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. Monday 30 March 2015

  2. 01:23

    Championship standings after Malaysia

    F1
  3. Sunday 29 March 2015

  4. Montoya outduels Power to take St. Pete victory 23:16

    Montoya outduels Power to take St. Pete victory

    Juan Pablo Montoya held off teammate and polesitter Will Power to win the season opening Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg…

    Indy
  5. Pedrosa reveals arm injury, considering future 22:30

    Pedrosa reveals arm injury, considering future

    Honda's Dani Pedrosa says he is considering his options after revealing that he has been suffering with an arm problem for over…

    MotoGP
  6. Rossi beats Dovizioso in Qatar thriller 19:51

    Rossi beats Dovizioso in Qatar thriller

    Yamaha rider Valentino Rossi claimed victory in the opening round of the MotoGP season in Qatar as he beat Ducati's Andrea…

    MotoGP
  7. Video: Will Power's record St. Pete lap 17:06

    Video: Will Power's record St. Pete lap

    Enjoy Will Power's record pole-winning lap for the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.

    Indy
  8. 16:02

    Latest F1 photos: Sunday at Sepang

    F1
  9. Räikkönen achieves 'maximum' after puncture 15:20

    Räikkönen achieves 'maximum' after puncture

    Kimi Räikkönen says fourth position was the best result possible after he sustained a puncture during the early stages of the…

    F1
  10. McLaren drivers say pace 'a nice surprise' 13:41

    McLaren drivers say pace 'a nice surprise'

    Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button say that McLaren-Honda's raw pace during the Malaysian Grand Prix came as "a nice…

    F1
  11. Verstappen delighted with maiden points 12:59

    Verstappen delighted with maiden points

    Toro Rosso rookie Max Verstappen expressed his satisfaction after becoming the youngest ever points scorer in Formula 1…

    F1
  12. Ferrari Chairman hails 'incredibly hard work' 12:44

    Ferrari Chairman hails 'incredibly hard work'

    Sergio Marchionne praised the "incredibly hard work" of his Ferrari team after Sebastian Vettel took victory in the Malaysian…

    F1
  13. Kvyat: Hülkenberg clash a racing incident 12:12

    Kvyat: Hülkenberg clash a racing incident

    Red Bull's Daniil Kvyat played down his contact with Force India rival Nico Hülkenberg during the Malaysian Grand Prix, which…

    F1
  14. Brake issues hampers Maldonado at Sepang 12:09

    Brake issues hampers Maldonado at Sepang

    Lotus driver Pastor Maldonado was forced to retire from the Malaysian Grand Prix with a brake issue, as his and the squad's…

    F1
  15. Rosberg wants improved communication 12:05

    Rosberg wants improved communication

    Nico Rosberg has urged Mercedes to improve communication after he came home a distant third in the Malaysian Grand…

    F1
  16. Merhi elated by maiden Formula 1 finish 11:54

    Merhi elated by maiden Formula 1 finish

    Formula 1 debutant Roberto Merhi expressed his joy after he was able to finish his first ever race in the sport as he came home…

    F1
  17. Hamilton: Ferrari too fast for us today 11:42

    Hamilton: Ferrari too fast for us today

    Lewis Hamilton has admitted that Sebastian Vettel and Ferrari were simply "too fast" to deal with during the Malaysian Grand…

    F1
  18. Sepang extends Formula 1 deal to 2018 11:22

    Sepang extends Formula 1 deal to 2018

    Sepang will continue to play host to the Malaysian Grand Prix after organisers agreed a new deal to remain on the Formula 1…

    F1
  19. Vettel 'speechless' after first Ferrari win 11:16

    Vettel 'speechless' after first Ferrari win

    Sebastian Vettel said claiming his first victory for Ferrari during Sunday's Malaysian Grand Prix initially left him lost for…

    F1
  20. 09:59

    In full: Malaysian Grand Prix race result

    F1
  21. Vettel breaks Mercedes run with Sepang win 09:54

    Vettel breaks Mercedes run with Sepang win

    Sebastian Vettel claimed his first victory for Ferrari as the team pulled off a two-stop strategy to beat Mercedes, which had…

    F1
  22. 07:46

    Follow the Malaysian Grand Prix live!

    F1
  23. Dennis hopeful of European turning point 07:32

    Dennis hopeful of European turning point

    Ron Dennis is optimistic that McLaren-Honda will find itself in a much stronger position when the Formula 1 paddock arrives in…

    F1
  24. Stevens unable to race amid technical trouble 07:18

    Stevens unable to race amid technical trouble

    Will Stevens is unable to start this afternoon's Malaysian Grand Prix, with Manor Marussia failing to resolve the technical…

    F1
  25. 06:32

    Revised starting grid for the Malaysian GP

    F1
  26. Video of the Day: Backstage with Sauber 04:22

    Video of the Day: Backstage with Sauber

    Go behind-the-scenes during Sauber's pre-season filming day at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.

    F1
  27. Saturday 28 March 2015

  28. Power starts title defence with pole, track record 21:47

    Power starts title defence with pole, track record

    Will Power stormed to pole for the season-opening round of the Verizon IndyCar Series on Saturday, setting a new track record in…

    Indy
  29. Dovizioso takes pole for Ducati in Qatar 18:21

    Dovizioso takes pole for Ducati in Qatar

    Andrea Dovizioso emphasised Ducati's progress over the winter as he claimed the third pole position of his MotoGP career at the…

    MotoGP
  30. 18:17

    Latest F1 photos: Saturday at Sepang

    F1
  31. Massa frustrated by Williams' wet pace 18:14

    Massa frustrated by Williams' wet pace

    Felipe Massa expressed his frustration that Williams is still "too slow" in wet conditions, after a rain-hit qualifying session…

    F1
  32. Montagny suspended by FIA until end of 2016 16:36

    Montagny suspended by FIA until end of 2016

    Franck Montagny has been suspended by the FIA's Anti-Doping Committee until December 2016, after he tested positive for…

    Misc
  33. Ricciardo: Fourth a 'good result' for Red Bull 14:00

    Ricciardo: Fourth a 'good result' for Red Bull

    Daniel Ricciardo was pleased with Red Bull's performance during qualifying for the Malaysian Grand Prix after a difficult…

    F1
  34. Formula E unveils shortened Monaco layout 13:20

    Formula E unveils shortened Monaco layout

    Organisers of the Monaco ePrix have unveiled the layout for the race which will take place on May 9. The 12-turn 2.76km…

    FE
  35. Rosberg 'annoyed' by qualifying display 12:46

    Rosberg 'annoyed' by qualifying display

    Nico Rosberg has conceded that he "didn't drive well enough" during Saturday's rain-hit qualifying session for the Malaysian…

    F1
  36. Verstappen happy with first Q3 appearance 12:43

    Verstappen happy with first Q3 appearance

    Max Verstappen declared himself happy after he equalled father Jos' best Formula 1 qualifying performance by setting the sixth…

    F1
  37. Vettel reckons Sepang victory is possible 12:29

    Vettel reckons Sepang victory is possible

    Sebastian Vettel believes that he can fight for victory in the Malaysian Grand Prix, after securing a place on the front row of…

    F1
  38. Grosjean dropped two places for pit infringement 11:59

    Grosjean dropped two places for pit infringement

    Lotus driver Romain Grosjean has been handed a two-place grid penalty for a pit lane infringement during Saturday's qualifying…

    F1
  39. Both Manor Marussia drivers allowed to race 11:46

    Both Manor Marussia drivers allowed to race

    Manor Marussia's Roberto Merhi and Will Stevens have been granted permission to race in the Malaysian Grand Prix, despite…

    F1
  40. Hamilton relieved to make first lap count 11:41

    Hamilton relieved to make first lap count

    Lewis Hamilton spoke of his relief after his first timed lap in the top 10 shootout in Malaysia proved marginally fast enough…

    F1
  41. 10:38

    Malaysian Grand Prix: Qualifying results

    F1
  42. Hamilton grabs pole in rain-hit qualifying 10:37

    Hamilton grabs pole in rain-hit qualifying

    Lewis Hamilton took his second successive pole position during a rain-hit qualifying session for the Malaysian Grand Prix…

    F1
  43. Button hails 'massive step' with Honda engine 10:17

    Button hails 'massive step' with Honda engine

    Jenson Button says McLaren engine supplier Honda has taken a "massive step" in the right direction at the Malaysian Grand…

    F1
more news