CHAMPCAR/CART: Team Australia Laguna Seca test wrap-up

POWER SECOND FASTEST IN LAGUNA SECA SPRING TRAINING Team Australia has ended the final day of Champ Car Spring Training preseason testing with both its Aussie Vineyards Champ Cars in the top five on the timesheets at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca...

POWER SECOND FASTEST IN LAGUNA SECA SPRING TRAINING

Team Australia has ended the final day of Champ Car Spring Training preseason testing with both its Aussie Vineyards Champ Cars in the top five on the timesheets at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in Monterey, California today.

Australian sensation Will Power was second fastest for the day and lapped only 0.115 seconds slower than Laguna Seca's Formula One track record of 1:06.309 set by Ricardo Zonta in a Toyota TF106 last year.

Power ran strong all morning in the #5 Aussie Vineyards Panoz, clocking the second fastest lap time of 1:06.424. Unfortunately when the team headed back out in the afternoon session red flags and traffic prevented the Queenslander from getting a clear lap in and matching rival and three-time Champ Car Champion Sebastien Bourdais in beating the F1 mark in the new Panoz DP01 Champ Cars.

Power's team-mate Simon Pagenaud also had a strong run at the famous track as the Frenchman comes to grips with his new Team Australia Champ Car after winning last year's Atlantic title.

Brake trouble meant that Pagenaud could only manage 10th in the morning session. During lunch the Team Australia crew fine-tuned the #15 Aussie Vineyards car, allowing the 22-year-old to post the fifth fastest time of 1:06.699 in the afternoon session.

The green and gold Aussie Vineyards Panoz DP01s turned 171 laps around the 2.238-mile (3.602km) road course today totaling 382 miles (614.77km). Over the two day test Team Australia logged 368 laps equaling 823 miles (1324.5km).

Team Australia will head back to its Indianapolis-based headquarters to fine tune the cars for the opening event of the 2007 Champ Car World Series, the Grand Prix of Las Vegas on April 6-8.

Sebastien Bourdais set the fastest time of this weekend's testing this afternoon, breaking the Laguna Seca outright lap record in the process. Power was second fastest ahead of Neel Jani, Graham Rahal and Pagenaud.

WHAT THEY HAD SAY --

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

"We had some really bad runs on new tyres in the afternoon and we just didn't get a fair go with the traffic," said Power.

"I think on our last run there we got the car about right, but there was a red flag so we didn't really have a shot at it (the Formula 1 lap record) and Bourdais was the only one that was able to get a lap.

"It's been a good test, we were second quickest overall and the team is working really well. We are understanding the car and making it better with every session."

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

"This morning was kind of a struggle for me," said Pagenaud.

"I was struggling with the brakes and we finally found something to help me quite a bit. Looking at the data I really improved my driving this afternoon and the lap time kept going down and at the end we were really competitive.

"The car was great and thanks to the whole team because they are helping me improve my driving, so it's really good. I think we understand now how the car works and which way you have to drive it to be quicker, so I guess it's a very important thing for Las Vegas.

"I look forward to Las Vegas now, because I am having so much fun driving this Aussie Vineyards Champ Car."

Derrick Walker -- Team Australia Co-Owner

"It was a great day, great test and good all around team effort again," said Walker.

"We really learned a lot and obviously were running at that the front with our cars. The only thing that we left on the table was that we had about three opportunities today to take this fastest lap and we either got traffic or had a red flag or something that got in our way, but we know the speed is there.

"We are pretty happy with the results today and look forward to our first race."

-credit: team australia

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Ricardo Zonta , Graham Rahal , Sébastien Bourdais , Will Power , Simon Pagenaud