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. Tuesday 21 February 2017

  2. Rossi feels he has 'a big point to prove' 12:09

    Rossi feels he has 'a big point to prove'

    Alexander Rossi feels that he has "a big point to prove" on road and street tracks through the upcoming IndyCar season, after…

    Indy
  3. Video: Hildebrand visor cam at Sonoma 10:02

    Video: Hildebrand visor cam at Sonoma

    Take a few laps around Sonoma Raceway with Ed Carpenter Racing driver J. R. Hildebrand.

    Indy
  4. Magnussen: Improving on 2016 not a given 09:26

    Magnussen: Improving on 2016 not a given

    Haas newcomer Kevin Magnussen says improving on the team's 2016 results is not a "given", in spite of its increased experience…

    F1
  5. Horner: RBR has most exciting line-up 07:16

    Horner: RBR has most exciting line-up

    Red Bull Team Principal Christian Horner reckons Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen represent the most exciting driver line-up…

    F1
  6. Video of the Day: Horner on 2017 season 05:00

    Video of the Day: Horner on 2017 season

    Red Bull team boss Christian Horner looks ahead to the 2017 season and a new Formula 1 era.

    F1
  7. Monday 20 February 2017

  8. 17:02

    New: Follow GPUpdate on Instagram!

    F1
  9. Video: Ricciardo onboard in Houston 15:42

    Video: Ricciardo onboard in Houston

    Go onboard with Daniel Ricciardo during his recent demo at ExxonMobil's HQ in Houston, Texas.

    F1
  10. 'Overtaking could be easier with 2017 cars' 13:32

    'Overtaking could be easier with 2017 cars'

    Red Bull's technical chiefs have suggested that Formula 1's new cars could create more overtaking opportunities than previous…

    F1
  11. Horner: Renault has had a 'big winter' 12:04

    Horner: Renault has had a 'big winter'

    Christian Horner is hopeful that his Red Bull team can be a "real challenger" in 2017, given the changes engine supplier Renault…

    F1
  12. Video: 2017 Formula 1 tyres explained 11:04

    Video: 2017 Formula 1 tyres explained

    Get the lowdown on Pirelli's 2017 Formula 1 tyres, and their expected impact, in this video from Mercedes.

    F1
  13. Kaltenborn: 'Great opportunities' at Sauber 11:01

    Kaltenborn: 'Great opportunities' at Sauber

    Monisha Kaltenborn reckons Sauber now has "great opportunities" to move back up the Formula 1 pecking order, following the…

    F1
  14. 10:54

    Gallery: Red Bull KTM MotoGP livery

    MotoGP
  15. KTM unveils livery for 2017 MotoGP entry 10:52

    KTM unveils livery for 2017 MotoGP entry

    KTM has formally unveiled its 2017 MotoGP bike and team during a presentation at its factory in Munderfing, ahead of its…

    MotoGP
  16. Hamilton: 'Zero problems' at Mercedes 10:30

    Hamilton: 'Zero problems' at Mercedes

    Lewis Hamilton has moved to clarify comments he made about data-sharing in Formula 1, insisting that he has "zero problems" with…

    F1
  17. Sauber presents new Formula 1 car 09:34

    Sauber presents new Formula 1 car

    Sauber has formally presented its 2017 Formula 1 challenger, the Ferrari-powered C36, in an online launch, to kick-start a busy…

    F1
  18. Wolff, Lauda extend deals through 2020 09:10

    Wolff, Lauda extend deals through 2020

    Mercedes has announced that Toto Wolff and Niki Lauda have signed new contracts which will keep them with the World Champion…

    F1
  19. Di Resta to stay as Williams reserve driver 09:07

    Di Resta to stay as Williams reserve driver

    Paul di Resta will remain as Williams' reserve driver for the 2017 season. Di Resta, 30, joined Williams in a reserve role in…

    F1
  20. Ferrari youngsters join Prema in Formula 4 09:00

    Ferrari youngsters join Prema in Formula 4

    Ferrari Driver Academy members Enzo Fittipaldi and Marcus Armstrong will join Prema in Formula 4 in 2017, for their first…

    Misc
  21. Grosjean keen to utilise Pirelli wet running 07:56

    Grosjean keen to utilise Pirelli wet running

    Haas driver Romain Grosjean says gathering data from Pirelli's wet tyres during pre-season testing will be crucial, due to the…

    F1
  22. Video of the Day: Stroll on 2017 hopes 05:37

    Video of the Day: Stroll on 2017 hopes

    Canadian teenager Lance Stroll discusses his hopes for his rookie Formula 1 season with Williams.

    F1
  23. Sunday 19 February 2017

  24. Magnussen to get first taste of VF-17 15:35

    Magnussen to get first taste of VF-17

    Haas has confirmed its driver line-up for the pair of pre-season tests at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, with new recruit…

    F1
  25. Hamilton: New Mercedes 'looks like a boat' 14:44

    Hamilton: New Mercedes 'looks like a boat'

    Lewis Hamilton says that Mercedes' new Formula 1 challenger, the W08 Hybrid, "looks like a boat" due to the new regulations…

    F1
  26. 13:44

    Formula E standings after Buenos Aires

    FE
  27. Buemi relieved to overcome brake complaint 13:42

    Buemi relieved to overcome brake complaint

    Reigning Formula E champion Sébastien Buemi expressed his relief at overcoming a brake issue with his second car as he…

    FE
  28. Video: Buenos Aires ePrix highlights 12:14

    Video: Buenos Aires ePrix highlights

    Watch race highlights from the Buenos Aires ePrix, the third round of the 2016/17 Formula E championship.

    FE
  29. Hellmund: Brazil result led to Manor demise 11:25

    Hellmund: Brazil result led to Manor demise

    US-based Tavo Hellmund says that Manor falling out of the top 10 in the championship standings late last season ended his and…

    F1
  30. King confident of GP2 championship fight 10:14

    King confident of GP2 championship fight

    British racer Jordan King is confident that he can challenge for the GP2 championship in 2017 after committing to a third season…

    GP2
  31. Video of the Day: Bottas on racing Hamilton 05:38

    Video of the Day: Bottas on racing Hamilton

    Valtteri Bottas talks about linking up with Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes and his hopes for the 2017 season.

    F1
  32. Saturday 18 February 2017

  33. 20:00

    Latest Formula E photos: Buenos Aires ePrix

    FE
  34. Buemi cruises to third straight FE victory 19:59

    Buemi cruises to third straight FE victory

    Renault e.dams driver Sébastien Buemi extended his lead in the Formula E championship to 29 points by maintaining his unbeaten…

    FE
  35. Brawn wary F1 changes will take time 15:12

    Brawn wary F1 changes will take time

    Ross Brawn says any changes Formula 1 implements in the future will "have to tick some boxes", though has warned that such…

    F1
  36. Video: Toyota Racing Series highlights 13:03

    Video: Toyota Racing Series highlights

    Watch highlights of the recent New Zealand-based Toyota Racing Series, won by Thomas Randle.

    Toyota
  37. Combined times: Phillip Island MotoGP test 11:22

    Combined times: Phillip Island MotoGP test

    MotoGP gathered at Phillip Island, the picturesque home of the Australian Grand Prix, for its second three-day group pre-season…

    MotoGP
  38. Overview: Biggest F1 stories of the winter 09:32

    Overview: Biggest F1 stories of the winter

    Away from team factories, Formula 1's winter period is usually a calm affair. But the 2016/17 off-season was packed with big…

    F1
  39. Video of the Day: F1 2017 aero explained 05:44

    Video of the Day: F1 2017 aero explained

    Get the lowdown on F1's major aerodynamic changes for 2017 in this Mercedes technical feature.

    F1
  40. Friday 17 February 2017

  41. Hamilton sees city races as future for F1 19:18

    Hamilton sees city races as future for F1

    Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton believes new Formula 1 owner Liberty Media needs to concentrate its efforts on city-based events…

    F1
  42. Lorenzo focused on feeling, not times 16:08

    Lorenzo focused on feeling, not times

    Jorge Lorenzo says that establishing a comfortable feeling with Ducati's Desmosedici GP17 is of more importance to him than fast…

    MotoGP
  43. Video: López tours Buenos Aires in FE car 14:02

    Video: López tours Buenos Aires in FE car

    DS Virgin's José María López drives around the streets of Buenos Aires, ahead of Saturday's ePrix.

    FE
  44. Rossi 'not very happy' after second test 12:01

    Rossi 'not very happy' after second test

    Valentino Rossi declared himself "not very happy" at the end of MotoGP's Phillip Island test, after lapping significantly slower…

    MotoGP
  45. Honda 'getting closer' with electronics 11:19

    Honda 'getting closer' with electronics

    Marc Márquez says that Honda is "getting closer" to achieving the optimal level with its electronics package, after the second…

    MotoGP
more news