CHAMPCAR/CART: San Jose: Team Australia race report

STRONG RECOVER KEEPS POWER IN THE HUNT Team Australia's Will Power has kept himself in the hunt for this year's Champ Car World Series title with a stirring fourth place in today's San Jose Grand Prix in California. Power, who started from...

STRONG RECOVER KEEPS POWER IN THE HUNT

Team Australia's Will Power has kept himself in the hunt for this year's Champ Car World Series title with a stirring fourth place in today's San Jose Grand Prix in California.

Power, who started from 12th place after continually being caught up in traffic in yesterday's final qualifying session, produced a smart and consistent drive that saw the Toowoomba-born driver pick his way through the field with the help of a smart fuel mileage strategy from the Aussie Vineyards-backed team.

The result means that Power remains in third place in the title chase, but closes the gap on series leader Sebastien Bourdais, who finished fifth today, to just 20 points.

Robert Doornbos won today's race to remain second in the championship -- now just 10 points behind Bourdais. Fellow rookie Neel Jani was second and Spaniard Oriol Servia third.

Power's team-mate Simon Pagenaud crossed the line ninth after some mid-race drama that saw the front nose damaged on the #15 Aussie Vineyards entry.

The talented French rookie was later penalised 25 seconds from his finishing time because of a separate incident with Tristian Gommendy. This dropped him one place to 10th.

The Team Australia cars carried signage for the Raley's Supermarkets chain, which is one of the main distribution outlets for Aussie Vineyards wine in North America.

Team Australia will continue to chase down the lead in the 2007 Champ Car World Series at the classic Road America circuit in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin in two weeks time on August 10-12.

TEAM AUSTRALIA HOSTS ONE MILLIONTH FAN

The Champ Car World Series honoured its one millionth fan of the 2007 season at the San Jose Grand Prix at Redback Raceway today, an early milestone for the series due to attendance being up 16% this year.

Storm Vanderzee, John Walsh and family, who attended the race weekend together, were showered with confetti and greeted by Champ Car personalities as they entered the turnstile.

They were then ushered off to the Team Australia compound where they were guests of the team for the day.

The group ate with the crew, team owner Derrick Walker and drivers Simon Pagenaud and Will Power, who is involved in a tight battle for the championship lead.

They were then presented with Team Australia crew shirts and bottles of Aussie Vineyards wine to remind them of the event.

"To have this one millionth fan this early in the season is a fantastic result for Champ Car," said Power.

"I think the winners had a great time today and although we could not give them a win we gave it out best shot. The best thing is that they will be able to celebrate the day with some great Aussie Vineyards product."

WHAT THEY HAD TO SAY --

Will Power -- #5 Aussie Vineyards Team Australia DP01

"We had a pretty good start again and I was able to get some cars in the first corner and then I passed Sebastien on track," said Power.

"From then on we saved heaps of fuel and went a couple of laps extra laps longer than a couple of people in front and gained some positions that way as well and then we ended up with fourth.

"I'm very happy when you look at the points. We didn't lose any, we actually gained some points back on Sebestien (Bourdais).

"This is a great result for Team Australia. I'm really happy for the guys they deserved a result like this, they did a fantastic job."

Simon Pagenaud -- #15 Aussie Vineyards Team Australia DP01

"We had a good Aussie Vineyards car during the race and got great fuel mileage, but I just had a problem entering the pits," said Pagenaud.

"Somebody went into the pits and he wasn't committed in the pit lane, because I was in the corner when that happened the guys in front of me broke and I couldn't avoid (Sebastien) Bourdais so I went airborne on his car.

"From that point on the car was not the same, so it was really hard to keep the pace at the end and that's it.

"We had a good result in our hands, but qualifying really hurt us.

"We'll see at the next race in Road America, I think we will have a good car there and I have good expectations for that race."

Derrick Walker -- Team Australia Co-Owner

"Good news is we came away with some points for Will," said Walker.

"Obviously the bad news for Simon is we didn't have the luck to get up there and race.

"Then he had his front wing knocked off and just a series of things that just keep putting us back and that were hard to recover from.

"That's what these little tight street races are like, they are like bullrings."

Craig Gore -- Team Australia Co-Owner

"It was a terrific battle out there today and I think Will's efforts to finish fourth must be applauded after starting 12th," said Gore.

"He has definitely kept himself in the title chase and that's all he needs to do when the cards don't all fall his way.

"I think Derrick and Team Australia crew are doing a fantastic job producing quick races cars and we just need a little luck to come our way."

-credit: team australia

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Oriol Servia , Robert Doornbos , Neel Jani , Will Power , Simon Pagenaud