POWER AND TEAM AUSTRALIA SIXTH IN EDMONTON Will Power has achieved his best ever Champ Car finish in taking sixth place at Round 8 of the Champ Car World Series in Edmonton, Canada today. Power, who was forced into a spare chassis after a ...
POWER AND TEAM AUSTRALIA SIXTH IN EDMONTON
Will Power has achieved his best ever Champ Car finish in taking sixth place at Round 8 of the Champ Car World Series in Edmonton, Canada today.
Power, who was forced into a spare chassis after a heavy crash in Friday practice, drove a smart race to finish in sixth position on the demanding circuit and extend his lead in the Roshfrans Rookie of the Year standings.
The young Queenslander started from seventh in the Aussie Vineyards Lola and in only his 10th Champ Car start managed to race with some of the more established Champ Car stars, finishing one place behind former Champ Car champion Paul Tracy.
Power's Team Australia team-mate Alex Tagliani did not have as fruitful a weekend. The Canadian struggled with his car in qualifying and while some improvement was made of the race, Tagliani was unable to challenge the front-runners
Tagliani tangled with defending series Champion Sebastien Bourdais late in the race, sending the Aussie Vineyards car into the wall. Tagliani was able to reach the pits and the Team Australia crew repaired the front end on the Aussie Vineyards Lola, allowing Tagliani to finish in 12th place, dropping the Canadian from fourth to seventh in the championship.
Team Australia will have little time to reflect on Power's success, with Round 9 of the Champ Car World Series next weekend at the Grand Prix of San Jose presented by Taylor Woodrow.
The event will feature the public unveiling of the new Panoz DP01 Champ Car, which will be the exclusive chassis of the Champ Car World Series in 2007.
WHAT THEY HAD TO SAY --
WILL POWER -- #5 TEAM AUSTRALIA/AUSSIE VINEYARDS LOLA
"I just want to thank my team again," said Power.
"If it weren't for them I wouldn't have had such a solid finish. We had a really good start, it was event free for me because there were no instances and then there were two yellows and restarts, which were fine.
"I saved a lot of fuel in the first stint and in the second stint we didn't have the pace that we wanted so we didn't really gain any positions the guys made a really good call on the second stop to come in just before a yellow which was ideal for us.
"Overall it was a good ending and I'm really happy with my position."
ALEX TAGLIANI -- #15 TEAM AUSTRALIA/AUSSIE VINEYARDS LOLA
"It was a tough race," said Tagliani.
"I needed one more corner to let Bourdais by because it's the tightest corner of the race track and if he would have waited one more corner I would have let him by at turn eight, but he decided to go in there and there is no room for two cars and he got me completely.
"We got out and I broke the front wing, destroyed the little race that we had going. We also had bent tooling and that was really it."
DERRICK WALKER -- TEAM AUSTRALIA CO-OWNER
"It was a good comeback for Will today," said Walker.
"After our earlier incident where we damaged the car in the practice and didn't qualify the first day, Will really bounced back. It was good to get the car back together again and for him to race as well as he did.
"We had great fuel mileage which really helped in the pit strategy. The pit work was really spot on, which helped us gain some places in the pits. Overall it was a good comeback, but we are still sixth, and P1 is what we want.
"Clearly we changed some things on Alex's car, but we didn't get it close enough. It's unfortunate that he didn't have a good enough car to do better, but still he could have had a pretty reasonable finish, but we had an issue with the calling of the race, so much as we felt he was pushed off by Bourdais and that should have been a call of unavoidable contact, which means Bourdais should have been penalised for punching him out. We didn't get our request, it was denied. It's a shame because he could have got a top ten finish."
CRAIG GORE -- TEAM AUSTRALIA CO-OWNER
"Will is really coming to grips with the Aussie Vineyards Champ Car and that is beginning to show in his results," said Gore.
"He is a great young driver and is working hard at all aspects of his driving, so he has definitely earned this great result and I congratulate him. I am sure a top five finish is not far away.
"This weekend has shown the spirit and determination of Team Australia and I cannot say enough about everyone's efforts this weekend. Getting Will back on track after his crash on Friday was a big effort.
"Alex did not have a great weekend, but he has been around Champ Car long enough to know that sometimes things do not go your way. I'm sure that he is pleased that the next round is next weekend so he will be able to bounce back very quickly and get back into the top five in the championship."