Andretti DW12-Chevrolet + 35.8730s 13. Oriol Servia Dreyer & Reinbold DW12-Lotus + 37.8944s 14. Ryan Briscoe Penske DW12-Chevrolet + 41.6742s 15. JR Hildebrand Panther DW12-Chevrolet + 44.5059s 16. James Jakes Coyne DW12-Honda + 54.5343s 17. Josef Newgarden Fisher DW12-Honda + 1m00.6182s 18. EJ Viso KV DW12-Chevrolet + 1 lap 19. Justin Wilson Coyne DW12-Honda + 1 lap 20. Simona de Silvestro HVM DW12-Lotus + 1 lap 21. Tony Kanaan KV DW12-Chevrolet + 1 lap 22. Ed Carpenter Carpenter DW12-Chevrolet + 2 laps 23. Katherine Legge Dragon DW12-Lotus + 5 laps Did not finish: Takuma Sato Rahal DW12-Honda 52 laps Charlie Kimball Ganassi DW12-Honda 45 laps Alex Tagliani BHA DW12-Lotus 0 laps