Thursday, Apr 25 10:59am
AUTHOR: Simon Chapman

Will Power keen on Bathurst 1000 drive

Australian driver Will Power wants to tackle one of the toughest endurance races in the world with DJR Team Penske.


Speaking on the Dale Jr. Podcast the IndyCar Series champion said he’d like to tick off some bucket list items, including another Bathurst 1000 and a NASCAR drive.


The 38-year-old has previous experience at Mount Panorama in the early 2000s. in 2002 he made his Bathurst 1000 debut with Mark Larkham in a Ford Falcon AU where they finished 18th overall.


The following year he raced in the Bathurst 24 Hour with Des Wall, Paul Freestone and James Koundouris in a Porsche 911 GT3-RS but retired late in the race after 474 laps.


“It’s an amazing high-commitment, flowing-corners track,” Power said.


“And it’s almost built for a sedan. An open-wheel car wouldn’t do it justice because you’d just be wide open all across the top.


“But in a Supercar, a heavy car, it’s a handful. Coming down over Skyline just as you start heading down the Mountain, how steep that is, it’s a blind corner, and I think they’re in fifth gear there.


“I had the early morning stint, like 4am, and just as I’m coming over the crest, I see the sun – one lap the sun wasn’t there, next lap she’s popped up,” Power said of his endurance drive.


“Amazing, amazing track. Really tough. I really want to do it again.”


Whether an opportunity with DJR Team Penske to compete in the Bathurst 1000 would be forthcoming is unclear. Currently their co-driver line-up is occupied by Alex Premat alongside Scott McLaughlin and Tony D’Alberto with Fabian Coulthard who have been staples of the team for several years. Neither Couldthard nor McLaughlin have been able to win the Bathurst 1000 yet.


A wild card entry might be considered by the two-car team to field Power and another driver from their extensive international line-up. In years gone by Juan Pablo Montoya has expressed a desire to compete at the Bathurst 1000.


“But I want to go back and do the Bathurst 1000 now Penske has a great team. It’s just a cool event and as an Australian, that was the race you watched as a kid. You’d get up when it started early in the morning and you’d watch it all day.


“It’s a dream of mine to win that. Any Australian kid, it’s a dream to win Bathurst. So I want to go back there and have a shot, or just get some experience there and be in a position where I could potentially win it.”


Will Power won the 2014 edition of the IndyCar Series with Team Penske and last year won the Indianapolis 500. He has 35 wins and 56 pole positions to his name.