Power prevails in Toronto
Toronto, Canada (Sports Network) - Will Power captured Sunday's Steelback Grand Prix of Toronto on the wet city streets. The No.5 Team Australia driver crossed the finish line 2.972 seconds ahead of Neel Jani.
The victory was Power's second of the season and second of his Champ Car career.
Three-time series champion Sebastien Bourdais led the 17-car field around the 1.755-mile, 11-turn temporary street course to the green flag.
The first lap was action-packed, to say the least. It all started with last week's winner, Robert Doornbos, stalling his car on pit road.
While Doornbos was having problems, Oriol Servia had a great start to go from the third position on the grid to the race lead.
As the drivers entered turn three a huge crash broke out to bring out the first caution flag. Simon Pagenaud lost the wing to his car. His wing was now stuck under the nose of Paul Tracy's car. This caused Tracy to go flying into the wall while collecting other drivers. Katherine Legge, Alex Figge, Tristan Gommendy, Graham Rahal and Jan Heylen were also involved in the crash.
The huge wreck ended the day for Legge, Figge, Gommendy, Tracy and Heylen.
During the caution period some of the drivers in the back of the field took pit stops to get on different strategies.
When the race finally went back to green on lap seven, Servia led Bourdais, Justin Wilson, Bruno Junqueira and Power.
The No.7 Forsythe Championship Racing driver opened up a margin of one second before the next caution flag flew on lap 14. During the caution period a few more backmarkers took pits stops.
On lap 17 the race got back underway with Servia leading Bourdais, Wilson, Power and Junqueira.
The battle behind the leaders started to heat up on lap 19. Wilson tried to duck inside of Bourdais but in the process interlocked wheels with the three- time series champion. This sent Wilson into a spin and when he got his car restarted he had fallen to 12th place.
Bourdais fortunately escaped without any damage and now set his sights on Servia. The three-time series champion got very close to passing Servia but all his efforts failed.
The No.7 FCR driver finally put some distance between himself and Bourdais. After 26 laps the gap between the two drivers was three seconds.
As the first pit stops for the leaders approached the margin started to decrease.
On lap 36 Servia slowed down as he got ready to pit. But Servia decreased his speed a little too early it seemed and Bourdais went flying past him on the track.
When Bourdais took his first stop on the next lap rain started to fall. The rest of the leaders took their first pit stops during the next few laps. Ryan Dalziel was the only driver to take wet-weather tires during the green flag stops.
The wet weather became more of a factor on lap 39 when Alex Tagliani, the race leader, went flying into the barrier in turn three. Doornbos spun out in the same spot and almost made contact with a sitting Tagliani. The caution flag came out.
Under the caution period most of the field came down pit road to put on wet- weather tires. Dan Clarke decided not to pit and take rain tires.
Since Dalziel took on wet-weather tires before the caution period he didn't have to pit. He found himself in the top spot now.
The No.28 Pacific Coast Motorsports driver led Clarke, Jani, Power and Bourdais to the lap 43 restart. Clarke dropped through the field because he was still on slick tires. Two laps later he would bring out the caution flag when he crashed in turn 11.
Dalziel led Power, Jani, Bourdais and Rahal to the restart on lap 48. The race went back to green for a few laps before Rahal had his share of problems.
On lap 51 Rahal crashed into the barrier in turn eight. This accident caused Rahal to come down pit road to get a new nose, his third of the race. Rahal would loss control of his car on lap 53 to bring out the caution flag.
The move of the race came on the lap 57 restart. Power used a great restart and ducked inside of Dalziel for the race lead. On the next lap Servia crashed in the first turn to bring out the caution flag.
On lap 62 the race got back underway with Power ahead of Dalziel, Jani, Bourdais and Wilson. Power maintained his lead as some passing occurred behind him. Jani passed Dalziel for the second spot. Another pass took place when Wilson got past Bourdais for fourth.
Meanwhile, Power expanded his margin to over four seconds with 10 minutes remaining in the race (lap 66).
On lap 68 the co-point leaders, Bourdais and Doornbos, got together to bring out the caution flag. Doornbos got into the back of Bourdais and sent him into the barrier. Doornbos was able to continue the race but Bourdais' day was over.
With a little over two minutes left to go Power led Jani, Dalziel, Wilson and Pagenaud to the restart.
Power held onto the lead during the restart. Behind the leader, Wilson crashed Dalziel into the tires to take over the third spot. The race stayed under green flag conditions though.
The No.5 Team Australia driver held off Jani and crossed the finish line for the victory.
Wilson, Pagenaud and Junqueira completed the top-five.
The next race in the series is set for Sunday, July 22nd at the JAGflo Speedway.
07/08 15:24:49 ET