Team Australia has made a positive start to the final pre-season test before the commencement of the 2007 Champ Car World Series at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in Monterey, California today.

Reigning Champ Car Rookie of the Year Will Power impressed with fourth fastest while his Team Australia team-mate and 2006 Atlantic Champion Simon Pagenaud was seventh.

The green and gold Aussie Vineyards-backed machines showed strong and consistent pace around the 2.238-mile (3.602km) circuit today, continually working on set-up as the team logged 197 laps totalling 441 miles (709.7km) in vital test time.

Both Power and Pagenaud and the entire Team Australia squad led by Derrick Walker continue to gain knowledge on the new Panoz DP01 Champ Car ahead of the opening round of the 2007 Champ Car World Series on the streets of Las Vegas on April 6-8.

Team Australia will be back in action for further testing tomorrow. Paul Tracy was fastest in today's testing ahead of Sebastien Bourdais, Neel Jani and Power.


Will Power -- #5 Aussie Vineyards Team Australia Panoz DP01

"Team Australia did it once again, we've got a really quick Aussie Vineyards car and came away with a few really good things today," said Power.

"We've worked out what really works with the car and I think we've got it pretty sorted for road circuits.

"The track has really gripped up and I think everyone's car feels good, because there is so much rubber down so it's really hard to get a lot out of it considering the first three races are street circuits and they are going to be dusty and low grip.

"Overall the team has done a great job and they are really after the championship."

Simon Pagenaud -- #15 Aussie Vineyards Team Australia Panoz DP01

"Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca is wonderful," said Pagenaud.

"It's a fantastic track to drive. You have to carry lots of speed over the corner, which makes it very fun to drive and this car suited this track very well.

"The car was really good to drive in the morning, but we didn't have the chance to put the new tyres on, but I knew the car was great. Then the track gripped up and we did a lot of fine tuning to understand how the car was working and unfortunately at the end we didn't have the time to put in a clear lap with new tyres.

"My car seems to be good and my team-mate did a good lap time, so I'm pretty confident that we have a good communication on the team so it's perfect. Thanks to all of my Team Australia crew. They are doing a good job and I think we will be ready for Las Vegas."

Derrick Walker -- Team Australia Co-Owner

"We had a really good day," said Walker.

"We tried a lot of changes and learned a lot about the car, everything went according to plan and both cars ran like clocks.

"We are definitely in the hunt."

-credit: team australia