Will Power took pole position for the third straight time in the 85-lap GoPro Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma this weekend, but it was team mate Ryan Briscoe who took the checkered flag, with Penske Racing claiming first and second place in this popular annual auto racing event. Briscoe crossed the finish line 0.4408 of a second ahead of Power in an exciting battle for first place. Calling his win a ‘confidence builder’, Briscoe was quoted as saying that he has always done well at Sonoma, having earned his first-ever pole position at the track in 2005, and it was great to finally get a win. As the seventh different winner in the thirteen race IZOD IndyCar Series this season, clearly the competition is stiff and the final two races are going to provide plenty of action.
Power had been in the lead for most of the GoPro Indy Grand Prix, but was caught behind slow traffic following his pit stop which cost him precious time. The hold up was as a result of a crash involving Josef Newgarden and Sebastien Bourdais where Bourdais lost control of his car, reportedly due to cold tires, and slammed Newgarden into a barrier. Both drivers escaped serious injury, with Newgarden injuring his left index finger. Briscoe took his pit stop on the following lap, giving him an advantage over Power and from there on out kept first place, noting that he had a ‘great battle with Will at the end’.
Other incidents in Sunday’s race included Alex Tagliani connecting with Ryan Hunter-Reay, spinning him out of the race with only ten laps to go. Hunter-Reay finished the race in 18th place. Driving for Penske Racing, Helio Castroneves finished sixth and picked up a penalty for making contact with Scott Dixon on the opening lap of the race.
The top ten in the IZOD IndyCar Series GoPro Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma were, in order: Ryan Briscoe, Will Power, Dario Franchitti, Rubens Barrichello, Graham Rahal, Helio Castroneves, Simon Pagenaud, JR Hildebrand, Alex Tagliani and Tony Kanaan. The final two races of the season are the Grand Prix of Baltimore on September 2, and the MATV 500 at Fontana on September 15.
The streets of Baltimore were transformed into a high speed raceway over the weekend of 2 September to 4 September 2011 for the inaugural Baltimore Grand Prix. The new race now forms part of both the American Le Mans Series and the IndyCar Series. A multi-year contract was signed between IndyCar and Baltimore Racing Development to secure the future of this event. The circuit was laid out past the Inner Harbor and through Baltimore’s downtown area. The course is 3.28 kilometers in length with the Pratt Street intersection being the start and finish line of the event. The first person to win the Baltimore Grand Prix was Will Power.
Last weekend Will Power was able to capture the IndyCar Grand Prix of Sonoma, and this past weekend he was able to grab another victory on this new course. This talented Australian race car driver seemed extremely confident as he negotiated his car around the hairpin turns and the parts of the course that were a little bumpy, and did not make one mistake while taking on the Baltimore Grand Prix. During the practice sessions, which took place on Friday, 2 September 2011, Power was able to secure the best times through the course and when race day arrived, he was able to lead for seventy of the seventy-five laps of the race. Power was extremely happy with what he called a “championship run”, but said that he was exhausted. The competition is most definitely heating up, as Power is now a mere five points behind Dario Franchitti, who is the current points leader, but could only manage a fourth position during the Baltimore Grand Prix.
Oriol Servia from Spain finished in second position, followed by Brazil’s Tony Kanaan. Fifth position was taken by Scott Dixon, with Danica Patrick in sixth, who will be moving over to NASCAR in three races time. The massive bottle of champagne that was sprayed out in victory was a crowning moment for Will Power, and he is looking forward to trying to deliver another spectacular performance in the next IndyCar event, which will be another road course at the Indy Japan 300 on 18 September 2011.
Sunday, 26 July 2011, the 2011 edition of the Edmonton Indy was held, and Will Power took on this event from second pole position, with Takuma Sato in pole position. It was a wonderful day for Power, who gained his fourth victory of the season and has slowly begun to narrow the gap between himself and Dario Franchitti, who is the points leader. The race consisted of eighty laps and was hosted at the City Center Airport. It was not an easy victory for Will Power, as teammate Helio Castroneves along with Dario Franchitti kept the pressure on.
Takuma Sato led the field for a quarter of the race, and was then overtaken by Will Power. While the double file restart was being led by Mike Conway, the green flag was waved and Conway did not accelerate, as he did not see the flag, and Franchitti mistook the green flag, thinking he was only allowed to accelerate at the straight’s end. This lost him great track position, and he found himself in tenth position. He commented that he was very disappointed in himself, and knew that his error cost him valuable time and position. Franchitti called on his experience, and began to make his way back up towards the leaders, but unfortunately catching up to Helio Castroneves and Will Power did not help much as he was not able to find a gap to pass, and was forced to follow the race leaders to the finish line. Power commented that the victory was exactly what they needed.
Power has now increased his championship points to three hundred and fifty, but remains in second position to Dario Franchitti, even though the lead has now been reduced from fifty-five points to thirty-eight points. Power took the victory over Franchitti by 1.2 seconds. Even though there seems to have been some friction between the two drivers, it looks like they have managed to put it aside, especially while on the track. Will Power delivered a spectacular performance and won a fantastic racing event, boosting his running for the championship title and giving his team the victory they so richly deserve.