IndyCar »

Briscoe wins Surfers.

Ryan Briscoe added to the legacy of Surfers Paradise by extending the list of different winners and becoming the first Australian driver to win on the streets of the Gold Coast as he triumphed on the IndyCar Series first - and maybe only - visit 'down under'.

Briscoe, one of two Australians in the field, held off Australian-born but New Zealand 'native' Scott Dixon to claim the non-championship exhibition event by a mere half-second, while Ryan Hunter-Reay returned Rahal Letterman Racing to the podium several years after co-owner Bobby Rahal's last race at the circuit.

Briscoe started third in the #6 Team Penske car and led for nearly two-thirds of the race's 60 laps, once fellow countryman - and polesitter - Will Power had snagged a barrier and damaged his KV Race Technology/Team Australia car. In all, Briscoe led three times for 39 laps, retaking the point for the final time on lap 43 after the final round of pit-stops and holding off new champion Dixon as he dealt with traffic in the final stages.

"What a way to cap off the year - and in my home country too," Briscoe bubbled, after taking a third win of the year to add to previous successes at Milwaukee and Mid-Ohio, "It doesn't get better than this."

The win was Penske's second at Surfers, but its first in a long while following its defection from Champ Car to the IRL. Emerson Fittipaldi took the team's only other success 'down under' at the second-ever running, back in 1992.

"I have to give credit to the guys at Team Penske. My new engineer Eric [Cowdin] did a great job all weekend, and I'm just so happy for all the [Australian] fans. It was a great event and we're going to turn up the wick tonight."

Having missed out on winning the season finale at Chicagoland by 0.0033secs, Dixon finished just 0.5019secs behind Briscoe on the punishing street circuit, which claimed four accident victims during the 60 laps. The Kiwi, however, led for a single lap around one-third distance, but took advantage of the traffic to close in on the leader as the chequered flag neared.

"We had a bit bad start and short-cut the track, so we had to give Briscoe a position back," the Ganassi driver revealed, "It was unfortunate because it's so hard to pass on track. The traffic at the end made it exciting though. We were quicker in different spots - he was quicker than me, but we were quicker on the backside. I don't know [if i could have passed him] - maybe, if he had made a mistake, we could have got him."

Hunter-Reay put an exclamation mark on a solid season for Rahal Letterman Racing by returning to the podium in the Team Ethanol car at a circuit where he won the 2003 Surfers Paradise Champ Car race. The American's only other win since that time came earlier this year when he triumphed in an unpredictable Watkins Glen race - after Briscoe and Dixon were eliminated by a rare mistake from the Kiwi.

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Ryan Briscoe [Pic credit: IndyCar Media]
Will Power Texas
Detroit IndyCar Andretti RHR
Detroit IndyCar Helio Castroneves
Helio Castroneves 2017 Indy 500 practice
Ryan Hunter-Reay Indy 500 practice 2017
Will Power Indy 500 practice
Simon Pagenaud Phoenix IndyCar
Josef Newgarden, Penske, IndyCar, Barber Motorsports Park
Simon Pagenaud (Team Penske) celebrates winning the 2016 IndyCar title with victory at Sonoma   [pic credit: Chris Owens]
Simon Pagenaud - Team Penske   [pic credit: IndyCar Media/Chris Owens]
Will Power - Team Penske
Will Power - Team Penske   [pic credit: Indycar media/Chris Jones]
Will Power - Team Penske   [pic credit: Indycar media/Chris Jones]
Will Power - Team Penske   [pic credit: Indycar media/Chris Owens]
Simon Penske - Team Penske   [pic credit: IndyCar media/Bret Kelley]
Simon Pagenaud - Team Penske   [pic credit: IndyCar Media/Joe Skibinski]

Join the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.

© 1999 - 2017 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.