CHAMPCAR/CART: Montreal: Team Australia race report

TEAM AUSTRALIA VAULT UP CHAMPIONSHIP TABLE WITH SOLID MONDAY IN MONTREAL Team Australia Champ Car drivers Will Power and Alex Tagliani have both improved their championship position after strong finishes for both the Aussie Vineyards cars in ...

TEAM AUSTRALIA VAULT UP CHAMPIONSHIP TABLE WITH SOLID MONDAY IN MONTREAL

Team Australia Champ Car drivers Will Power and Alex Tagliani have both improved their championship position after strong finishes for both the Aussie Vineyards cars in today's Champ Car Grand Prix de Montreal in Canada.

The race restarted today after heavy rain forced the postponement of the race, Round 11 of the 14 round Champ Car World Series. Australian Power finished in fifth place and Tagliani improved to seventh in front of his home crowd.

Power jumped one spot to sixth in the championship standings and continues to lead the Roshfrans Rookie of the Year points tally, while Tagliani climbed from 12th to ninth in the championship points. Power is eight points from fourth placed Nelson Philippe in the championship and holds a 20 point lead in the rookie standings.

Power passed the cars of Nicky Pastorelli and his team-mate Tagliani to reach fifth position and gain his sixth-consecutive top 10 finish. Power lost ground when he overshot the final chicane and was forced to allow Pastorelli and Dan Clarke to go past to avoid a penalty.

Tagliani also recovered from losing time. The Canadian was involved in an incident with Jan Heylen at the hairpin, but recovered to grab seventh and jump back into the top 10 in the championship.

France's Sebastien Bourdais took his sixth victory for the season ahead of archrival Paul Tracy and fellow Frenchman Philippe.

WHAT THEY HAD TO SAY --

Will Power -- #5 Team Australia/Aussie Vineyards Lola

"A lot happened in this race, but Team Australia and the Aussie Vineyards car did great," said Power.

"In the first pit stop we lost a couple of positions, because I didn't get good enough fuel mileage. Then after the second stint the most exciting spot of the race was last twenty laps of the race.

"There was a lot of passing, I went to pass (Nicky) Pastorelli and I thought then I was clear of everyone. But then I cut the chicane and had to let him go past and then Dan Clarke went by and I lost two positions. I got back up there and finished fifth and it's good for the championship."

Alex Tagliani -- #15 Team Australia/Aussie Vineyards Lola

"The Aussie Vineyards car was a lot similar car to what I have driven here in the past," said Tagliani.

"We still struggled with a bit of a braking problem in some places but in general the car was a lot better than on Friday and Saturday. Team Australia made a great improvement.

Early in the race I tried to pass Dan Clarke and on the braking it was still slippery and damp. I locked and went in and slid, which put me to the back of the field.

"I started passing people, won the fast lap, and went all the way to the front and behind Sebastian and was able to stay behind him. The black tyres were great, but our pit strategy did not allow us to stay where we were.

"When I tried to pass Pastorelli I didn't have enough braking to push hard, but once I locked I was a sitting duck and went into the part of the track that was really slippery. In general I'm happy that we finished a weekend with points and little by little we are climbing back up in the championship."

Derrick Walker -- Team Australia Co-Owner

"It was certainly a changing race," said Walker.

"I think we generally adapted well to the changes and the dynamic of the race. A couple of things if you had to do it again you would probably do a little bit differently that could have put us up with Will in the top four.

"When you start that far back with Alex and you try different strategies to bring yourself all the way back to the front, it's just racing and we didn't get everything that was out there on the table for him. It's a shame, he did the best he could and both cars handled well in the changing conditions."

Craig Gore -- Team Australia Co-Owner

"After all the drama of the rain delay, we had one of our more productive weekends of the season," said Gore.

"Will again did a solid job and Alex managed to turn things around a fair bit in the race.

"It was nice to see the Aussie Vineyards flag being flown strongly in front of the predominately French-speaking crowd. We all know that the French enjoy a good wine and hopefully the Aussie Vineyards brand is towards the front of their minds.

"Will is still on target for a top five finish in the championship and could certainly be in a position to wrap-up rookie of the year honours at the Lexmark Indy 300 on the Gold Coast."

-credit: www.teamaustraliamotorsport.com

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Alex Tagliani , Paul Tracy , Sébastien Bourdais , Nelson Philippe , Jan Heylen , Will Power , Nicky Pastorelli , Dan Clarke