STRONG QUALIFYING PERFORMANCE FROM TEAM AUSTRALIA ATLANTIC DRIVERS Both Team Australia Champ Car Atlantic drivers have performed admirably at the opening day of proceedings at the Champ Car Grand Prix of Cleveland, with Simon Pagenaud second...
STRONG QUALIFYING PERFORMANCE FROM TEAM AUSTRALIA ATLANTIC DRIVERS
Both Team Australia Champ Car Atlantic drivers have performed admirably at the opening day of proceedings at the Champ Car Grand Prix of Cleveland, with Simon Pagenaud second and James Davison 13th in qualifying for the first of two races to be held on the demanding track this weekend.
Frenchman Pagenaud topped the earlier practice session in wet conditions only to be pipped by 0.06 seconds by series leader Andreas Wirth in qualifying. Pagenaud will enjoy a front row starting position for Saturday's race, crucial given that this weekend's two Atlantic rounds are being held with a standing start procedure as opposed to the usual rolling start.
Davison was also on top on his game at Cleveland, the young Australian driver quickly learning the Burke Lakefront Airport circuit to be just over a second slower than his more experienced team-mate. Davison's effort was also enough to out-qualify previous Champ Car Atlantic round winner James Hinchcliffe.
WHAT THEY HAD TO SAY --
SIMON PAGENAUD -- #15 TEAM AUSTRALIA SWIFT
"We only did three laps with this car in dry conditions today, so we did really well to be so close to Andreas Wirth. Tomorrow if it's dry again we really can improve the car and I should be better."
"This track is a challenging track and turn seven will definitely be difficult because of the slippery patch on that corner, which I hit today in qualifying and it sent me off. You have to keep the car in a straight line, but it's a corner and it's flat, so it's pretty difficult to keep the car on the track through there."
"Overall, we did well and we have a good car for tomorrow so I look forward to a good weekend."
JAMES DAVISON -- #5 TEAM AUSTRALIA SWIFT
"I had my best qualifying so far and I did the least amount of laps, so I'm really happy with that right now."
"It's a new track for me, like all of them are. There is more speed in me by just doing more laps, which I'll hopefully get tomorrow."
"Cleveland is definitely one of the more challenging circuits of the series. There is so much room on this track, because it's an airport and it's so wide, but it's also so flat that you can't see where the road ends so that's caught a few drivers out, because they can't see where the road ends and they keep going. It will definitely add to the challenge and make for an interesting weekend."
DERRICK WALKER -- CO-OWNER TEAM AUSTRALIA
"James did a heck of a job today; it was a good session for him."
"Again it was a wet practice then going into a dry session, which with the Atlantic was a bit of a challenge, but the team held up very well."
"Simon was again right up the front. The competition in both series is so close, you just have to be off one little bit here, or need to have a little bit more here or there, and it makes all the difference between first or 13th."
"Overall, we did pretty good and have a great direction for tomorrow. We are definitely feeling good right now."
CRAIG GORE -- CO-OWNER TEAM AUSTRALIA
"Simon continues to go from strength to strength and that elusive win has to come at some time."
"James continues to impress me more race after race. For him to be 13th in that qualify field is a fantastic effort."