Power wins in slippery Sao Paulo

Will Power drove through the spray to win in Brazil

Will Power drove through the spray to win in Brazil

Will Power has taken a fine victory in the rain-delayed Sao Paulo Indy 300.

Team Penske’s pit strategy allowed Power to sweep to the front with eight laps remaining, to lead home Graham Rahal, Ryan Briscoe, Dario Franchitti and Oriol Servia.

Having led when the red flag was called after 15 laps on Sunday, Power controlled the restart, before leading the field down pit road for wet tyres at the end of the lap as rain began to fall.

The first caution was soon called for the stranded cars of Ryan Hunter-Reay and Sebastien Bourdais, allowing an aggresive Takuma Sato to pass Power on the double-file restart.

Championship leader Dario Franchitti found the tyre barriers at Turn 1 on Lap 33, but kept his engine running and rejoined, only for the full-course yellow to appear for a spun Alex Tagliani a lap later.

The yellow led to the race’s defining moment, with Sato, Marco Andretti (running third) and EJ Viso (running fifth) among those choosing not to pit, while the other top-six runners, Power, Servia and Briscoe, led a group of cars into the lane.

With Power restarting eighth, Viso made it a KV Lotus one-two by passing Andretti for second shortly after the race resumed. It was not to last for Viso however, as the Venezuelan was black flagged for blocking five laps later.

Andretti made his pitstop just inside fifteen minutes remaining, and took an ambitious gamble for slicks. The American did well not to wall the car, and eventually slid his way to 14th.

Sato abandoned his futile fuel strategy and pitted with less than 10 minutes remaining, handing the lead to Power, who had calmly made his way by Dario Franchitti, Graham Rahal and Sebastian Saavedra since the last restart.

Winner last time out at Long Beach, Mike Conway took sixth at the flag, from Justin Wilson, who was one of many to endure a spin during the race, and Sato.

Rookies James Hinchcliffe, JR Hildebrand and Saavedra filled ninth through 11th, while Scott Dixon led home Viso and Andretti in 12th – the Chip Ganassi driver having brought out the caution with a Turn 2 spin on Lap 38.

Power has now won two of the season’s opening four races, and holds a 14 point lead over Franchitti in the championship standings.

See below for the full race result

1 Will Power Penske 2h04m05.2964s
2 Graham Rahal Ganassi + 4.6723s
3 Ryan Briscoe Penske + 7.9037s
4 Dario Franchitti Ganassi + 10.1470s
5 Oriol Servia Newman/Haas + 15.8188s
6 Mike Conway Andretti + 16.6775s
7 Justin Wilson Dreyer & Reinbold + 20.0131s
8 Takuma Sato KV + 23.0683s
9 James Hinchcliffe Newman/Haas + 25.2924s
10 JR Hildebrand Panther + 31.3172s
11 Sebastian Saavedra Conquest + 36.4261s
12 Scott Dixon Ganassi + 42.1974s
13 EJ Viso KV + 45.8266s
14 Marco Andretti Andretti + 1m14.5634s
15 James Jakes Dale Coyne + 1m16.2783s
16 Charlie Kimball Ganassi + 1 lap
17 Vitor Meira Foyt + 2 laps
18 Ryan Hunter-Reay Andretti + 5 laps
19 Alex Tagliani Sam Schmidt + 7 laps
20 Simona de Silvestro HVM + 9 laps
21 Helio Castroneves Penske + 9 laps
22 Tony Kanaan KV + 9 laps
23 Danica Patrick Andretti + 9 laps
DNF Ana Beatriz Dreyer & Reinbold 31 laps
DNF Raphael Matos AFS 28 laps
DNF Sebastien Bourdais Dale Coyne 20 laps

See below for the full championship standings

1 Will Power 168
2 Dario Franchitti 154
3 Oriol Servia 110
4 Mike Conway 102
5 Ryan Briscoe 101
6 Tony Kanaan 99
7 Alex Tagliani 85
8 Scott Dixon 84
9 Graham Rahal 82
10 Takuma Sato 80
11 Simona de Silvestro 78
12 Vitor Meira 77
13 Marco Andretti 70
14 Justin Wilson 70
15 Danica Patrick 69
16 JR Hildebrand 69
17 Helio Castroneves 68
18 Raphael Matos 67
19 James Hinchcliffe 66
20 Sebastian Saavedra 62
21 Charlie Kimball 58
22 James Jakes 55
23 Ryan Hunter-Reay 52
24 E.J. Viso 51
25 Sebastien Boursais 44
26 Ana Beatriz 40
27 Simon Pagenaud 24
28 Paul Tracy 14

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