Penske Racing's 2010 driver line-up has a distinct Aussie feel now that that Queenslander Will Power has been named to compete in a full-season entry for the glamour team in the 2010 IndyCar Series, driving the No. 12 Verizon Wireless Dallara/Honda.
Joining forces with Team Penske teammates Helio Castroneves, a three-time Indianapolis 500 winner, and fellow Aussie Ryan Briscoe, a top contender for the 2009 IndyCar Series championship, Power will complete a powerful lineup in 2010 for Roger Penske's highly successful operation.
Power joined Penske Racing last season, filling in for Castroneves during pre-season testing and at the season-opening race in St. Petersburg. After Castroneves returned to the team, Power competed in the No. 12 Verizon Wireless car and won the pole position and finished second at Long Beach before he earned an impressive fifth-place result at the Indianapolis 500. Power went on to win his first race for the team at Edmonton and produced a win, two poles and four top-five and six top-10 finishes in six races in 2009.
Then came the drama of his season-ending back injury during a practice session at Infineon Raceway on August 22.
Power continues to recover from his injuries well ahead of schedule and he is expected to be ready to participate in 2010 pre-season testing with the team.
"Will proved that he could consistently compete for wins and poles in 2009, despite his limited time on track.," said Roger Penske at the announcement.
" We believe he can be a legitimate championship contender next season for our team, along with Helio and Ryan."
Power, 28, established himself as one of open-wheel racing's most talented drivers before he joined Penske Racing last season. He produced strong performances in the British F3 and World Series by Renault championships before he moved to the United States in 2005 to compete in the Champ Car World Series. He captured the series Rookie-of-the-Year honors in 2006 and claimed three wins and six pole positions in two plus seasons in Champ Car. In 2008, Power won on the streets of Long Beach in Champ Car's final race, and after he joined the IndyCar Series, he earned his first series pole in front of his home crowd at Surfers Paradise, Australia.
"To be able to compete for a full season with Penske Racing is really a dream come true for me," said Power. "I intend to make the most of it."
Sign up here to receive the latest round-up of Wheels news, reviews and video highlights straight to your inbox each week.