Power keeps Rahal at bay to win Detroit Race 1

Power keeps Rahal at bay to win Detroit Race 1

31 May 2014 – Will Power fended off a charging Graham Rahal to win the first race at Belle Isle in the Dual at Detroit on Saturday. Coming from P16 on the grid, Power's Penske team employed a clever pit-stop strategy to get ahead of pole-sitter Helio Castroneves, and with some helpful caution periods, Power found himself leading the field with ten laps to go, and he never looked back.

After starting in P9, Rahal drove a flawless race, tracking down Power in the closing stages of the first Dual but ultimately being unable to get by on the bumpy road course. Satisfied with a rare podium finish, Rahal hopes to do one better tomorrow for the second race of the weekend.

Also finding his way to the podium was 2013 Indy 500 winner Tony Kanaan. The Brazilian had started the race just in front of Rahal and managed to stay clean on several dicey restarts on the afternoon, finishing five seconds behind the American.

Fellow Brazilian Castroneves led the field to the green flag after stalling in pit lane at the start of the formation lap. IndyCar rules allow the car to resume its position if it can reach its rightful grid spot before the field completes one pace lap. With that hiccup out of his system, Castroneves led the first third of the race before two caution periods began to divide the field on pit strategy.

With many drivers originally opting for a three-stop strategy, a fascinating battle began to develop after Simon Pagenaud was squeezed into a wall by Power to bring out the first caution. The second one was thrown when Mike Conway, who was running in fourth at the time, understeered into the wall, ending his race. The dejected Bromley native climbed from his car and rested against the barrier, head in his hands and looking a little sore from the impact.

By the end of the second caution, all of the field had pitted except Rahal and Marco Andretti. Jack Hawksworth, who had been running P2 after jumping Hinchcliffe at the start, disappointingly saw his left front brake rotor break, so he was sent tumbling down the order and was soon five laps down. He would be one of several drivers to be stuck in pit lane for various mechanical reasons, thus pushing him out of contention.

Rahal was the first to pit on Lap 27, switching from black to red tyres, with Andretti following suit the next time around the Belle Isle circuit. It appeared that these two were going to attempt a two-stop strategy, unlike most of the rest of the field. This handed the lead to Power, who remained on a three-stop, albeit a few laps different than Castroneves. Helio would inherit the lead around the midway point of the race after Power pitted on Lap 31.

A few laps later, Josef Newgarden found his way into the tyre wall. In doing so, the standing water inside the rubber sloshed out on track, lengthening what would have been a short caution so the jet driers could clean the racing surface.

Around this point, it appeared that the two-stoppers would have the advantage since most of the leaders had pitted 20 laps earlier. By the time the track went green, numbers were being crunched up and down the pit lane to determine fuel loads and various permutations.

Some, like Ryan Briscoe, chose to bet on another caution coming late in the race, but when Mikhail Aleshin was spun by James Hinchcliffe with 15 laps to go, it looked like Briscoe and several others would fall just short of their fuel marks.

Castroneves had just made his stop on Lap 47, so the caution was actually quite detrimental to his strategy, but he managed to work his way back up to P5 by the end of the race. 

Will Power had pitted on Lap 54, just one lap before the last caution came out, which meant that he was soon back into the top five when the rest of the field pitted for the last time. When Briscoe stayed out and took the green flag on the restart, Power eventually managed to get around him (even though he knew Briscoe would have to pit).

By putting the Penske car between him and Rahal, Power was able to build a lead that turned out to be insurmountable, despite Rahal closing to within a couple of lengths after Briscoe pitted. Even having one more Push-to-Pass to use on the final lap, Rahal couldn't get by the Aussie and finished just 0.3s back as Power collected his second win of the year – thus awarding him second in the championship standings.

Championship leader Ryan Hunter-Reay started the race on the last row after hitting the wall in qualifying.  He led some laps after a long stint on black tyres, but he would only manage P16 at the chequered flag.

Race 2 of the Dual at Detroit will take place at the same time tomorrow.

related

Comments

Latest News
Full
Compact

  1. Thursday 20 July 2017

  2. Leclerc will 'keep pushing' despite title lead 16:58

    Leclerc will 'keep pushing' despite title lead

    Dominant Formula 2 title leader Charles Leclerc insists he will not change his approach in the feeder category, despite having…

    F2
  3. Wolff: FIA had 'no choice' over halo introduction 16:25

    Wolff: FIA had 'no choice' over halo introduction

    Mercedes boss Toto Wolff believes Formula 1's governing body, the FIA, had "no choice" but to introduce the 'halo' head…

    F1
  4. Vandoorne concludes wet Magny Cours test 15:39

    Vandoorne concludes wet Magny Cours test

    McLaren-Honda's Stoffel Vandoorne concluded Pirelli's two-day wet-weather test at former French Grand Prix venue Magny Cours on…

    F1
  5. Video: DS Virgin's New York dominance 15:18

    Video: DS Virgin's New York dominance

    Re-live DS Virgin Racing's dominance of the inaugural New York ePrix as the squad swept to both pole positions and wins courtesy…

    FE
  6. Honda: Token system exit has aided trajectory 13:58

    Honda: Token system exit has aided trajectory

    Honda chief Yusuke Hasegawa says the removal of Formula 1's token system has aided the manufacturer this season, and will…

    F1
  7. Kubica sure he can perform at high level 13:33

    Kubica sure he can perform at high level

    Robert Kubica says he is convinced he can "get back to the driver I've been" after his Formula 1 tests across the past couple of…

    F1
  8. Rossi hopes Toronto podium a 'breakthrough' 12:50

    Rossi hopes Toronto podium a 'breakthrough'

    Alexander Rossi says he hopes his podium finish at Toronto will act as a "breakthrough", after a difficult spell in the wake of…

    Indy
  9. GPUpdate gets to know... Valtteri Bottas 11:10

    GPUpdate gets to know... Valtteri Bottas

    F1 drivers answer hundreds of questions at each Grand Prix, but how much do we know about their lives away from the track?…

    F1
  10. Hamilton certain British GP will be saved 10:02

    Hamilton certain British GP will be saved

    Lewis Hamilton says he "doesn't believe for a second" that the British Grand Prix will fall off the Formula 1 calendar, despite…

    F1
  11. Vaidyanathan joins European F3 with Carlin 09:17

    Vaidyanathan joins European F3 with Carlin

    Carlin has confirmed that Ameya Vaidyanathan will race for the team in European Formula 3 across the remainder of the…

    F3
  12. Video: British Grand Prix strategy analysis 05:54

    Video: British Grand Prix strategy analysis

    Mercedes reflects on the British Grand Prix as it analyses its strategy and answers questions sent in by fans.

    F1
  13. Wednesday 19 July 2017

  14. FIA pushes through 'halo' for 2018 debut 19:11

    FIA pushes through 'halo' for 2018 debut

    The FIA has pushed through the introduction of the head protection device, dubbed the 'halo', for the 2018 Formula 1 season…

    F1
  15. Three teams carry out Pirelli tyre testing 18:28

    Three teams carry out Pirelli tyre testing

    Williams, Haas and McLaren carried out further 2018 tyre testing with Pirelli at Silverstone and Magny Cours respectively on…

    F1
  16. Formula 1 recruits Nielsen as Sporting Director 16:44

    Formula 1 recruits Nielsen as Sporting Director

    Formula 1 has appointed Steve Nielsen as Sporting Director, working within the Motorsport Division, with the Briton to take up…

    F1
  17. Feature: Hamilton hits back at his critics 16:06

    Feature: Hamilton hits back at his critics

    Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton put in one of the most dominant displays of his Formula 1 career in Britain, silencing those who had…

    F1
  18. Newgarden: Consistency key for IndyCar title 14:46

    Newgarden: Consistency key for IndyCar title

    Penske driver Josef Newgarden believes consistency will be the key factor during the IndyCar title run-in, after he propelled…

    Indy
  19. 13:28

    Gallery: WRC Champion Ogier in F1 test

    F1
  20. Ogier: Formula 1 run a 'dream come true' 13:27

    Ogier: Formula 1 run a 'dream come true'

    Reigning World Rally Champion Sébastien Ogier labelled his first run in a Formula 1 car as a "dream came true" after completing…

    F1
  21. Sainz Jr. has learned from saga over future 12:32

    Sainz Jr. has learned from saga over future

    Carlos Sainz Jr. says he has learned from the confusion over his Formula 1 future, which swirled around the Spaniard at the…

    F1
  22. Video: Hamilton's British GP celebrations 11:12

    Video: Hamilton's British GP celebrations

    Go behind-the-scenes with Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton as he celebrates his British Grand Prix victory at Silverstone.

    F1
  23. Brown: Alonso 'very clear' he wants F1 stay 10:28

    Brown: Alonso 'very clear' he wants F1 stay

    McLaren chief Zak Brown says Fernando Alonso has made it "very clear" that he wants to remain in Formula 1 next year, as the…

    F1
  24. In photos: Story of the British Grand Prix 09:18

    In photos: Story of the British Grand Prix

    Lewis Hamilton dominated proceedings at Silverstone to lead a Mercedes 1-2, as an off-the-pace Ferrari was struck by late tyre…

    F1
  25. F1 teams favour Super Softs for Hungary 08:36

    F1 teams favour Super Softs for Hungary

    Formula 1 teams have overwhelmingly favoured the Super Soft compound for next weekend's Hungarian Grand Prix, with the Medium…

    F1
  26. Video: Ickx drives iconic Porsches at Fuji 05:42

    Video: Ickx drives iconic Porsches at Fuji

    Six-time Le Mans winner Jacky Ickx gets behind the wheel of the iconic Porsche 936 and 956 at the Fuji Speedway.

    Misc
  27. Tuesday 18 July 2017

  28. 19:02

    Follow us on Instagram for the best photos!

    F1
  29. Giovinazzi gets Haas running at tyre test 18:22

    Giovinazzi gets Haas running at tyre test

    Antonio Giovinazzi racked up further Formula 1 mileage as he completed Pirelli tyre testing with Haas at Silverstone on…

    F1
  30. Wolff: Keeping Bottas 'almost a no-brainer' 16:12

    Wolff: Keeping Bottas 'almost a no-brainer'

    Toto Wolff says retaining Valtteri Bottas is "almost a no-brainer", but that he will not make a decision on the Finn's future…

    F1
  31. Leclerc to drive for Ferrari in Hungary test 15:58

    Leclerc to drive for Ferrari in Hungary test

    Runaway F2 championship leader Charles Leclerc will carry out a day's worth of running for Ferrari during the in-season test in…

    F1
  32. British GP 'worst scenario' for STR - Tost 14:46

    British GP 'worst scenario' for STR - Tost

    Toro Rosso Team Principal Franz Tost labelled the British Grand Prix outcome as the "worst scenario" for the squad, after its…

    F1
  33. Massa was 'quicker' than Force India duo 13:12

    Massa was 'quicker' than Force India duo

    Felipe Massa felt he was quicker than Force India pair Esteban Ocon and Sergio Pérez at the British Grand Prix, but was left to…

    F1
  34. McLaren-backed de Vries on DTM standby 12:59

    McLaren-backed de Vries on DTM standby

    McLaren-backed youngster Nyck de Vries is on standby to make his debut in the DTM series in Russia this weekend, should Mike…

    F1
  35. Grosjean: Haas must understand race deficit 11:42

    Grosjean: Haas must understand race deficit

    Romain Grosjean says Haas must understand why it was unable to replicate its qualifying pace as he missed out on points at the…

    F1
  36. Bratches labels British GP week a blueprint 10:58

    Bratches labels British GP week a blueprint

    Formula 1's commercial chief, Sean Bratches, believes that the British Grand Prix week acts as an example of Liberty Media's…

    F1
  37. Mazepin, Auer get Force India test chances 10:25

    Mazepin, Auer get Force India test chances

    Formula 3 racer Nikita Mazepin and DTM title contender Lucas Auer will carry out mid-season running for Force India during next…

    F1
  38. Palmer: Formation lap exit 'pretty gutting' 09:06

    Palmer: Formation lap exit 'pretty gutting'

    Renault driver Jolyon Palmer labelled his formation lap exit of his home event as "pretty gutting", feeling that points were on…

    F1
  39. Video: New York ePrix race highlights 05:00

    Video: New York ePrix race highlights

    Watch highlights from Formula E's first visit to New York, as DS Virgin Racing's Sam Bird bags a double win.

    FE
  40. Monday 17 July 2017

  41. Video: Red Bull drivers on British GP 17:24

    Video: Red Bull drivers on British GP

    Red Bull's Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo review the British Grand Prix, after taking fourth and fifth.

    F1
  42. British Grand Prix: Winners and Losers 16:44

    British Grand Prix: Winners and Losers

    Lewis Hamilton's spiritual ownership of Silverstone continued with a dominant display, while title rival Sebastian Vettel was…

    F1
  43. Isaakyan takes V8 3.5 lead at Nürburgring 15:32

    Isaakyan takes V8 3.5 lead at Nürburgring

    Matevos Isaakyan moved to the head of the World Series Formula V8 3.5 championship after taking a win and a second place during…

    World Series
  44. Montoya, Servià to test IndyCar aero kits 14:12

    Montoya, Servià to test IndyCar aero kits

    IndyCar veterans Juan Pablo Montoya and Oriol Servià will perform testing duties with the universal aero kit, which will be…

    Indy
more news