Australian racing driver Will Power deserved his place in the historic motorsport's books by winning the IndyCar Series title in 2014 and becoming the first Australian who won the premier American open-wheel racing series. Prior to his title-winning season, Power was the IndyCar vice-champion for three years in a row (2010-2012). His another historic moment came in 2018 when he won Indianapolis 500, becoming the first Australian to do that.
Earlier in a career, his first American success was the 2006 Champ Car Rookie of the Year award. Before chasing the glory in the US, Power competed in Australia and Europe, winning the 2000 Queensland Formula Ford title and 2002 Australian Drivers' Championship title.
Will's father was also a racing driver
Williams Steven Power was born on March 1, 1981, in Toowoomba, Queensland. His father Robert 'Bob' Power was a racing driver, so it was natural for William to follow father's footsteps and to become a race car driver.
After occasional appearances with father's Swift SC92F single-seater in some Formula Ford races during 1998 and 1999, Will entered his first full season both at the Queensland Formula Ford Championship and Australian Formula Ford Championship.
First championship title in a career
He won the championship title in Queensland, scoring five out of twelve races. At the Australian championship, Power was seventh in the points.
In 2001, he continued to drive for the family team but switched to Stealth RF95 car, which was the Western Australian modification of the famous Van Diemen car from 1995. After five wins in 15 races, Power finished as a runner-up at the Australian Formula Ford Championship, behind Will Davison, who was driving the brand-new Van Diemen.
Power was 2002 Australian Drivers' champion
In 2002, Power moved to Formula Holden, driving the Reynard 94D for the Ralt Australia team in the Australian Drivers' Championship. He won seven out of twelve races and dominantly took the title. The season 2002 was extra successful for Will, as he also finished second at the Australian Formula 3 Championship, in which he was driving Toyota-powered Dallara for Cooltemp Racing.
Besides racing with formulas, Power participated in two races of the V8 Supercars Championship, partnering Mark Larkham at Queensland 500 and Bathurst 1000. In the first race, their #10 Ford Falcon finished 11th and at Bathurst they were 18th.
Two seasons in the British Formula 3
After reaching a peak in Australian open-wheel racing, Power moved to Europe in 2003 and joined Diamond Racing in the British Formula 3 Championship. During the season he changed the team, joining Fortec Motorsports. His best result was second place at Thruxton and he finished 14th in the points.
Power progressed to the ninth-place finish in 2004 British F3 Championship, driving for Alan Docking Racing and scoring five podiums in 24 races. At the end of the season, he got an opportunity to test Minardi F1 car, alongside his old Australian rival Will Davison.
Two wins in the 2005 Formula Renault 3.5 Series
His third season in Europe, Power spent driving in the 2005 Formula Renault 3.5 Series for Carlin Motorsport. With two wins, at Bugatti Circuit and Bilbao, he finished seventh in the points. In September, he participated in the first round of the A1 Grand Prix Series, driving for Team Australia at Brands Hatch. In a sprint race, he was fourth, in the main race he finished second.
Champ Car debut at Surfers Paradise
Power left FR 3.5 Series before the end of the season, to participate in the Champ Car race at Surfers Paradise in Australia,on October 22, 2005. He was one of three racers for the Team Australia, which was actually Walker Racing team, sponsored by the Aussie Vineyards. Power retired after 29 laps because of an accident with teammate Alex Tagliani.
After an Australian Champ Car event, Power signed a multi-year deal with the team. He participated in one more race that season, in November in Mexico, scoring 10th-place finish.
Rookie of the Year in the 2006 Champ Car season
In 2006, Power drove full-time for Team Australia/Walker Racing in the Champ Car World Series and took the Rookie of the Year award. In the overall classification, Power was 6th in the points.
He scored nine Top 10 finishes, including his first Champ Car podium in the season-closing race at Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez in Mexico. He scored his first pole position at Surfers Paradise.
First ever Australian driver to win IndyCar Series race
In the 2007 Champ Car World Series season, the team switched to Cosworth-powered Panoz DP01 car. In the opening race of the season, at the inaugural Las Vegas Grand Prix, Power won his first Champ Car race, becoming the first Australian driver to win in the series.
The second victory followed in July at Toronto Grand Prix, which was held at Exhibition Place street course. He added three more podiums to his account and finished fourth in the final standings.
Indy 500 debut with KV Racing
For 2008 IndyCar season, the first season after a merger of Champ Car and Indy Racing League, Power joined KV Racing Technology to drive the #8 Honda-powered Dallara IR05. In April, at Long Beach Grand Prix, he was driving Walker Racing's Panoz-Cosworth and took his only victory that season. In total, he scored five Top 5 finishes and took 12th place at the end of the season. In his debut at Indianapolis 500, Power finished 13th.
Power joined Team Penske in 2009
For 2009 season, Will Power joined Team Penske as a replacement for Helio Castroneves in the #3 car because Castroneves had some problems with federal taxes. Power debuted with Team Penske at the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg and finished sixth. Following that race, Castroneves was acquitted of all tax evasion charges and returned to the team.
During the next race, at the Grand Prix of Long Beach, Power's new car the No. 12 Penske Racing Verizon Wireless Honda/Dallara was officially entered for the Long Beach Grand Prix. In the race, he led for 16 laps but finished second, behind Dario Franchitti. At Indianapolis 500, Power was fighting for the victory but one mistake during the race was fatal and he finished fifth. The winner was his teammate Helio Castroneves.
Sonoma accident interrupted 2009 season
Roger Penske was impressed with Power's performance and the Australian was retained by the team to drive in five more races. He finished third in Toronto and then scored his first victory in the #12 car at Edmonton. The race at Kentucky Speedway, where he finished ninth, was Power's last race that season as he suffered severe injuries in the crash during the practice for Motorola Indy 300 in Sonoma.
The accident happened when Nelson Philippe spun exiting Turn 3 and stalled on the racing line. E.J. Viso could barely avoid him, making light contact, but Power had nowhere to go and crashed heavily into Philippe. Both drivers were hospitalized and they missed the rest of the 2009 season.
IndyCar runner-up for three years in a row
When he returned to the track, he became one of the leading IndyCar drivers and he scored three consecutive runner-up results, losing the titles from Dario Franchitti for two years in a row and from Ryan Hunter-Reay in 2012.
In 2010, the #12 Dallara IR05-Honda was the victorious car five times (Sao Paulo, St.Petersburg, Watkins Glen, Toronto and Sonoma) and eight times at pole, but Franchitti took the title with three wins and five points more than Power.
Power was injured in Wheldon's fatal accident
In 2011, Power won six races (Alabama, Sao Paulo, Texas, Edmonton, Sonoma and Baltimore) but Franchitti was a champion again, scoring four wins and collecting 18 points more than Power.
The season 2011 was marred by the tragic loss of Dan Wheldon, at the season's finale in Las Vegas. Will Power was involved in that accident and he was taken to the hospital.
The best road course driver three years in a row
The winning-losing situation was similar in 2012 when Power won three races with new Chevrolet-powered Dallara DW12. He was the winner at Alabama, Long Beach and Sao Paulo and he finished again in the second place. Ryan Hunter-Reay scored four wins and collected just three points more than Power.
For three years in a row, Power was the best road course driver, winning the Mario Andretti Trophy, but that was a small consolation for losing the titles. In 2013, Power won three races in the late phase of the championship (Sonoma, Houston and Fontana) and finished fourth in the final standings.
Power won 2014 IndyCar Series title
In 2014, finally, it was Power's turn to take the title. He started the season by winning the Grand Prix of St.Petersburg. At Indianapolis 500 he was eighth and then he collected several points at Detroit's double-header, finishing 1st and 2nd. The third season's victory followed in August at the Milwaukee Mile. With two races to go, Power had a 39-points advantage over Helio Castroneves. In the last two races, Power was better than Castroneves and he took the title with 62-points advantage.
Second place at 2015 Indianapolis 500
The season 2015 was difficult, with only one victory for Power's #12 Dallara DW12-Chevrolet. He won the Grand Prix of Indianapolis. Two weeks later, he scored his career-best result at Indianapolis 500, finishing second, behind teammate Juan Pablo Montoya.
In 2016, Power missed the season-opening Grand Prix of St.Petersburg after he secured a pole position. He had an accident during qualifying and he was diagnosed with a concussion after a session, so he was forced to miss the race. At Detroit's double-header, he won the second race.
Later in the season, Power added three more wins (Road America, Toronto and Pocono) and entered the season's finale at Sonoma as one of two championship contenders, alongside teammate Simon Pagenaud. Pagenaud took the title, Power finished in the second place for the fourth time in a career.
Indianapolis 500 winner in 2018
In 2017, Will Power finished fifth in the final standings, what was his worst result since he became full-time driver for Penske. He wasn't bad during a season because he won three races, but the others were simply better, including three Penske teammates (Newgarden 1st, Pagenaud 2nd, Castroneves 4th).
In 2018, Power stays with Team Penske, for his tenth season with The Captain. In May, he won both races at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, firth the Indy Grand Prix and then the 102nd running of the Indianapolis 500, becoming the first Australian to win the greatest American race.