BITTER SWEET DAY FOR TEAM AUSTRALIA It was a bitter-sweet day for Team Australia in their first ever appearance at the Lexmark Indy 300 on the streets of the Gold Coast today. Alex Tagliani almost gave the team its third podium of the year...
BITTER SWEET DAY FOR TEAM AUSTRALIA
It was a bitter-sweet day for Team Australia in their first ever appearance at the Lexmark Indy 300 on the streets of the Gold Coast today.
Alex Tagliani almost gave the team its third podium of the year when he finished fourth, but not after a coming together with team-mate Will Power on lap 29 of the 57-lap contest.
Unfortunately the incident at turn three ended Power's first ever Champ Car race and damaged the front of Tagliani's car.
The Canadian, who has become an "adopted" Aussie, was forced into a closed pit for repairs and was sent to the rear of the field.
He charged his way back to finish fourth and now sits seventh in the championship, just six points off Jimmy Vasser and seven points off AJ Allmendinger.
Marcus Marshall finished a solid 11th in the third Team Australia entry after having his race disrupted after clipping a tyre on the back chicane and being forced into the pits for a 31.1-second stop to change his front wing.
WHAT THEY HAD TO SAY--..
ALEX TAGLIANI - #15 AUSSIE VINEYARDS TEAM AUSTRALIA LOLA
"What can I say? I feel really sorry for Will," said Tagliani.
"He had held me up a couple of times through the quick chicane.
"I used a bit of push to pass between turns two and three to get to him, but then I underestimated here he was going to brake.
"I did not study him enough on the previous laps, it was my mistake and I feel sorry for the team.
"The guys encouraged me to put my head down after the incident and we went on from there.
"I am not sure if we would have been on the podium, but we certainly would have been close without the last stop for five seconds fuel.
"I think the team has done an outstanding job to get three cars together for this race in a short space of time and need to be congratulated. Unfortunately we could not reward them appropriately.
"The Australian fans have been fantastic this week and this team is something all Aussies can be proud of."
MARCUS MARSHALL - #5 AUSSIE VINEYARDS TEAM AUSTRALIA LOLA #"It is funny how quickly things can change," said Marshall.
"We were traveling pretty well after getting a good start and then I just clipped the tyres on the back chicane and it loosened my front wing.
"It was not making a lot of difference to the car, but if it had come off we could have been in a whole lot of trouble.
"After stop to replace it we just go into a groove and cruised home.
"I am glad the car is still in one piece and that the guys can at least take a deep breath after our next race in Mexico.
"I have to thank everyone who has supported us this week and throughout the year, it has been amazing."
WILL POWER - # 25 AUSSIE VINEYARDS TEAM AUSTRALIA LOLA
"I don't really know what happened, all I know is that I copped a nasty bump from behind," said Power.
"I was going to let Alex through down the back straight if he was close enough to me, but I never got the chance.
"I don't know whether he had a brake or other problem or just made a mistake and we all know mistakes happen.
"Overall I was pretty pleased with the way things were going, but unfortunately it did not end how I wanted it to.
"I have to thank everyone who made this possible and look forward to coming back next year with a full season under my belt with Team Australia."
DERRICK WALKER -- CO-OWNER
"We really had a bit of everything today," said Walker.
"We got a lot of satisfaction out of getting three cars to this race and having them competitive.
"Team Australia has again shown itself as a viable entity on and off the track.
"Will (Power) definitely showed signs that we have made the right move in employing him.
"I guess the sadness came from the coming together between Alex and Marcus, but then Alex put his head down and come out of the race with something.
"Overall it could have been better, but it wasn't so bad."
CRAIG GORE -- CO-OWNER
"At the end of the day the clash between the two boys (Alex and Will) was a racing incident," said Gore.
"Should it have happened? -- no, but that's racing.
"To see the support here today and all week has been amazing. The reaction to Team Australia was really beyond my wildest dreams.
"I think we have won a lot of fans this weekend and hopefully they will stick with us as we roll into the future."
The next round of the Champ Car World Series will be in Mexico City in two weeks time.