Will powers home for second at Long Beach

Australian Will Power has finished second at the Grand Prix of Long Beach, his standout drive giving team Penske Chevrolet a much needed spark after their slow start to the Indycar season.

Will Power, front, finished second in the Indycar Series at Long Beach.

Will Power, front, finished second in the Indycar Series at Long Beach.

The former series champion and 32-time race winner took the lead in the 25th lap, but was overtaken by eventual winner Alexander Rossi who pulled away with nine laps to go for his third IndyCar victory.

It was a brilliant drive from the 37-year-old from Toowoomba, with his team languishing in 14th spot in the standings before the 85-lap race.

Rossi claimed the first win of his season from the pole in his Andretti Autosport Honda which moved him into the IndyCar points lead after three races.

Ed Jones finished third, and Zach Veach was a career-best fourth. Graham Rahal was fifth after an opening-lap collision with Sebastien Pagenaud, who was knocked out of the 44th edition of the Long Beach race.

Rossi comfortably earned the second pole of his three-year IndyCar career during qualifying, and his pace was still there in the race.

The 2016 Indianapolis 500 winner and veteran of five Formula One races hadn't won since Watkins Glen last year, but he had put his speedy car in position to win this year both in St Petersburg - where he instead made late contact with rookie Robert Wickens - and again last weekend in Phoenix, where he finished third.

Defending series champion Josef Newgarden finished seventh, and defending Long Beach champion James Hinchcliffe was ninth.

Power took the lead when Rossi pitted on the 25th lap, but Rossi moved right back in front on the 32nd lap. Rossi opened a nine-second lead after the first cycle of pit stops, and he stayed in front even after a full-course caution erased the lead with 40 laps to go.

Rossi pitted again on the 56th lap, but got a break when Sebastien Bourdais and Scott Dixon were penalised for entering a closed pit lane during a caution. Bourdais drove through and lost position, while Dixon later had to serve a drive-through penalty for taking a full pit stop.

The Long Beach street course is popular both for its friendly California atmosphere and the opportunities for remarkable racing created by its dimensions

Those opportunities were seized by many drivers - particularly Bourdais, who executed a jaw-dropping move to pass diagonally through three drivers.

Bourdais was ordered to give back the position to Dixon because he apparently used the pit lane to make his move, but Bourdais caught and passed Dixon anyway.

But Jordan King then spun Bourdais while curiously trying to pass on the hairpin turn, and the former champion finished 14th.

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