WILL POWER WINS PRESTIGOUS BRIDGESTONE AWARD Team Australia's Will Power has clinched the prestigious Bridgestone Passion For Excellence Award in his rookie Champ Car season. Power only needed to complete one lap at speed in his ...
WILL POWER WINS PRESTIGOUS BRIDGESTONE AWARD
Team Australia's Will Power has clinched the prestigious Bridgestone Passion For Excellence Award in his rookie Champ Car season.
Power only needed to complete one lap at speed in his Aussie Vineyards Team Australia Lola in today's final round of the Bridgestone presents the Champ Car World Series powered by Ford in Mexico City to win the award.
Ironically, Power had to wait six laps to clinch the title after a first-lap incident on the main straight saw the first five laps start under full course yellow.
Power also clinched the Champ Car Rookie of the Year award early in the race after his closest opponent, Dan Clarke, withdrew after seven laps with mechanical problems.
The Bridgestone Passion For Excellence Award honours the driver who completes the fastest aggregate race lap around every circuit on the 2006 Champ Car World Series schedule.
That is, if all 14 tracks were laid end to end, the driver with the fastest cumulative lap, based on his or her best race lap at each track, earns the Bridgestone Passion for Excellence Award.
This year marks the fourth time the award has been presented, but the first time someone other than three-time champion Sebastien Bourdais will be the recipient.
The award winner receives a custom-made painting by Jim Swintal, motor artist and Champ Car Clerk of Course, depicting a highlight moment from the driver's season.
For this year, Swintal has selected the Surfers Paradise race where Power collected his first pole position as a Champ Car driver. Power will be presented the painting at the Champ Car banquet this Saturday night in Indianapolis.
"Congratulations to Will and the entire Team Australia group for earning the Bridgestone Passion For Excellence Award," said Al Speyer, Executive Director, Bridgestone Motorsport.
"They truly earned it because it is won over the course of an entire season, not just a race or two.
"A driver must be able to complete at least one lap at speed in each race to qualify, which eliminated some other potential front-runners this year.
"Will was impressive in his ability to avoid that pitfall and post consistently fast laps at all 14 events this season. I am particularly impressed that, not only did he win the Passion For Excellence Award, but he did so as a rookie."
It has been a big month for Power, who took his first Bridgestone pole award in front of his home crowd at the Lexmark Indy 300 in Surfers Paradise, Australia three weeks ago.
"First of all I have to thank Bridgestone for their fantastic support of Champ Car and their commitment with things like the Bridgestone Passion For Excellence Award," said Power.
"There is little doubt that awards like these belong to the whole team and I have to thank everyone who has been a part of the Team Australia program in my rookie season.
"It's the team's efforts which have enabled me to be consistent this season and be in the running for such an award.
"I cannot wait to see Jim Swintal's painting next Saturday night. It will certainly be one of the most unique trophies I have ever received."