LIKE MOST most drivers, the career of Will Power started at the grass roots level in what has now become a well-publicised rise through the ranks of Australia’s junior categories.
So, we’re turning back the clock to where it all started as a very junior Will Power talks to an equally junior Mark Walker about his life and times in Formula Ford in the year 2000.
Remember, this is before the classic ‘Battle of the Will’s’ Australian Formula Ford Championship. Before the Gold Star campaign and well before his first crack in a Supercar or, indeed, anything overseas.
The intervening 18 years have been good. For one of them, anyway..
..I wonder whatever happened to that Power bloke?
Will Power is set to be one of the next big things in Australian Motorsport.
In his first full season in the National Formula Ford Championships, he has shocked many with strong podium finishes, although after some bad luck he now lies fourth in the Championship. Mark Walker caught up with Will at a recent State Championship meeting.
WALKER- Did you expect to do so well in the National series?
POWER- Actually I went down not knowing what to expect, but I definitely thought that we would be running in the top five, because we had the car and we had done a lot of testing, and I had gotten myself into form.
WALKER- Did you think that the rest of the field were expecting you to be up there?
POWER- I’m not sure, I doubt it because I didn’t run any rounds last year. All I did was a bit of State Championship competitions and a few National rounds. Well I finished in the top six at Queensland Raceway (Nationals), but I didn’t finish too well anywhere else.
WALKER- Phillip Island wasn’t very good.
POWER- No no, the last two rounds of the National Series have been hopeless. I was leading at Eastern Creek and got knocked out and got no points for that race. We came from last in the next race up to fourth and got points for that. I then got no points at Phillip Island at all; I got knocked out in both races.
WALKER- You had a big roll over in the second race at Phillip Island.
POWER- Yeah, I got knocked out, and knocked around a bit, and I am a bit tentative in the car. I now am out there just trying to get it back together.
WALKER- Will the car be repaired?
POWER- Yeah, the car can be repaired. It is going to be ready to go at Queensland Raceway in about 5 weeks.
WALKER- The Spectrum chassis versus the Swift.
POWER- The Spectrum is quicker straight out. The Spectrum just gets the power down, and just faster everywhere basically.
WALKER- How do you think you will go in the rest of the National rounds?
POWER- I’m planning to go fairly well actually! You can’t tell, it is so hard and is so competitive. It is easy to knocked out, but we will be putting 100% effort in.
WALKER- Is it hard work taking on the National and State Championships at the same time?
POWER- Not really because we do have two cars, and I don’t work on my National car. I just work on the Swift, so there are no problems at all really.
WALKER- How did the deal with the Spectrum factory team come about?
POWER- I was discussing it with Mike Borland last year at Queensland Raceway last year because I went fairly well in the Swift. He was keen to run me, so that is how that came around.
WALKER- Bathurst this year in a V8.
POWER- Yes I would be very interested actually. Unfortunately I was hoping to get offered a drive if I finished in the top three at Eastern Creek, but I don’t know now. But I would definitely want to have a go.
WALKER- What do you put your success down to?
POWER- Hard work, you put a lot of effort into it. It is all just effort, you have got to put in the 100% effort in, or else you are not in the ball game.
WALKER- What would be the highlight of your career be so far?
POWER- Just finishing on the podium in the first two rounds of the National series and being second in the championship. I haven’t had an outstanding moment so far like a National victory, but hopefully that will come up later in the year.
WALKER- How did you get started in motorsport?
POWER- When I was younger at age eight I raced karts, until I was 14 when I did some dirt track sedans up on the ‘Downs and then into the Formula Fords in the State series here.
WALKER- Have you had a drive of your Dad’s Formula Holden?
POWER- Yeah I have had a drive of that, and it is awesome, really good.
WALKER- How does it compare to the Formula Ford?
POWER- It is totally different, totally different style, with lots more aerodynamic grip.
WALKER- Queensland Raceway versus Lakeside.
POWER- I like Lakeside because it is such a driver’s track, really full on hard core driving. You have to drive really hard and fast to go quickly at Lakeside, whereas at Queensland Raceway you have to be very smooth. Lakeside is a very unforgiving track, when you go off you damage the car and that is it. Queensland Raceway has heaps of gravel traps, so it is pretty safe there.
WALKER- What does the future hold?
POWER- I don’t know, I would have to see at the end of this year where I end up. I would love to go overseas and race open wheelers over there. V8 Supercars, anything, I just don’t know, we just have to wait and see.
INTERVIEW & IMAGES: MARK WALKER