PROVISIONAL POLE ON OUTSTANDING OPENING DAY FOR TEAM AUSTRALIA ATLANTICS Team Australia Champ Car Atlantic driver Simon Pagenaud has taken provisional pole position after opening qualifying for this weekend's Champ Car Grand Prix de Montreal in...
PROVISIONAL POLE ON OUTSTANDING OPENING DAY FOR TEAM AUSTRALIA ATLANTICS
Team Australia Champ Car Atlantic driver Simon Pagenaud has taken provisional pole position after opening qualifying for this weekend's Champ Car Grand Prix de Montreal in Canada today.
Pagenaud clocked the fastest time around Montreal's Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in the Team Australia/Aussie Vineyards/Location U/Cons. Gen. Vienne Swift to begin this weekend's penultimate round of the Atlantic championship on the front foot.
The Frenchman also extended his Atlantic championship lead by one point as a result of earning provisional pole, vital at this late stage of the season.
A recent test at Sebring and a return to road course racing has marked a boost for the Team Australia squad, reflected in Pagenaud's enthusiasm after today's fantastic effort.
The second Team Australia/Aussie Vineyards Atlantic also had an encouraging day, with Michael Patrizi impressing greatly at Montreal today to provisionally qualify 14th fastest.
The young Australian had not driven a Mazda-Cosworth Swift Atlantic car before today and it was also his first time at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. Despite the lack of experience, Patrizi quickly adjusted to the unfamiliar car and circuit to be on the pace in the Aussie Vineyards car.
Patrizi and the whole Team Australia crew are right behind Pagenaud as he pushes to win Team Australia's first championship. The West Australian realises how tough this weekend will be, but will be giving it his all to qualify even higher up the timesheets for tomorrow.
WHAT THEY HAD TO SAY --
Simon Pagenaud -- #15 Team Australia/Aussie Vineyards/Location U/Cons. Gen. Vienne Swift
"I feel amazing right now," said Pagenaud.
"This car was incredible, it was by far the strongest car we have had yet this year. The Team Australia crew did an amazing job, the Aussie Vineyards car was the strongest.
"It's a wonderful feeling to have a car like this because you can do whatever you want. What I can say, one more point, we are still chasing the title.
"The track is pretty slippery, but I love it and it was an easy track to adjust to. We will just take the weekend step by step, and continue to get stronger."
Michael Patrizi -- #5 Team Australia/Aussie Vineyards Swift
"This was definitely a massive jump," said Patrizi.
"I wasn't expecting to qualify 14th with this being my first time here. I'm very happy and much happier for my team-mate since he's on pole position.
"I want to get as close as I can get to the front so that I can help him. That's what I'm here for, to try to help him win the championship.
"It's such a good feeling to join a team that's leading a championship, because I can learn so much from a guy like Simon, who is a fantastic driver and his leading this championship.
"The credit goes to him, he has helped set-up the car and he is the big picture for our team this weekend. I'm just here trying to drive and I'm sure throughout the weekend we will get faster and faster. I'm so happy to be with Team Australia, they are a great outfit."
Derrick Walker -- Team Australia Co-Owner
"Mission accomplished for both drivers," said Walker.
"For Michael, coming in cold turkey and having never really raced here and never been in Atlantic car, to be where he is on the first session is outstanding. I'm really pleased for him.
"Simon could not have executed it any better. The team was really on the ball the whole session and Simon got everything he could out of it. It was a fantastic result, just what we need to do to win championships."
Craig Gore -- Team Australia Co-Owner
"It was another superb job by Simon today," said Gore.
"He really has an achievable goal of winning Team Australia's first championship and he is doing everything possible to keep that plan on-track.
"We'd love nothing more than for a Frenchman to celebrate a championship win with a glass of Aussie Vineyards product.
"Michael has done an outstanding job for his first time ever in the car and first time at the circuit. He has slotted into the team tremendously well.
"He knows he has a job to do as well in terms of doing everything he can to support Simon, while at the same time learning as much as he can about these cars."
-credit: team australia