CHAMPCAR/CART: Toronto: Team Australia preview

RETURN TO STREET CIRCUITS BRINGS RENEWED CONFIDENCE FOR TEAM AUSTRLIA IN TORONTO Team Australia heads back into rough and tough street circuit racing at the Steelback Grand Prix of Toronto for Round 7 of the Champ Car World Series in Toronto,...

RETURN TO STREET CIRCUITS BRINGS RENEWED CONFIDENCE FOR TEAM AUSTRLIA IN TORONTO

Team Australia heads back into rough and tough street circuit racing at the Steelback Grand Prix of Toronto for Round 7 of the Champ Car World Series in Toronto, Canada this weekend.

The Exhibition Place circuit is one of the mainstays of the Champ Car World Series, first hosting a round of the championship in 1986 and this weekend Team Australia drivers Will Power and Simon Pagenaud will be aiming to add their names to the illustrious winner's list.

Power continues to knock on the door of his second Champ Car victory and a return to street circuit racing should favour the Australian.

The Toowoomba-born driver's first pole position at the 2006 Lexmark Indy 300 in October last year and his first victory in this year's season opener in Las Vegas both came on street circuits.

Power's Team Australia team-mate Simon Pagenaud achieved his best Champ Car result last weekend in Mont Tremblant by claiming fourth place, one position behind Power, after earlier leading laps to further cement his reputation as one of the rising stars of Champ Car.

The recovery from a poor start at Mont Tremblant, when both Aussie Vineyards cars stalled due to engine problems out of the team's control, salvaged a strong points haul for Power and Pagenaud.

Team Australia will also be out to maintain the Aussie Vineyards-backed squad's lead in the Canadian Triple Crown standings. The three-race challenge takes the average finishing position for teams over three Canadian events in four weeks and Team Australia currently leads the table ahead of Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing and RSports.

The three events included in the triple crown offer a unique dissection of the Champ Car World Series, with the spectacular road course at Mont Tremblant, the tight and rough street circuit at Toronto and the fast airport circuit at Edmonton the three rounds deciding the winning team.

WHAT THEY HAD TO SAY --

Will Power -- #5 Aussie Vineyards Team Australia DP01

"We are continuing our championship charge and I'm looking forward to going back to a street circuit, and what better place than to go racing in Toronto," said Power.

"The Aussie Vineyards cars have been very strong on these types of circuits and I've been very competitive on them as well.

"Unfortunately we've run into some bad luck the past couple of races but it's starting to pick back up in Canada and Toronto was where our luck started to turn around last year.

"Now we are aiming to finish ahead of Sebastian and Robert and hopefully collect another win and to continue getting points and of course to continue leading the Canadian Triple Crown."

Simon Pagenaud -- #15 Aussie Vineyards Team Australia DP01

"This will be another big race for us this weekend in Toronto and another race to collect points for the Canadian Triple Crown," said Pagenaud.

"I'm really looking forward to going back, it's a great city and great area. The track is very interesting. We struggled a little bit in Atlantics there last year, but came away with a great result and we took the lead in the championship there so I have very good memories.

"With the result we had last weekend with Champ Car, I really think we will have a good weekend and everything is starting to go really smoothly and the team is working great together.

"We've a good shot and I can't wait to get back and give the fans a good race and drive close to the wall."

Derrick Walker -- Team Australia Co-Owner

"Always a favourite on the Champ Car calendar is a Canadian event and Toronto has long been part of schedule and we always enjoy racing there in the city," said Walker.

"It's back to street course racing where we had reasonable success at the beginning of the season and hopefully we can regain our great street course set-ups and starts and pick up from where we left off."

Craig Gore -- Team Australia Co-Owner

"The street circuits have been an area where Team Australia has been strong so we head into Toronto looking to get a good result on the board," said Gore.

"The guys made a strong comeback in Mont Tremblant and if it had not been for the engine problems on the grid it could have been even better.

"Will has had the pace to achieve his second win over the last few races but just hasn't had things go his way to get the job done. A return to street circuit racing, where we were so strong at the end of last season and the start of this season, could be just the thing he needs to get that next win.

"Simon is doing a very good job and continues to push Will at ever circuit and in every session. It's great for the team to continually have both cars at the front of the field challenging for the podium.

"I'm sure Simon is thinking about his first Champ Car podium and his pace will also hold us in a good position for the Canadian Triple Crown."

-credit: teanaustralia

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Series INDYCAR