Will Power won the 2014 Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg with an outstanding performance on Sunday in which he took the lead from pole-sitter Takuma Sato just after the halfway point of the race and never relented.
He conquered the 1.8-mile, 14-turn nightmare of a course, which Chris Jasurek of The Epoch Times noted "punishes any lack of precision and rewards bravura overtaking maneuvers."
Precision and bravura were in full display by Powers, who is on a serious hot streak after winning three of the final five races of the 2013 season. Here's a bit more information about his run of success on the IZOD IndyCar Series, as detailed by IndyCar Series on Twitter:
Ryan Hunter-Reay came in second place, while Helio Castroneves rounded out the top three.
For full results, please visit IndyCar.com.
Sato had a commanding lead midway through the race, as noted by IndyCar PR, but he couldn't regain the lead after finally making his first pit stop of the afternoon, finishing in seventh place:
Instead, Power took over the race and ultimately won by a convincing margin of 1.95 seconds over Hunter-Reay while the rest of the field finished well behind.
"That was physical and hard" Power said after the race, via the ABC broadcast, "but I'm pretty stoked to get the first win for Verizon as the series sponsor. [...] I worked so hard in the offseason. [...] I was happy we had a good race car today, because we didn't quite have the pace in qualifying."
This was the 10-year anniversary of the prestigious race at St. Petersburg, which kicked off the 2014 IndyCar season. As such, event organizers went all out to make this year's spectacle one to remember.
"Ten years of exciting auto racing and exhilarating race weekends is worth celebrating," said Tim Ramsberger, President of the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg in a media release, via Laura Harris of ABC Action News in Tampa Bay. "The event just keeps getting better and better."
Is this finally the year Will Power wins a championship?
Obviously, since this is the first race of the season, Power takes an early lead in the IZOD IndyCar Series. Given his run of success late in the season last year, he must be taken seriously to win his first championship after finishing in second place three times in the past four years.
It was a spectacular showing by Power and his crew, and based on the way they performed, nobody should be surprised if this team continues its winning ways throughout the entire 2014 campaign.