An interesting insight into how rookies learn from veterans on track

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Will Power passing David Malukas at Barber in 2022 made him learn faster ways of driving while on fuel and tyre-saving strategy.

Photo: Penske Entertainment | Chris Jones

NTT IndyCar Series in a video with David Malukas for social media showed great insight into how hard managing an IndyCar race is, even for winners in feeder series, and an interesting way that he learned better ways for it while copying two-time champion Will Power.

At only 20 years of age, he found himself racing some of the fastest cars in American racing when jumping in the no.18 Dale Coyne for his rookie season in 2022, after being runner-up in the Formula Regional Americas championship in 2020 and in Indy Lights two years ago.

In the fourth round of his rookie season, at Barber Motorsports Park, he got past by, at the time, 2014 champion and 2018 Indy 500 winner Will Power. Both drivers were on a fuel-saving strategy, however, the Australian was being much faster due to a technique that Malukas didn’t know at the time.

In his own words: “There’s so much you can learn just following.

“So when it comes to racing, especially in IndyCar, it’s such a long race and there is so many different things. And I did not think it was this complex when it came to tire saving, fuel saving, and undercutting and overcutting.

“When you are fuel saving, you’re lifting the throttle before a corner and you’re kind of coasting because that’s how you save fuel before you brake. But the way Will did it is he would somehow fuel save without losing any track time.

“At Barber, he changed his line completely for the coast, the lift and coast, and he was able to carry that much more speed and do a completely different line on the track. And with that, he was able to kind of keep the speed to a relative time.”

Power came home to finish fourth and Malukas finished twentieth.

Malukas had a great rookie season, with a late podium at Gateway, fighting Bus Bros’ Penskes Josef Newgarden and Scott McLaughlin and fighting until the end with Christian Lundgaard for Rookie of the Season.

“I will never forget it. That’s where I learned it. I’m so happy he passed me.”