Bathurst battle of Will’s
Queensland’s Indycar star puts the US first, writes STEPHEN OTTLEY
INDYCAR star Will Power jetted back to his roots last weekend. The American-based racer made a surprise appearance at the Bathurst 1000 after flying in on Sunday in a private jet owned by his team boss, Queensland businessman Craig Gore.
It was Power’s first time at the race since 2002, when he co-drove a Ford Falcon with Mark Larkham straight after winning the Australian Formula Holden title and finishing second in the local Formula Three championship.
He’s back in Australia to prepare for next weekend’s Indy 300 around the streets of the Gold Coast but admits he still hopes to race at Bathurst again.
‘‘In the right situation, yes,’’ Power says. ‘‘It was one of the most enjoyable weekend’s I’ve had here, running with Larko. A learning experience as well.’’
He says it will have to wait until after his Indycar career ends because the V8 Supercar competition is too tough to try to tame in a one-off appearance at Australia’s toughest racetrack.
‘‘I think I’d rather be doing this full-time,’’ he says. ‘‘It would be very tough to be competitive just doing a one-off, especially in a V8 Supercar. It’s a different animal and it would take a while to catch on to what makes it quick. It’s important to do it properly or not do it at all.’’
Especially after spending most of his career in open-wheel race cars.
‘‘That’s what I’ve been doing for the past few years. Well, pretty much my whole career, racing open-wheelers. I know the trade well,’’ he says.
Given the choice between Bathurst and Indycar’s biggest race, the Indianapolis 500, Power says his heart wants a US win.
‘‘For me, the Indy 500,’’ he says. ‘‘It’s a pretty incredible race. It’s probably the biggest race in the world. It has the biggest crowd in the world. Everything about it is big, including the prizemoney; $US2.9 million to win.’’ OWER caught up with Larkham — now a Channel 7 commentator — and former Champ Car drivers Marcus Marshall and Matt Halliday, who were sharing a Britek Motorsport Ford in the race.
Born and raised in Toowoomba in Queensland, Power is determined to win his home race after coming so close in the past two years only to be involved in crashes each time.
It will be a new challenge this year because the Indycar Series has taken over the former Champ Car series. The Indycar series uses different cars and has never raced at Surfers Paradise.
‘‘No doubt it will be a huge event. I can’t wait to get in the car for that first practice session.’’
Power surge: (from left) Matt Halliday, Will Power and Marcus Marshall on the Bathurst 1000 grid at the weekend.