INDYCAR: Power Beats Clock, Rain to Take Itaipava Sao Paulo Indy 300
It wasn't conventional, but Will Power heads to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway with the points lead for the second straight year. Choosing to pit midway through an abbreviated morning conclusion to the Itaipava Sao Paulo Indy 300 presented by Nestle, Power took the lead from Takuma Sato with just over seven minutes remaining in the race and cruised to his second victory of the season.
Power collected his second consecutive win on the streets of Sao Paulo, which lent itself to another year of exciting racing, albeit at a relatively strange time for those trying to tune in from America. Starting on the pole, Power remained in front through 15 laps on Sunday, but was passed by Takuma Sato on the race's restart on the Lap 26 green flag.
As part of KV Racing Technology-Lotus' plan, neither Sato nor E.J. Viso planned on stopping during the morning session, and the green and yellow colors were swiftly at the front of the field forming a surprising 1-2, with Marco Andretti utilizing a similar strategy to move to third.
The luck began to run out for KV when Viso was black flagged after seven consecutive blocks on Andretti, giving up second place, but soon after, Andretti's in-car telemetry went dead and the youngster gambled with red tires, fading to a 14th-place finish, directly behind Viso. Sato, attempting to reach the time limit, eventually was forced to pit with just over seven minutes left in the race, handing the lead to Power.
The Australian capitalized on the opportunity, darting away from runner-up Graham Rahal to take a 14-point lead over Dario Franchitti 27 days before the 100th Anniversary running of the Indianapolis 500. Franchitti found the tire barriers on the restart, but rallied to finish fourth.
Ryan Briscoe took his second straight podium finish in taking third, while Oriol Servia picked up fifth.
After four straight road/street circuits to open the IZOD IndyCar Series season, the series now turns its attention to the crown jewel of motorsports, the Indianapolis 500. The 100th Anniversary running of the Indianapolis 500 will be on Sunday, May 28.