Will Power chose to do not as most others did in terms of race strategy, and used slick pit work to move through the field to win the Honda Grand Prix of Alabama yesterday.
Team Penske were switched on in the pit lane during Power’s scheduled pit stops, getting the Aussie back out on track very quickly to maximise his track position while others made slower pitstops.
Most of the field started the race on the red-sidewalled option tyres, but Power chose to run his first stint on the primary blacks as race rules state that in a dry event, all cars must run a stint on both tyre types at some point of the race.
And with 16 laps to go, after gradually climbing through the field thanks to running the middle stint on the faster reds while most of his rivals were now forced to be on the blacks, Power made his move on Scott Dixon for the lead, and once done, it was over and out from Power.
For the second race in succession, the field made it through Turn 1 unscathed, but by the fourth corner, Alex Tagliani driving for Bryan Herta Motorsport rolled to a gentle stop with engine problems and was unable to move off the circuit, bringing out the first caution period of the day.
Castroneves kept himself out of trouble all afternoon, and was the unlucky victim of slightly better pit work by the Ganassi team on Scott Dixon’s first pit stops which cost him the lead. Castroneves eventually finished in third place.
|Barrichello finished an impressive eighth in his second IndyCar race, while Bourdais drove heroically to finish tenth as the best-placed Lotus-powered runner. It was a result far exceeding many people’s expectations given Lotus’ troubled pre-season|
Rubens Barrichello scored a much better finish than many expected him to already be fighting for so early in his IndyCar career, scoring a more than respectable eighth place finish.
Overall, it was a clean race, with only Takuma Sato and Charlie Kimball failing to finish in addition to the first lap stoppage by Tagliani, with the Rahal and Ganassi drivers suffering from mechanical gremlins.
In two weeks, the IndyCar series heads west to the iconic Long Beach street circuit where battle will resume as fast and ferocious as ever.
2012 Indy Grand Prix of Alabama – Final Classification (90 laps):