While Daniel Ricciardo was off in Monaco, winning the Crown Jewel of the F1 circuit, another Aussie, Will Power, was busy winning the 102nd running of the Indianapolis 500.
Power is the first Australian to win motorsport’s biggest race.
Power, he of perhaps the best surname in racing, hails from Toowoomba, which, to city names, is almost the equal of Power in racing names.
At times during the Indy 500, Power had to deal with another Queenslander, Scott Dixon, who is a Kiwi born and bred.
Like Monaco, where Ricciardo led a procession, Power ran in front of the Indy grid for most of the race, save for the times he had to make a stop for tyres and gas.
Power took the lead for the final time in the race with four laps remaining. He had the quickest, best handling car all day, so when the green flag fell to resume racing with 490 miles of the race in his mirror, he needed only to keep the rubber side down.
He started the last 10 miles in fourth position, but quickly dispensed with Dixon. He was handed the race when the two cars in front of him, driven by Oriol Servia and Jack Harvey, had to pit in the closing laps to top of their petrol tanks, as their fuel strategy left them running on vapours at the worst possible time.
Power now finds himself in the enviable position of being tied for first place on the all-time list of IndyCar wins, equal with All Unser Jr.
It was the 17th Indianapolis 500 win for Roger “Win or Get Fired Penske,” whose name is often found at the top of almost any racing series you would care to mention.
Another Aussie driver in the race, James Davison, crashed out early in the race in a collision with the winner of the Indy 500 last year, Takuma Sato.
All in all, for a country where drivers drive on the left and pass on the right, Aussie drivers have fared quite well on the world’s biggest stages.