Will Power, IndyCar, Penske, Indianapolis Motor Speedway, 2018

Power holds Wickens and Dixon back for Indy road course win

IndyCar

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Will Power drew a line under his mixed start to the 2018 season by winning the IndyCar Grand Prix at Indianapolis from pole position.

The Penske driver had to see off a strong challenge from Robert Wickens on his way to victory. Power led home Scott Dixon, who rose from 18th on the grid in his Ganassi to take second.

The race hinged on tyre strategy, with drivers seeking to minimise their stints on the harder primary compound tyres. Power, who led from the start, briefly lost the lead to Wickens during his stint on primaries. However once the Schmidt driver’s turn to use the hard tyres came, Power easily regained the lead.

A late Safety Car period put Power’s lead in jeopardy again as Wickens came within a few centimetres of beating him out of the pits. Wickens then fell prey to Dixon, who had disposed of his primary tyres in the first stint and clawed his way back into contention thanks to some quick Ganassi pit stops.

Sebastien Bourdais put Wickens under pressure for the final podium spot but had to settle for third. Alexander Rossi was fifth after another wheel-to-wheel battle with Wickens.

On his return to IndyCar, Helio Castroneves was the second-highest Penske driver at the chequered flag, taking sixth. Team mate Simon Pagenaud was hit by Jordan King on lap one and recovered to eighth. But Josef Newgarden was only 11th after making an uncharacteristic error while trying to pass Bourdais: he clouted a kerb, spun, stalled and triggered the final Safety Car period.

Power’s victory is the 200th in IndyCar racing for Penske and his third in four years at the Indianapolis road course. But an Indianapolis 500 victory has so far eluded him – something he will endeavour to put right in two weeks’ time.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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  • 10 comments on “Power holds Wickens and Dixon back for Indy road course win”

    1. Wickens is having one of the best debut seasons since Mansell. Would love to see him win the championship. Fingers crossed he gets his first win soon. Indy 500 wun would be amazing!

      1. I honestly feel that Wickens should’ve been in F1. I remember seeing him in his Formula Renault days and being throughly impressed by the guy.

      2. I must admit to “eating crow”, as I thought Wickens would have a very hard time his first season. He’s really a fantastic driver. The top 9 in the drivers standings is an interesting group. Power and Wickens are now 7th and 8th in the championship. Love Indycar!

      3. @eurobrun @cc78amg Not sure about the championship since he still has to learn some key skills of an Indy driver he admits he’s still weak at, mainly fuel saving, but he’s surely due a win soon.

        Ever since I first saw Wickens in FR 3.5 I knew he’s a special talent. Beat quite a few guys who got to F1 along the way too. Shame he wasted some years in the DTM(even if Wickens himself might not see it that way)

      4. @eurobrun I came here to ask just that. I don’t follow Indycar but everytime I read about it it’s Wickens in the top. Good for him.

    2. I expect abuse for this, but this season’s Indy cars look a lot better than F1 cars, they appear clean and uncluttered – I like that.

      1. No abuse for that statement. Pretty much ever open wheel fan on earth would agree with your statement, and have been saying that since the new aero package was introduced in IndyCar.

      2. I think most people would agree that they look better. And for IndyCar, they may even be better. But they wouldn’t be good for F1, because an F1 car must have technical innovation at its core.

      3. @ahxshades Why would you be abused for saying something so bleeding obvious? They look fantastic and with the reduction of downforce they slide all over the place and the onboards are amazing too! One last thing, when they slide a skilled driver can catch them while F1 cars nowadays as soon as they slide you’re a goner. Yep, I’m a huge fan. This last race was the least eventful of the season so far but it was still good with some very nice fights

    3. Power when he’s in the zone there’s no one in Indycar as fast as him. Freakish speed that WP himself doesn’t understand where it comes from.

      33 wins, 51 poles(within striking distance of the all time Mario Andretti record!). Random stat, but funny, this is the exact opposite of Alain Prost’s F1 career stats(51 wins, 33 poles) :)

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