AP – Australian IndyCar driver Will Power has lashed out after a bumpy restart cost him potential victory at the Detroit Grand Prix, which was won by first-time victor Simon Pagenaud.
The Frenchman took advantage of a series of restarts to finish 5.6 seconds in front of James Jakes on Sunday, in the second of two races at the Belle Isle track.
“Luckily enough, my reflexes are pretty sharp,” Pagenaud said after the crash-filled race.
The reigning IndyCar Rookie of the Year hadn’t finished better than second in 39 IndyCar and Champ Car races.
“Those last two laps were very emotional in the car but I kept saying, ‘Keep pushing’,” he said.
“When I crossed the finish line, it was a sweet moment.”
But it was more bitter than sweet for 20th-placed Power, whose shot to compete for a win ended when he was bumped from behind by Sebastien Bourdais in one of several side-by-side restarts.
Power had earlier led the first three laps of the race.
The move affected nine other cars and prompted Power to get out of his car and throw his gloves toward Bourdais.
“The safety worker was being very aggressive with me. I was like, ‘Hey, I’m just trying to show the Frenchman my displeasure with him’ and that was it,” Power said.
Bourdais was penalised during the race for avoidable contact.
The Australian was also critical of the potentially dangerous restarts which IndyCar uses on its road and street courses as well as at Milwaukee and Iowa.
“They need to rethink these double-file restarts for open-wheel cars,” the Penske Racing driver said.
Second-placed Jakes was also a little salty that the start-and-stop nature of the race hurt his chances of winning an IndyCar event for the first time.
“Whenever we managed to get in a rhythm, the yellow flags kept coming out,” Jakes said.
Six cautions stunted the first half of the race, with five of the 25 cars not finishing because of contact.
Mike Conway, who won the first race on Saturday with just three cautions, finished third.
New Zealand’s Scott Dixon was fourth, followed by Dario Franchitti and Marco Andretti, who pulled into a tie with Helio Castroneves for the IndyCar points lead.
Australia’s Ryan Briscoe finished 13th, the same position his started the race.
After racing on a tight, 3.8km street course, IndyCar’s next race is on an oval at Texas Motor Speedway.