PAGENAUD SIXTH BUT NO POWER FOR WILL IN TORONTO
Team Australia has experienced a mixed day in opening qualifying for the Steelback Grand Prix of Toronto at the Exhibition Place street circuit in Toronto, Canada today.
Simon Pagenaud was sixth fastest in the #15 Aussie Vineyards Team Australia DP01 in the first qualifying session of the weekend. The Frenchman held the fastest time in provisional qualifying with only two minutes remaining but was eclipsed by five cars in the late stages of the session.
Australian Will Power on the other hand had a day to forget. His #5 Aussie Vineyards Team Australia DP01 had a wiring loom fail in the first lap of qualifying, his car left stranded at Turn One.
Once repairs were made to Power's car the reigning Champ Car Roshfrans Rookie of the Year had only limited time remaining to set a fast time and it would only be the Toowoomba-born driver's second fastest time that would count, as rules dictate that any driver causing a red flag stoppage will lose their fastest time.
The mechanical problems put Power down in 17th in provisional qualifying, but with final qualifying tomorrow Team Australia is confident of improvement.
Sebastien Bourdais was fastest in provisional qualifying today ahead of Oriol Servia and Justin Wilson.
WHAT THEY HAD TO SAY --
Will Power -- #5 Aussie Vineyards Team Australia DP01
"Unfortunately we were unable to get in any good laps in the few laps that we were able to run, because the wiring loom failed earlier in the session," said Power.
"Hopefully we can get on pole for tomorrow and the positive is we were able to get out there and get a few laps in thanks to the Team Australia guys, plus we have an extra set of tyres, which will help for tomorrow.
"We just need to go back tonight and get some more information."
Simon Pagenaud -- #15 Aussie Vineyards Team Australia DP01
"We definitely made lots of improvements from this morning, but the track picked up lots of understeer in the end and unfortunately as soon as I put a consistent lap in I wasn't able to match it back," said Pagenaud.
"I really feel like we should have improved our lap time and now we just need to understand why we didn't have a better lap in the end, possibly understeer.
"Overall good improvement, I'm proud of all the guys. We had a gearbox issue earlier in the session and they were able to fix the problem quickly, so thanks to all of them."
Derrick Walker -- Team Australia Co-Owner
"As we run throughout the season, we find more and more about the DP01 and the installation of the systems that show weaknesses and today unfortunately at the inopportune moment we found the next weakness in the Panoz installation," said Walker.
"Bottom line is that the battery shorted out so the wiring loom is suspect. It's another one of those learning the new car blues.
"For Simon's first time here in the Champ Car, learning the track and getting the car the way he needs it. He definitely made a big improvement, needs some more obviously, but we just have to keep working on the car.
"We had a gear issue earlier on, which shortened up his run, but I say it's just getting the car the way he needs it and we're not quite there yet."
Craig Gore -- Team Australia Co-Owner
"Another solid job by Simon today, but for Will this is a day he'd rather forget," said Gore.
"Last year we saw the Team Australia crew gain a reputation as a group that took on each and every challenge thrown at them and today we saw another example of that, when the crew fixed Will's car and got him back out there for the final laps in qualifying.
"I'm sure we can get to the bottom of what happened overnight and also do some work at improving the Aussie Vineyards cars for tomorrow's final qualifying."
-credit: team australia