CHAMPCAR/CART: Long Beach: Team Australia Friday report

POWER ON PROVISIONAL POLE AT LONG BEACH Team Australia's Will Power has continued his impressive start to the 2007 Champ Car World Series by securing provisional pole for Sunday's Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach in California today. Power,...

POWER ON PROVISIONAL POLE AT LONG BEACH

Team Australia's Will Power has continued his impressive start to the 2007 Champ Car World Series by securing provisional pole for Sunday's Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach in California today.

Power, who last weekend became the first Australian to win a round of the Champ Car World Series, set the fastest time aboard the #5 Aussie Vineyards Team Australia DP01 during opening qualifying to guarantee a front row start for Sunday's race.

Courtesy of today's fastest time Power also secures a point in the championship standings, which he currently leads.

The Toowoomba driver's time was 0.050 seconds ahead of defending polesitter and Long Beach race winner Sebastien Bourdais around the 1.968 mile (3.167km) street circuit.

Power's teammate Simon Pagenaud was third fastest in today's qualifying session aboard the #15 Aussie Vineyards Team Australia DP01.

Earlier in the day Power set the third fastest time in the opening practice before topping the timesheets in second practice.

A further qualifying session will be held tomorrow prior to the race firing into action at 4pm on Sunday afternoon (9am AEST Monday).

WHAT THEY HAD TO SAY --

Will Power -- #5 Aussie Vineyards Team Australia DP01

"On the first run, I was trying really hard to get a good balance in this car. I sat in the pits after that run and had a good look through the timesheets," said Power

"At that stage Sebastien was half a second ahead and I thought, well, it's going to probably be too hard to beat him even on a set of 'red' qualifying tyres.

"So I went out on 'blacks' for the second run. I got a clear run and let Simon go, because he was on 'red' tyres, to get a clear lap.

"My best lap came together right at the end of the session. The car was nice. I think maybe I was overdriving a little on the first run but I settled down and have ended up on provisional pole."

Simon Pagenaud -- #15 Aussie Vineyards Team Australia DP01

"I put together a very good lap with the black Bridgestone tyres early in the session before fitting the 'red' qualifying tyres to chase the pole," said Pagenaud.

"Unfortunately I only had two laps and the tyres didn't come up to temperature as quick as I wanted. My time was good but I think it could have been quicker and there is still some more speed I can get out of the car.

"It's very good to be here. I think we are doing a very good job as a team. Especially you can see my teammate on provisional pole, so it means that we have been doing a good job.

"Our results are a team effort, and it looks like we are doing very well."

Derrick Walker -- Team Australia Co-Owner

"We know there is more to come in the car that Will drove today as it wasn't perfect and we can get it a little better for tomorrow. There is definitely a lot more time to come," said Walker.

"We have to assume the competition is going to improve tomorrow. We need to get the car as good as we can so that we can stay ahead of the pack, but it was a good first day.

"We had a really good strategy in qualifying with both cars and pulled out a 'hail mary' lap in the end."

Craig Gore -- Team Australia Co-Owner

"Today was another fantastic start by Will, Simon and the entire Team Australia outfit," said Gore.

"While the team is still on a high after last week's win in Las Vegas everyone has knuckled down and focused on this week's race. This focus shone brightly during today's qualifying session with both drivers finishing inside the top three.

"I think the pace will step up a notch tomorrow and again in the race on Sunday, but I'm confident we will be right there in the thick of the action all weekend.

"Hopefully we will be shipping in some more Aussie Vineyards wine for celebrations on Sunday night, we sold out in Vegas last week."

-credit: taus

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Will Power , Simon Pagenaud