He may have come runner up in the IndyCar Series for the second year in a row, but Aussie Will Power has been voted the best driver in the series for season 2011 by racing bible Racer magazine.
The American magazine which is from the same stable as the famous Autosport magazine, rated the top 10 drivers for 2011. Despite the fact that Penske driver Power again got beaten to the title by Scot Dario Franchitti for Chip ganassi Racing, he did enough to impress the Racer team, particularly editor David Malsher, to take the top spot.
Racer awarded the prize to Power for his particularly strong season-long performances which saw him take the most wins and poles of any driver (six and eight respectively). Malsher went further to state that what lost Power the title was incidents that were largely out of the Queenslander’s control.
“What’s more remarkable still is that Power also makes fewer mistakes than any of his rivals. He beat himself up over qualifying at Edmonton and Motegi, where little errors on his quickest runs in Q3 allowed poles to slip away by 0.05sec and 0.03sec, respectively. And it will gnaw at him that at Mid-Ohio, a scrappy final turn on his hot lap allowed one of his Penske teammates (Briscoe) to outqualify him for only the second time in their 22 road/street course races together. But none of those were game-changers, none of them accounted for his 18-point deficit to Franchitti in the final standings,” Malsher states.
It’s probably little consolation to the Aussie, who also had to endure the pain (with his other IndyCar Series colleagues) of seeing Dan Wheldon pass away in the final round of the championship, but the vote of confidence really hammers home the depth of talent that Power has. In our humble opinion he is knocking on the door of being Australia’s best international racing driver. Sure, the IndyCar Series is not Formula 1, but to put in such consistent performances is certainly praise worthy on an international level.
You can read Racer’s top 10 here.
Damian Francis has previously edited Australian T3 and F1 Racing magazine and wrote for GQ Australia and Men’s Health. Unlike Nick and Trev, he has no kids, no mortgage and no wife, but lives happily on Sydney’s North Shore with his girlfriend.