TEAM AUSTRALIA AND PAGENAUD EXTEND CHAMPIONSHIP LEAD AS DAVISON ACHIEVES PERSONAL BEST Team Australia's Simon Pagenaud has extended his lead in the Champ Car Atlantic Championship as his young Aussie Vineyards team-mate James Davison achieved...
TEAM AUSTRALIA AND PAGENAUD EXTEND CHAMPIONSHIP LEAD AS DAVISON ACHIEVES PERSONAL BEST
Team Australia's Simon Pagenaud has extended his lead in the Champ Car Atlantic Championship as his young Aussie Vineyards team-mate James Davison achieved his best Atlantic result yet at the Canary Foundation San Jose Grand Prix in California today.
Pagenaud, who started from fifth on the grid, was one of many cars involved in a first corner incident at the start of the ninth round of the championship, but recovered to climb back to eighth to extend his points lead.
Davison started from 17th on the grid in the competitive 25-car field to gain 10 places over the 45 lap race and finish seventh, one spot ahead of his Aussie Vineyards team-mate Pagenaud and the best result for the young Team Australia driver from Melbourne, Australia.
Today's race was won by Raphael Matos, ahead of Ryan Lewis and Danilo Dirani.
WHAT THEY HAD TO SAY --
Simon Pagenaud -- #15 Team Australia/Aussie
Vineyards/Location U Swift
"I had a good start, but didn't have enough room to get by everyone," said Pagenaud.
"Then in the second lap Bomarito was braking in the straight line and Wirth went in the run-off and then Bomarito braked a little bit more and I went into the back of him.
"I'm sorry for the team we could have had a better result, but we are lucky. What can I say, I'm pretty happy, I wasn't expecting an end like this, but now we just have to stay on track.
"During the race I thought that I had broken something on the front left and thought that I couldn't finish the race because it felt like my tyres were losing air, but the car stayed on track. I was praying 'my sweetie, stay on the track please' and she did. We finished eighth and are still leading the championship with more points."
James Davison -- #5 Team Australia/Aussie Vineyards Swift
"I got off the line really well and passed two people," said Davison.
"In turn one it was bottlenecked and I was on the inside and the outside was the faster line through so I lost those positions. I just concentrated on running a good pace and stayed on Martinez ahead of me.
"I drove the best race I had and put in some good laps. I struggled with a bit of understeer and the car was good, not a handful. Overall I'm really happy with the result and want to thank the team for doing a great job."
Derrick Walker -- Team Australia Co-Owner
"At the first corner there is always a temptation to drive down and out brake the car in front," said Walker.
"I think there was a lot of late braking going on and Simon unfortunately, couldn't brake quick enough and it took his front wing off. Again when you look at where he came from and to bring it all the way back, the car was fantastic and he drove a really smart race. Simon kept himself in the points run and now we move onto Denver.
"Best race of the season so far for James. There was a lot of traffic and a lot of things going on out there and he kept his head on straight. He had a good, well deserved finish."
Craig Gore -- Team Australia Co-Owner
"Today's Atlantic race was always going to be about staying out of trouble," said Gore.
"While Simon did get caught up in the first corner carnage, he recovered well from the bit of drama that he had and gave himself more breathing space in the championship hunt.
"James did another terrific job to read the race and finish with his best result to date, something that he should be very proud of.
"He has really come a long way this season and I am sure he will be a much better driver with a full season under his belt."