St. Pete: KVT/Team Australia race report

POWER RECOVERS TO FINISH EIGHTH IN ST PETERSBURG Will Power has earned his first top 10 IndyCar finish in a treacherous Honda Grand Prix of St Petersburg by finishing eighth in Round 2 of the IndyCar Series in Florida today. Power started the...

POWER RECOVERS TO FINISH EIGHTH IN ST PETERSBURG

Will Power has earned his first top 10 IndyCar finish in a treacherous Honda Grand Prix of St Petersburg by finishing eighth in Round 2 of the IndyCar Series in Florida today.

Power started the race from second on the grid and spent much of the first half of the race dicing with the front runners in the top five in wet conditions on the 1.8 mile/2.89km street circuit.

Power was on track for a top five finish in the #8 Aussie Vineyards - Team Australia Honda/Dallara/Firestone but did not have much luck in the middle stages of the race.

Contact with eventual race winner Graham Rahal set back the Australian's charge and pit stop strategy also made things tough for Power.

The 27-year-old pitted for a second set of Firestone wet tyres on lap 34, as the track still had standing water in many sections. The move however, proved costly, as those who gambled on slick tyres soon began to set the pace.

Power tried to stay out in an attempt to make it into the next fuel window. However, times and track position began to deteriorate so badly that the Toowoomba-born driver had to come in again to switch to slick tyres on lap 45.

Power found himself in 20th position after the second stop, but from there he drove a solid error free race, passing cars when he could and benefiting from the mistakes and attrition of other drivers.

Eight place lifted Power up nine places to 16th in the IndyCar Series points standings, as well as jumping into sixth place in the Bombardier Rookie of the Year standings after two races.

Rahal became the youngest winner in IndyCar history at St Petersburg today by winning on debut, with defending race winner Helio Castroneves taking the championship lead with second place and polesitter Tony Kanaan coming home in third place.

Will Power - #8 Aussie Vineyards - Team Australia Honda/Dallara/Firestone

"It was a pretty wild race obviously because of the weather," said Power.

"To come back and finish eighth was very good considering where we were at one point.

"I am very happy for the whole KV Racing Technology team and the Aussie Vineyards-Team Australia crew.

"At least we bought the car back in one piece for the second race in a row."

Craig Gore: Aussie Vineyards - Team Australia

"Will had a fast car all weekend but he just didn't have things fall his way in the race today," said Gore.

"But we have to focus on the positives, because to qualify second, finish eighth after coming from the back, as well as proving that the Aussie Vineyards car was one of the fastest cars at St Pete is a superb effort.

"Will and the entire team should be proud of their efforts. Aussie Vineyards and Team Australia are very proud to be a part of such a dedicated and hard working group of people. KV Racing Technology should be extremely proud of getting two cars in the top 10 today in only the second race of the IndyCar Series season."

**KV Racing Technology Co-Owner Kevin Kalkhoven Injured in Skiing Accident

KV Racing Technology Co-Owner Kevin Kalkhoven was involved in a skiing accident a couple of days before the Honda Grand Prix of St Petersburg.

Kalkhoven broke four ribs, punctured a lung and had concussion. He was in a tremendous amount of pain at the track, but refused to stay at home and flew into St Petersburg, Florida late Saturday night.

"I could not believe it when Kevin told me he was heading to the race," said Craig Gore.

"I know he was in an enormous amount of pain, but he was determined to get to the track and personally thank everyone who has been working day in and day out to get the team on track for the first couple of races of the season.

"That shows fantastic commitment to this deal and I am proud to be involved with Kevin, Jimmy and the entire KV Racing Technology operation, which has given so much and been nothing short of enormously professional since the unification was announced."

-credit: kvt/ta

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Helio Castroneves , Tony Kanaan , Graham Rahal , Will Power , Kevin Kalkhoven
Teams KV Racing Technology