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Long Beach 2008: Era ends with Power cut.


The final race of the Champ Car World Series was won by Will Power after 83 laps around the street of Long Beach brought the curtain down on 29 years of competition.

Power took the lead at the start and was untroubled from the moment Justin Wilson retired early on, the run of success enjoyed by the McDonalds car in California coming to an abrupt end with mechanical problems on lap twelve. From there, the Australian only ceded top spot during the pit-stop windows, eventually coming home a comfortable five seconds clear of the field to add to his victories in Las Vegas and Toronto last season, and add a second success to Cristiano da Matta's sole win for KVRT predecessor PKV Racing.

“I got a very good start, which I knew was really important,” Power said, “The KVRT team did a great job with the car - good fuel saving, great pit-stops - and I was very fast in the race.

"I am very happy for Kevin Kalkhoven and Craig Gore, who is the one who gave me the opportunity to race Champ Cars. I am also happy for the whole KVRT team. They have put in so much work over the last couple of months, having been away from their families, so it's great to give them a win because they are the ones who deserve it.”

Franck Montagny provided a glimpse of what might have been, the Frenchman taking second spot for Forsythe Pettit Racing after setting the pace in testing at Sebring before the decision to unify America's two premier open-wheel series spelt the end for Champ Car.

The podium was completed by the man who spent much of last season plugging gaps at various teams, but Mario Dominguez had extra reason to celebrate as he gave Pacific Coast Motorsport its maiden Champ Car top three. The team has yet to reveal its plans for the coming year, but at least bowed out of Champ Car on a high.

“Everyone was racing really hard and to be on the podium in the final Champ Car is a great honour," the Mexican commented, "The team gave me great communication today. We saved a lot of fuel and drove hard. I passed [Alex] Tagliani for third right toward the end and it was an exciting moment."

With IndyCar's Motegi event having gone ahead, albeit a day later than planned, the Long Beach event counted for points after all and Enrique Bernoldi built on his strong result in St Petersburg by adding fourth spot on his third outing.

“I had a really good pace at the end of the race, but it was tough," the Brazilian noted, "The race was long and very tiring physically because the car is very demanding. But I had a good race and I am happy to score points for the championship. It's my best result so far this year, and hopefully I can keep improving my positions like this.”



Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Will Power - Team Australia/KV Racing Technology Dallara-Honda   [pic credit: IRL/Payne]
Will Power celebrates with his team after winning the 2014 Verizon IndyCar Series championship (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Will Power celebrates with his team owner Roger Penske after winning the 2014 Verizon IndyCar Series championship (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Will Power celebrates with his wife Liz after winning the 2014 Verizon IndyCar Series championship (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Will Power celebrates winning the 2014 Verizon IndyCar Series championship (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Will Power celebrates winning the 2014 Verizon IndyCar Series championship (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Will Power celebrates winning the 2014 Verizon IndyCar Series championship (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Will Power celebrates winning the 2014 Verizon IndyCar Series championship (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Will Power celebrates winning the 2014 Verizon IndyCar Series championship (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Will Power, driver of the #12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates winning the 2014 Verizon IndyCar Series Championship by posing with the Astor Challenge Cup Saturday, August 30, 2014 after the last race of the season at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. Chevrolet clinches its third straight Manufacturer`s Championship. (Photo by Michael L. Levitt/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Will Power, driver of the #12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates winning the 2014 Verizon IndyCar Series Championship by hoisting the Astor Challenge Cup Saturday, August 30, 2014 after the last race of the season at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. Chevrolet clinches its third straight Manufacturer`s Championship. (Photo by Michael L. Levitt/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Will Power, driver of the #12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates winning the 2014 Verizon IndyCar Series Championship by kissing the Astor Challenge Cup Saturday, August 30, 2014 after the last race of the season at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. Chevrolet clinches its third straight Manufacturer`s Championship. (Photo by Michael L. Levitt/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Will Power, driver of the #12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates winning the 2014 Verizon IndyCar Series Championship with his wife Liz Saturday, August 30, 2014 after the last race of the season at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. Chevrolet clinches its third straight Manufacturer`s Championship. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Will Power celebrates winning the 2014 Verizon IndyCar Series championship title (Photo by: John Cote for IndyCar Media)
Will Power wheel-to-wheel with Graham Rahal (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Will Power in action during practice for the MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Will Power in action during practice for the MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway (Photo by: Joe Skibinski for IndyCar Media)
Will Power sits in his pit stand prior to practice for the MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway (Photo by: John Cote for IndyCar Media)

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