SOLID DAY FOR TEAM AUSTRALIA Team Australia had a solid opening day of practice for the inaugural San Jose Grand Prix in California today -- the eighth round of the Champ Car World Series. Alex Tagliani was sixth fastest in his Aussie...
SOLID DAY FOR TEAM AUSTRALIA
Team Australia had a solid opening day of practice for the inaugural San Jose Grand Prix in California today -- the eighth round of the Champ Car World Series.
Alex Tagliani was sixth fastest in his Aussie Vineyards Lola while Marcus Marshall was 16th in his Aussie Vineyards machine.
The day was late to get under way and qualifying replaced by another practice session after a few "opening day" teething problems affected the schedule.
Championship leader Sebastian Bourdais was fastest from Newman-Haas teammate Oriol Servia and rookie Timo Glock.
There will be another practice session in the morning followed by an afternoon qualifying.
* Team Australia earlier in the day a fantastic new sponsorship with VISA.
VISA is the latest of a list of major corporate partners to join Team Australia, which was created at the beginning of this year by Australian businessmen Craig Gore and John Fish and Indianapolis racing identity Derrick Walker.
Today's VISA announcement, which has been signed with VISA Australia, is the beginning of a major partnership with the Team Australia organization which will incorporate six different categories, racing in eight different countries on four different continents next year.
WHAT THEY HAD TO SAY--..
ALEX TAGLIANI # 15 AUSSIE VINEYARDS TEAM AUSTRALIA
"We are OK," said Tagliani.
"We made some improvements as the day went on, but we still have a way to go. It is definitely tough out there and I would like to be starting higher than sixth on Sunday. We identified a problem with the car and we are confident we can find a solution overnight. The San Jose event had a beautiful crowd today and it was fantastic to see so many fans coming out to support us. The track is certainly a challenge and we just need to develop the right car to suit it."
MARCUS MARSHALL #5 AUSSIE VINEYARDS TEAM AUSTRALIA
"I think we actually had a good day overall," said Marshall. In terms of getting on with the sessions and making progress it was much better than the last two or three rounds. We just need to try and get the car to work under brakes and jump up the time sheets a little further tomorrow. I know we are not the only team in that situation. I think the track is great and is really going to provide a sensational atmosphere this weekend. There is no doubt that if you make a mistake anywhere here you are going to know about it. I think it is a credit to Champ Car and everyone involved who has pulled this event together. After the crowd we had today you would have to think the event has a fantastic future."
DERRICK WALKER -- CO-OWNER TEAM AUSTRALIA
"I think there were plenty of guys having trouble out there today," said Walker.
"Coming to a brand new street course like this offers a unique set of challenges, which I think we handled reasonably well. We have a few ideas on our direction for tomorrow and I think the morning practice session is going to be very important if we are to progress."
CRAIG GORE -- CO-OWNER TEAM AUSTRALIA
"As usual I think we showed a bit of form today," said Gore.
"There is no doubt this is a challenging track and I think the entire team handled the difficult conditions every well. I think Alex is on target for another top three and Marcus could have his first top 15 qualifying and another top 10 finish on Sunday. The times are pretty close and we just need to find those elusive fractions of a second. I think this event has the makings of something special and its not unlike our home event in Surfers Paradise in a lot of ways -- just without the beach."