Power wins Monday race in São Paulo
2 May 2011 – Penske’s Will Power has clinched victory in the rescheduled fourth round of this season’s IndyCar Series. After torrential rain forced the cancellation of proceedings on Sunday in Brazil, the Australian took the chequered flag amid more wet conditions as Takuma Sato’s final stop denied the Japanese a surprise maiden win.
With the race having already been delayed overnight, onlookers feared the worst this morning as more of the same was witnessed in Brazil’s largest city. However, Power’s eventual success means that he is the first double victor of the season - sharing the podium this time with Graham Rahal and Ryan Briscoe.
As the Safety Car peeled into the pit lane at the green flag, the whole field – running on Slicks at the time – was forced to dive in. Perhaps amazingly, there were no casualties in the crowded area, despite contact between Charlie Kimball and Simona di Silvestro which resulted in the latter’s car sustaining damage.
Very much comfortable in the wet, former Formula 1 pilot Sato made the most of his opportunity to pass Power on Lap 30, hoping to become the fourth different winner from as many races so far this year. The overtake was followed by a full course yellow as Sébastien Bourdais slid into the retaining wall.
Quickly establishing a healthy advantage, Sato’s work came to nothing as yellows flew once again, this time as Alex Tagliani’s engine expired; this left Sato leading Marco Andretti and the second KV Racing car of E.J. Viso, who had risen from 26th place as the rest of the pack went for fuel top-ups.
Getting the better of Rahal at the restart, Viso placed historic Lotus colours in the first two positions. However, the potential dream was shattered when the Venezuelan suddenly changed line when defending from Andretti, generating a penalty. With no more wished-for caution periods, a potentially unusual result was razed as Sato and Andretti were forced to make last-race stops for fuel.
This allowed Power to enjoy victory number two of 2011, becoming the winningest driver so far, with Rahal recovering from a spin to finish second. As Briscoe confirmed two Penske machines in the top three, star of the day Sato came home eighth.
Round 5 of 2011, the centennial edition of the legendary Indianapolis 500, will be staged on 29 May