IndyCar championship leader Will Power hopes a good result in Sunday’s Grand Prix of Indianapolis will set him up for this month’s Indy 500.
The epic annual month of motorsport in the American city of Indianapolis is about to get even bigger.
The city already stops for the Indianapolis 500 every year at the end of May but the IndyCar teams and drivers are already in town for this weekend’s Grand Prix of Indianapolis event.
The 200-mile race will be held on a 14-turn revamped road course right next to the speedway known as the Brickyard, where the 500 is held.
It begins a huge month for the field, including Australian championship contender Will Power.
After a red-hot start to the year, Power is the man to beat going into this weekend’s event.
The Queenslander has finished inside the top five in all three races so far this year, including a win in the season-opening Grand Prix of St Petersburg in Florida, to hold an 18-point championship lead over American Ryan Hunter-Reay.
No Australian has ever won the Indianapolis 500, with Power’s best finish being fifth in 2009.
Power says a good result in Sunday’s race could be all the momentum he needs to enjoy a potentially life-changing month in Indianapolis.
The road course is a new destination for the championship, leaving plenty of questions over who will tame the track the best.
Power’s dominance in road course events over the past three year should give him plenty of confidence however.
“Obviously, with this being the first race, there are a lot of unknowns,” Power said after practice at the venue, where he was the sixth-fastest.
“A win here would be a great way to start off the month of May.”
Fellow Australian Ryan Briscoe will also be looking for a big result as he continues his return to full-time IndyCar racing.
Briscoe has fond memories of Indianapolis, having started the 500 on pole in 2012 and finishing inside the top five in two of his eight starts.