Will Power admits feeling frustrated but extremely hungry to break through after just missing out on the Indycar championship title for the third year running.
Back home to share a drive with Ford star Mark Winterbottom in this weekend’s V8 Supercars Gold Coast 600, Power can also see plenty of upside to his near-misses while chasing history as the first Australian to win the Indycar title.
After missing out on the last day to Scotsman Dario Franchitti in 2010 and 2011, Power went into last month’s 2012 season finale in California as leader but crashed and ended up second on the standings behind American Ryan Hunter-Reay by just three points.
“The positive is we’re always knocking on the door,” said Power.
“We know where I need to improve, which is on ovals.
“There’s 25 other guys that didn’t win too.
“There’s only one guy who wins each year, but just the fact that we get so close and haven’t executed, yes, is frustrating and, after this season, very disappointing.
“It keeps me bloody hungry and determined to get that title.”
Power was enjoying being back in his home state for the Gold Coast 600, where internationally-based co-drivers team up with the V8 Supercars’ regulars on the Surfers Paradise street circuit.
“I always enjoy coming to the Gold Coast,” he said.
“I tried to win it in IndyCar a number of times when they had IndyCars race here and never got to do it so it gives me another chance especially being with FPR (Ford Performance Racing).
“It’s a very quick team, and Frosty (Winterbottom) is right there in the championship and obviously one of the best drivers in the series.
“I get to see the family and race and, maybe, win.”
As for the future, Power says the key to securing that elusive Indycar crown will be finding some consistent form on the American-style oval circuits.
In several seasons of racing in North America, Power still has just one oval victory in IndyCars to his name and that’s where he aims to improve.
“You look long and hard at what went wrong this season and I think it’s pretty obvious that we struggled on the ovals and had three DNF’s on the ovals – otherwise it was an easy championship for us to win,” he said.
“But the championship includes ovals … It’s one of the most versatile series in the world. You have to execute on all disciplines – the short ovals, super speedways, street courses and road courses.
“At the end of the day, if you put yourself in a good position, which is qualify right at the front and start well, you’re less prone to getting involved in someone else’s accidents.”
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