The Australian driver Will Power joined yesterday a conference call for INDYCAR and answered questions during 20 minutes. He is one of the most charismatic and polemics drivers in the IZOD IndyCar Series.
Will, with your past record at Sonoma (the only IndyCar driver to win more than once at Sonoma Raceway, and the winner of the last three pole positions at the track), you have to be looking forward to getting back in your car for this weekend’s GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma.
Definitely. Especially the year we’ve had, I Can’t wait to get back there. It’s a track I’ve had a lot of success on. Although the competition has definitely heated up this year, we still expect to be running right at the front.
Would you say that the races at Sonoma or Baltimore are your best opportunities to at least challenge for wins?
I think the next two, for sure, are good tracks for me. Always quick there. Then you’ve go Houston, as well, and even Fontana, obviously I haven’t wont on an oval for a long time. Sonoma is definitely a good chance for us.
This year is a little bit of a role reversal; the last three years you’ve been right in the mix for the championship, and this year it’s your teammate, Helio Castroneves, who is leading the championship. Does that change the way you approach the last five races of the season, or you just think about what the 12 car can do and score as many points as you can?
Well, for the 12 car, we have just go to try and win each race and put ourselves in a really good position. If I’m in a position to help Helio out, of course, it’s all about team. I’d love to see Roger (Penske) win a championship, and Helio. I would most definitely help him out.
Your last win came in São Paulo last year, even after that, Penske has had three wins since then. What is happening with the car this year, especially with you, that you’re just not being able to get the wins that you normally should get, especially on the road and street courses?
Well, it’s probably a number of things. One is the competition is definitely tougher, for sure. There are some things that were homologated at the end of last year, which gave us a little bit of an advantage and every other Chevy team. The car itself, you’re really boxed into a corner as far as setup. There’s not much adjustment on this car that you can do because of the way it was designed with this rearward weight distribution. So you’re stuck, and you can’t set it up to suit yourself. You have to drive it as it is. I think that that itself closes the field up. There are a few other reasons. Just had some bad incidents happen such as getting run over on a yellow, getting hit in the pits, engine failure at Brazil. And then a few other things to go along with it.
At Mid Ohio how surprised, or was it surprising at all, to see some of the guys that jumped ahead of you on the three stop strategy to be able to push? Since I know this race you kind of got caught up by strategy in the yellow here last year, do you think you’ll be able to do a flat out run, or have to save it at certain points again?
Actually, I think it’s a pretty clear two stopper at Sonoma, so it will be a flat out run. Whereas Mid Ohio, you could make it in two by saving a lot of fuel and going slow, so that’s why you saw what happened, happen. At Mid Ohio, I just had to do what (Ryan) Hunter Reay did, because it was very difficult to pass there. So if he ran hard and did three stops, we were going to do that; and if he saved fuel and went to two, we were going to do that. And I think once you had done that first stop, you were kind of boxed in. You had to do it in two, otherwise you’re going to lose a lot more, like Dixon did.
Any thoughts, would you have encouragement for (Juan Pablo) Montoya if he would like to look back at INDYCAR again?
He was obviously a very, very good driver when he came into INDYCAR, or CART, as it was. I love it when high profile drivers come into the series. It’s very good for INDYCAR and it’s cool to compete against those types of guys.