Will Power wins the 2018 IndyCar Grand Prix


The 2018 IndyCar Grand Prix at Indianapolis is now in the books, which means that what the locals refer to as the "Indy Opening Weekend" is officially in full swing. It was the 200th win in Indy vehicle history for Team Penske, which made its debut in the sport 50 years ago.

Many big names were left starting from thirteenth on back, including former Indy 500 champions Ryan Hunter-Reay (13th) and Scott Dixon (18th).

In fresh air Dixon chipped away at the gap to the leaders and by the time the cars emerged from a final pit stop during a safety vehicle period - he managed to get up to third and be on the same fuel and tyre situation as all of the leading contenders.

Penske, the 81-year-old mastermind of the team, downplayed the achievement of the 200th win.

Kiwi Scott Dixon has given his Indycar championship charge a shot in the arm with a stunning second place finish at the Indianapolis Road Course race on Sunday morning.

After the resumption from yellow Dixon dived by rookie Robert Wickens to grab second place. In third was rookie Robert Wickens in the No. 6 Lucas Oil SPM Honda rounding out the podium finishers. He drives for Schmidt Peterson Motorsports. Power pressed the push-to-pass button at precisely the right moment to give Roger Penske's his 200th series win!

But the man who led for a race-high 50 laps in 2017 was actually Britain's very own Max Chilton, before he had to settle for a fourth place finish after losing his lead with seven laps remaining.

Penske's Helio Castroneves finished sixth in his season debut.

"When Wickens was on reds and I was on blacks, I've never driven so hard to watch a gap grow", said Power, who has won three of the five Indy Grand Prix races and two in a row.

In this, the fifth IndyCar Grand Prix, Will Power has started from the pole twice before. Both Power and Wickens went with red tires and came out first and second respectively.

Team Penske has won all four previous races on the 2.439-mile, 14-turn course - a streak that could be in serious jeopardy.

American Graham Rahal was third, more than 2.6 seconds off the pace. He now ranks third all-time in IndyCar poles - 16 behind the all-time mark set by Mario Andretti.

Pace auto driver Lilly King, a two-time Olympic gold medalist, and pole victor Will Power led the 24-car field to the starting line.

On lap 56 out of 85, Penske's Josef Newgarden tried a lacklustre overtake on Sebastien Bourdais and this led to the American spinning and stalling the vehicle to bring out the final caution which meant the frontrunners were forced into a fuel-saving battle towards the chequered flag.

"In winter testing, you always put it on the list - "We're going to practice a long run with fuel save" - and then obviously the engineers get greedy, you end up doing setup change, setup change, setup change, and you run out of time, and don't end up doing it".

There were no cautions in last year's race.

"It was the first time in my career I've had to save fuel like that, but in the end, happy with the podium", Wickens said.

Marco Andretti's engine has been replaced, and he is expected to start from the 14th spot in Saturday's race. The first red flag waved when smoke started billowing from the back of Marco Andretti's No. 98 auto.

Three-time Indianapolis 500 victor Helio Castroneves finished sixth in his season debut, 14.3860 seconds behind, after starting 10th.

Wickens held on for third while defending series champ Josef Newgarden made a costly error in the latter part of the race to lose some points to his rivals.