CHAMPCAR/CART: Surfers Paradise: Team Australia Friday report

TAGLIANI SECOND FASTEST ON GOLD COAST Team Australia's Alex Tagliani gave the local crowd plenty to cheer about when he was second fastest in the opening qualifying session for this weekend's Lexmark Indy 300. Tagliani was towards the top of...

TAGLIANI SECOND FASTEST ON GOLD COAST

Team Australia's Alex Tagliani gave the local crowd plenty to cheer about when he was second fastest in the opening qualifying session for this weekend's Lexmark Indy 300.

Tagliani was towards the top of the time sheets for most of the session which started in wet conditions before constantly drying -- but not enough for slick tyres.

The result was Tagliani's best qualifying for the season and he is confident his crew can produce a similar car for him in expected dry conditions tomorrow.

Tagliani's Team Australia teammates Marcus Marshall and Will Power were 10th and 17th respectively.

For Marshall, the result equaled his best qualifying effort of the year in Las Vegas on a Superspeedway a month ago.

Today was the first time that Power had been in a practice or qualifying session in a Champ Car and the conditions could not have been more challenging.

WHAT THEY HAD TO SAY

ALEX TAGLIANI - #15 AUSSIE VINEYARDS TEAM AUSTRALIA LOLA
"Today's result was great for the entire team," said Tagliani. "They have been working so hard to get a third car together for this race and now hopefully we can continue this form no matter what the weather is tomorrow.

"I guess if you are going to have you best qualifying result of the year this is the place to do it for us.

"We had a reasonable car in the morning's wet session, so I knew we would be reasonably competitive if the rain continued this afternoon.

"We had the slicks ready to go, but it just did not dry out enough to throw them on at the end.

"We used a cool set of scrubbed wets right at the end and they helped us get the time.

"My last lap was going to be even quicker, but I got held up in traffic in the last three corners and that ended that. It would have been great to have been quickest."

MARCUS MARSHALL - #5 AUSSIE VINEYARDS TEAM AUSTRALIA LOLA
"It wasn't too bad overall," said Marshall. "The conditions were pretty tough, but they were the same for everyone.

"I am just really disappointed that the red flag came out towards the end of the season when it did because we were on a real flyer and who knows what would have happened.

"It is only Friday and I guess we will get even more serious tomorrow in hopefully dry conditions in the final qualifying session.

"The reaction from the fans and everyone involved with the event has just been amazing."

WILL POWER #25 AUSSIE VINEYARDS TEAM AUSTRALIA LOLA
"I guess if you wanted the worst conditions to be having your first official run in one of these cars then we got them today," said Power.

"I am trying to learn the car and the track and those conditions don't help in either case.

"I never really got a chance to get in that last lap.

"I just hope we can get some dry running tomorrow and I can get as much track time as possible.

"We are all on a steep learning curve here.

"At the end of the day I need to remember this is my first race."

DERRICK WALKER -- CO-OWNER
"Not a bad start," said Walker. "Everyone has been working extremely hard to get three cars on the grid for this weekend and it was pleasing to get the results we did in the conditions.

"To have one car second and another in the top 10 in our first time here with a Lola is a positive start.

"Unfortunately the conditions did not do much for Will's learning curve and he will have to make the most of every lap tomorrow.

"Tomorrow is definitely another day and we will have to be on top of our game to ensure we take as much advantage of any dry running we have."

CRAIG GORE -- CO-OWNER
"To come out on our first day at our home race and have "Tags" second is a tremendous result," said Gore. "Marcus also did a very solid job and I am sure we will see a lot more from Will if the conditions are kinder to us tomorrow.

"It is just great to be receiving the support we are from the fans, it is even nicer when you start to produce results that give them something to cheer for."

-team australia-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Alex Tagliani , Marcus Marshall