The podium finishers flank race winner Will Power

Will Power has taken his second IndyCar win of the 2011 championship season, crossing the finishing line in a rain-affected and postponed Itaipava São Paulo Indy 300.

After the race was halted after just fourteen laps running on Sunday, the balance of the race was completed on Monday morning, with the race resuming in the order that had been in place under the final red flag of Sunday’s abortive attempt.

This meant that Power – who had survived the carnage of yesterday’s halted race – would start ahead of Penske team-mate Ryan Briscoe, while KV Racing’s Takuma Sato and Ganassi driver Graham Rahal would start from the second row.

Conditions had improved dramatically from the day before when the track opened, but incredibly more rain would suddenly hit the circuit just as the green flag was waved, forcing the entire field back into the pits for a change on to wet tyres.

Power had managed to skip into a lead that he hoped he could hold for the remainder of the race, which was capped at just over a two-hour time limit, including the time spent racing the day before.

With the race’s total distance being dramatically reduced, this allowed some teams to take the gamble of a non-stop race – on the proviso that more full-course cautions would help them save enough fuel to get to the end of the race.

Sato was one such driver who opted for this strategy, and he had quickly moved up to Sato's non-stop strategy gamble almost paid off with a maiden race winsecond place after a few laps in green flag conditions. Also joining him on this line of thinking was his team-mate EJ Viso, and Marco Andretti in the Andretti Autosports entry.

A yellow flag period duly came about twenty laps in – caused by incidents for Bourdais and Hunter-Reay – and Sato was able to overtake Power when the race restarted.

Power would later pit, and behind the race leader, Viso and Andretti enjoyed a good battle for second place, although the Venezuelan was later handed a drive-through penalty for blocking the American.

But with no more major caution periods, Sato’s hopes of a non-stop race went up in smoke, and he and Andretti were forced to pit with just ten minutes of the race remaining, allowing Power to resume a lead he would not surrender. The Australian duly won from Graham Rahal and his compatriot Ryan Briscoe.

Fourth place went to Dario Franchitti, who could well be pleased with the result after pitting for a new front wing when he went off at Turn 1. The Scot loses the championship lead to Power once again.

Fifth place went to Newman/Haas’ Oriol Servià – again continuing his outstanding form on his return to IndyCar racing, while Mike Conway put his Sunday electrical problems behind him to charge to sixth place after starting a lowly 20th.

One of many drivers to spin in the slippery conditions, Justin Wilson finished seventh, while Takuma Sato took eighth place after being forced to surrender the lead and the chance of an unexpected race win. Sometimes race wins are born out of an outstanding strategy call or through riding a lot of luck along the way. Sato took his chance and it didn’t work this time, but his stock has certainly risen.

 

 

2011 Itaipava São Paulo Indy 300 – Final Standings (55 laps):

Driver Team Laps Result
1. Will Power AUS Team Penske 55 2:04:05.2964
2. Graham Rahal USA Chip Ganassi Racing 55 + 4.6723
3. Ryan Briscoe AUS Team Penske 55 + 7.9037
4. Dario Franchitti GBR Chip Ganassi Racing 55 + 10.1470
5. Oriol Servià ESP Newman/Haas Racing 55 + 15.8188
6. Mike Conway GBR Andretti Autosport 55 + 16.6775
7. Justin Wilson GBR Dreyer & Reinbold Racing 55 + 20.0131
8. Takuma Sato JPN KV Racing Technology Lotus 55 + 23.0683
9. James Hinchcliffe CDN Newman/Haas Racing 55 + 25.2924
10. JR Hildebrand USA Panther Racing 55 + 31.3172
11. Sebastian Saavedra COL Conquest Racing 55 + 36.4261
12. Scott Dixon NZL Chip Ganassi Racing 54 + 42.1974
13. EJ Viso VEN KV Racing Technology Lotus 55 + 45.8226
14. Marco Andretti USA Andretti Autosport 55 + 1:14.5634
15. James Jakes GBR Dale Coyne Racing 55 + 1:16.2783
16. Charlie Kimball USA Chip Ganassi Racing 54 1 lap behind
17. Vitor Meira BRZ AJ Foyt Enterprises 53 2 laps behind
18. Ryan Hunter-Reay USA Andretti Autosport 50 5 laps behind
19. Alex Tagliani CDN Sam Schmidt Motorsports 48 7 laps behind
20. Simona di Silvestro SUI HVM Racing 46 9 laps behind
21. Hélio Castroneves BRZ Team Penske 46 9 laps behind
22. Tony Kanaan BRZ KV Racing Technology Lotus 46 9 laps behind
23. Danica Patrick USA Andretti Autosport 46 9 laps behind
           
NOT CLASSIFIED
  Ana Beatriz BRZ Dreyer & Reinbold Racing 31 Mechanical
  Raphael Matos BRZ AFS Racing 28 Contact
  Sébastien Bourdais FRA Dale Coyne Racing 20 Contact

[All images and video via IZOD IndyCar Series]

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Richard Bailey

Founder & Chief Editor at MotorsportM8
Hasn't missed a Grand Prix since 1989. Has a soft spot for Minardi. Tattooed with 35+ Grand Prix circuits.

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