France’s Simon wins IndyCar season title

Sonoma (United States)—France’s Simon Pagenaud captured his first IndyCar season title by winning the Grand Prix of Sonoma from pole position for his fifth triumph of the campaign.
Pagenaud won three road course races in a row early in the season, a run capped at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway circuit, and added Mid-Ohio last month to bolster his edge ahead of Sunday’s dream victory at Sonoma.
“Unbelievable,” Pagenaud said. “There’s so much emotion. My whole career has been about today, about getting to this level.
“To perform to 100 percent with this pressure, it’s amazing.”
Australia’s Will Power, who began the day second to Pagenaud by 44 points and the only rival who could overtake him, saw his bid for the crown undone with a gearbox failure on the 37th of 85 laps on the 2.3-mile (3.8km) road course. Power, the 2013 IndyCar season champion, had been second behind Pagenaud but was towed into the pits and returned five laps down. He finished 20th, eight laps adrift.
“It’s unfortunate for us we didn’t have a shot today,” Power said. “It’s just how it flows. When it’s your year, it’s your year. He earned it. Simon did a phenomenal job. I was happy to see him win a championship even though I finished second.”
Pagenaud stayed in front to take the checkered flag with American Graham Rahal second and Colombia’s Juan Pablo Montoya third in the season-ending race.—AFP

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