Willing but unable

  • Virgin Australia Supercars Championship
  • |
  • 10/10/2015
  • By Kassie Gadeke

Will Power was almost on the Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 grid this year, coming close to signing a deal with Lucas Dumbrell Motorsport for 2015.

The Team Penske IndyCar driver and champion is watching on with DJR Team Penske after arriving at Mount Panorama yesterday.

Like any driver, he'd prefer to be out on track, and had the offer, but could not accept because of sponsor commitment clashes.

LDM had been excited early in the season about an international superstar they wanted to pair with Tim Blanchard but ultimately couldn't get there.

"I was close, I just couldn't commit to all three because I was still in limbo with sponsors," Power told v8supercars.com.au.

"But they're a good little team up there [at LDM] it just didn't come through."

While it had been an option for DJR Team Penske to run a Bathurst wild card this season, the team chose to focus on car #17 - which has made the ARMOR ALL Top 10 Shootout this weekend and looks quick.

"There was talk of running a second car there for DJR Team Penske, but those guys were focussed on getting the one car running well before thinking about the second one," Power said.

"This is definitely the event you want to be at and be driving, not spectating. It's am awesome track and atmosphere - it's like the Indy 500 of Australia."

As soon as the 34-year old saw the circuit last night, he wished he had been able to make something eventuate.

The Aussie from Toowoomba raced at Bathurst in 2002, lining up with Mark Larkham in the Orrcon Racing Ford Falcon AU and finished 18th.

He's keen for another opportunity in V8 Supercars to eventuate after tackling the Gold Coast as an international driver with Ford Performance Racing (now Prodrive) and finishing third with Mark Winterbottom in 2012 in both races and 13th with Steven Richards in 2010.

"I raced here in 2002 with Larkham and that was probably one of the most fun experiences I've had in motorsport, that was really enjoyable.

"I did two times the Gold Coast with FPR which was a lot of fun. It's a great series, I really enjoy driving the cars ... those cars were so nice to drive, the FPR cars."

While he has a relationship with Prodrive, it's believed Power is not a chance to jump in car #6 to sub for injured Chaz Mostert at the Gold Coast because of conflicting commitments.

Power has been one of Australia's best motorsport exports, having won the IndyCar title in 2013 and finishing third last year.

"It was fantastic to finally win the championship having knocked on that door three times before, having been so close," he said.

"I should've won at least two of those quite easily.

"A great team like Penske have always got competitive cars.

"It's a very tough series, you need to be good at all of the disciplines - on the street roads, the short ovals and the super speedways, they're all different animals.

"It's a lot of fun - the cars are fun to drive and the variety of fun makes it really challenging and enjoyable."

Power will be with DJR Team Penske for the Great Race tomorrow and said he had watched all of Thursday's practice on the couch at his mum's house in Toowoomba.

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