CHAMPCAR/CART: Portland: Team Australia race report

TOUGH DAY IN PORTLAND FOR TEAM AUSTRALIA Team Australia had a tough day at the office in the fourth round of the Champ Car World Series at the Portland International Raceway in Oregon today. Alex Tagliani qualified a strong fourth for the...

TOUGH DAY IN PORTLAND FOR TEAM AUSTRALIA

Team Australia had a tough day at the office in the fourth round of the Champ Car World Series at the Portland International Raceway in Oregon today.

Alex Tagliani qualified a strong fourth for the race and was running with the leaders on lap nine when his engine let go on his Aussie Vineyards Lola.

The talented Canadian visited the Champ Car medical before the race for some pain killers for continuing back spasms and needed to wear a brace into the race. Unfortunately the mechanical problems did not give him the chance to test either of them out over the total 105 laps.

Tagliani's team mate Marcus Marshall started the race 18th and eventually finished 14th in his fourth Champ Car start.

Marshall, who was born in Tasmania and raised on Queensland's Gold Coast, battled to get the most out of his car in the hottest temperatures of the weekend.

The race was won by PKV's Cristiano da Matta who ran a different fuel strategy to the majority of the field to beat home defending series champion Sebastien Bourdais and former Lexmark Indy 300 winner Paul Tracy.

The championship series will continue at Cleveland, Ohio next weekend.

WHAT THEY HAD TO SAY--..

MARCUS MARSHALL - #5 AUSSIE VINEYARDS TEAM AUSTRALIA

"That is one of the toughest days I have had," said Marshall. "There is just so much to learn and we are doing it on the run.

"We made a good change overnight and the car was good in the warm-up, but I seemed to fight with the car for most of the race.

"I need to have a look at what I did and what we did as a team if I am to punch my way forward. I am happy to finish another race and score some points, but 14th is not where I want to be."

ALEX TAGLIANI - #15 AUSSIE VINEYARDS TEAM AUSTRALIA

"I think it is pretty sad for the team," said Tagliani. "To qualify fourth was very pleasing and we started pretty good.

"I could feel the loss of power and was trying to nurse it back to the pits when the engine let go.

"The frustrating thing is the amount of points we certainly could have scored today -- and deserved to score.

"Now we have to fight our way back and while that is not always a great position to be in we have the guys in the team who are prepared to put in the work."

CRAIG GORE -- CO-OWNER

"That's probably one we would rather forget, but this sport produces plenty of days like today," said Gore. "Alex was stiff after doing a great job in qualifying and deserved better.

"Marcus is on a steep learning curve and hopefully learnt plenty today."

DERRICK WALKER -- CO-OWNER

"I think having Alex's car go on us early was unfortunate because I think we were certainly on target for a minimum of a top five finish," said Walker.

"I think Marcus is coming to terms with how difficult the transition to Champ Car can be. He had a rough day today and he needs analyze his race and take his new knowledge to Cleveland next weekend."

-team aus-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Alex Tagliani , Paul Tracy , Sébastien Bourdais , Marcus Marshall , Cristiano da Matta