2011 Grand Prix of Sonoma 2011 Grand Prix of Sonoma Will Power headed an historic Penske 1-2-3

Completing a virtually perfect weekend by delivering a sublime display of aggression and control, Will Power shrugged off the frustrations of the previous round in New Hampshire by delivering an utterly dominant performance in the IZOD Indycar Series event at Infineon Raceway at Sonoma, California. Our IndyCar correspondent Matt Lennon takes a look at the Grand Prix of Sonoma.

In a case of “Where has this been all season?”, Power’s team-mates Hélio Castroneves and Ryan Briscoe couldn’t do a thing wrong themselves and locked out a Team Penske podium that would have even made The Captain (Roger Penske) stand back and applaud.

The top-five positions ended in the same order that they started in a largely uneventful race that threatened to run green from flag-to-flag, save for Ho-Pin Tung’s adventures into the crash barriers justifying the need for a safety car only once all afternoon.

Dario Franchitti limited the points damage to his championship lead by finishing fourth Although the race didn’t deliver a great deal in the way of overtaking, that didn’t stop Giorgio Pantano doing his best for Dreyer & Reinbold, driving an excellent race and finding several overtaking opportunities to deliver a sixth place on the road for his return to the series. Unfortunately for him, stewards didn’t take too kindly to what was perceived as an illegal block on fellow former F1 driver Sébastien Bourdais, penalising Pantano, which dropped him down the finishing order to 17th.

Over at HVM Racing, Simon Pagenaud found himself occupying Simona De Silvestro’s seat for the entire weekend, with the Swiss Miss stuck in Switzerland and battling with US Immigration officials to allow her re-entry to the country. Pagenaud tried his best in an underperforming car, bringing the car home in 15th place. It was a poor day for three out of four Andretti Autosports drivers, with Ryan Hunter-Reay rounding out the top ten, but team-mates Mike Conway, Danica Patrick and Marco Andretti were never in the running and finishing well down the order in 16th, 21st and 24th places respectively.

From a Penske procession at Infineon, the series heads back to the east to a new street circuit in Baltimore for the penultimate road course of the season.

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2011 Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma Final Classification (75 laps):

Driver Team Laps Result
1. Will Power AUS Team Penske 75 1:47:29.7619
2. Hélio Castroneves BRZ Team Penske 75 + 3.2420
3. Ryan Briscoe AUS Team Penske 75 + 6.4494
4. Dario Franchitti GBR Target Chip Ganassi Racing 75 + 7.6540
5. Scott Dixon NZL Target Chip Ganassi Racing 75 + 14.4755
6. Sébastien Bourdais FRA Dale Coyne Racing 75 + 17.1257
7. James Hinchcliffe CDN Newman/Haas Racing 75 + 17.2713
8. Graham Rahal USA Service Central Chip Ganassi 75 + 17.7900
9. EJ Viso VEN KV Racing Technology Lotus 75 + 21.6276
10. Ryan Hunter-Reay USA Andretti Autosport 75 + 22.1731
11. Oriol Servià ESP Newman/Haas Racing 75 + 22.9512
12. Martin Plowman GBR AFS / Sam Schmidt Motorsports 75 + 24.2602
13. Ana Beatriz BRZ Dreyer & Reinbold Racing 75 + 29.7207
14. Sebastian Saavedra COL Conquest Racing 75 + 41.1146
15. Simon Pagenaud FRA HVM Racing 75 + 41.7526
16. Mike Conway GBR Andretti Autosport 75 + 1:00.2912
17. Giorgio Pantano* ITA Dreyer & Reinbold Racing 75 + 1:14.2912
18. Takuma Sato JPN KV Racing Technology Lotus 74 1 lap behind
19. James Jakes GBR Dale Coyne Racing 74 1 lap behind
20. Alex Tagliani CDN Sam Schmidt Motorsports 74 1 lap behind
21. Danica Patrick USA Andretti Autosport 74 1 lap behind
22. Vitor Meira BRZ AJ Foyt Enterprises 74 1 lap behind
23. JR Hildebrand USA Panther Racing 74 1 lap behind
24. Marco Andretti USA Andretti Autosport 74 1 lap behind
25. Ed Carpenter USA Sarah Fisher Racing 74 1 lap behind
26. Charlie Kimball USA Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi Racing 66 9 laps behind
           
  NOT CLASSIFIED        
DNF. Ho-Pin Tung CHI Sam Schmidt / Dragon Racing 63 Accident
DNF. Tony Kanaan BRZ KV Racing Technology Lotus 38 Mechanical

* Denotes post-race penalty applied for an illegal blocking manoeuvre during the race

[Images 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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