Power breaks winless run at Indianapolis GP

Will Power pic: Indianapolis Motor Speedway Twitter

Will Power has taken his first win in eight races with a comfortable victory at the Grand Prix of Indianapolis.

While strategy saw his Team Penske Chevrolet team-mate Helio Castroneves lead the second stint of the race, Power regained the lead at his second pit stop and eventually took a 5.2s win.

Scott Dixon finished second in a Chip Ganassi Racing Honda and Ryan Hunter-Reay completed the podium in an Andretti Autosports Honda.

Having taken a track record pole, Power led the field away while team-mate Simon Pagenaud was shuffled back from seventh to ninth on the opening lap.

Worse-off was Tony Kanaan (Chip Ganassi Honda), who was pushed into a spin by Marco Andretti (Andretti Honda) at Turn 7, while Sebastien Bourdais (Dayle Coyne Honda) suffered a second DNF in a row when he pulled off with an engine problem on Lap 4.

Second-placed Castroneves pitted on Lap 22 and went against convention by staying on the quicker red tyres, with Power and Dixon stopping a lap later to change to blacks.

That call gave Castroneves the lead, which he stretched to just over 3s by the time the second pit stop cycle started just beyond the Lap 40 mark.

This time, Power was first into the lane on Lap 42, with he and Dixon back onto reds and Castroneves staying on reds.

Castroneves emerged in second despite a confusing pit stop in which his Team Penske crew lost power to their pit stand, the order remaining until the final set of pit stops started with Scott Dixon on Lap 63.

Dixon and then Power took brand new red tyres while Castroneves necessarily had to switch to black tyres.

The New Zealander got past car #3 on the track on Lap 69, by which time Power was already 7.8s up the road.

After a horror run of luck, the Queenslander could cruise to victory in a relatively straightforward race which ran without any cautions, his 30th IndyCar win and Team Penske’s third in a row.

“Dixon was closing there for a while so I was just really trying to manage the gap and manage the tyres because they degrade a lot,” said Power.

“You’ve just got to hit all your marks and if it’s your day, it’s your day.

“I have to say the Chevy engine was mega today, Chevy has done a great job and I know Honda got a little bit of a gain on it but we’re already back.

Dixon was 6.7s clear of Hunter-Reay in the end, while Pagenaud took fourth after Castroneves faded late in the race as one of only two to come home on black tyres.

He would cross the line fifth, ahead of Graham Rahal (Rahal Letterman Lanigan Honda), Max Chilton (Chip Ganassi Honda), Alex Rossi (Andretti Honda), Spencer Pigot (Ed Carpenter Chevrolet), and Juan Pablo Montoya (Team Penske Chevrolet).

Josef Newgarden finished 11th having served a chain of drive-through penalties for pit lane speeding.

The first came as the Team Penske driver passed a lapped car during what should have been his final exit from pit lane, while the second was for speeding during the first PLP.

Pagenaud continues to lead the championship while Power has moved from seventh to fifth, with practice for the Indianapolis 500 starting on Monday May 15 (local time).

Results: Grand Prix of Indianapolis

Pos Driver Grid Laps Race time Laps led Status Pit stops
1 Will Power 1 85 01:42:57.6108 61 Running 3
2 Scott Dixon 4 85 01:43:02.8938 Running 3
3 Ryan Hunter-Reay 8 85 01:43:09.6404 Running 3
4 Simon Pagenaud 7 85 01:43:14.6776 Running 3
5 Helio Castroneves 2 85 01:43:18.2180 24 Running 3
6 Graham Rahal 20 85 01:43:22.7147 Running 3
7 Max Chilton 14 85 01:43:23.3162 Running 3
8 Alexander Rossi 9 85 01:43:26.9322 Running 3
9 Spencer Pigot 16 85 01:43:34.1986 Running 3
10 Juan Pablo Montoya 5 85 01:43:39.4346 Running 3
11 Josef Newgarden 3 85 01:43:45.9954 Running 5
12 Takuma Sato 22 85 01:43:53.8320 Running 3
13 James Hinchcliffe 10 85 01:44:00.2913 Running 3
14 JR Hildebrand 21 84 01:43:04.1793 Running 3
15 Carlos Munoz 18 84 01:43:17.0360 Running 3
16 Marco Andretti 11 84 01:43:24.3250 Running 4
17 Conor Daly 15 84 01:43:25.8970 Running 3
18 Mikhail Aleshin 17 84 01:43:32.6904 Running 4
19 Ed Jones 13 84 01:43:39.1267 Running 4
20 Tony Kanaan 12 83 01:43:00.1030 Running 5
21 Charlie Kimball 19 32 00:39:46.7545 Off Course 2
22 Sebastien Bourdais 6 3 00:03:38.0338 Off Course 0

Championship points: After Round 5

Pos Driver Pts
1 Simon Pagenaud 191
2 Scott Dixon 181
3 Josef Newgarden 152
4 Helio Castroneves 149
5 Will Power 145
6 James Hinchcliffe 137
7 Sebastien Bourdais 136
8 Ryan Hunter-Reay 117
9 Alexander Rossi 99
10 Takuma Sato 97
11 Tony Kanaan 97
12 Ed Jones (R) 92
13 Graham Rahal 87
14 JR Hildebrand 87
15 Max Chilton 84
16 Carlos Muñoz 83
17 Mikhail Aleshin 79
18 Marco Andretti 71
19 Conor Daly 70
20 Charlie Kimball 70
21 Spencer Pigot 66
22 Ed Carpenter 26
23 Juan Pablo Montoya 20
24 Zach Veach 11

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