AMAZING DAY FOR TEAM AUSTRALIA IN TORONTO Team Australia has overcome all kinds of adversity to finish strongly in the Molson Grand Prix of Toronto today in Ontario, Canada. The Aussie Vineyards team now leaves the Canadian venue with Alex ...
AMAZING DAY FOR TEAM AUSTRALIA IN TORONTO
Team Australia has overcome all kinds of adversity to finish strongly in the Molson Grand Prix of Toronto today in Ontario, Canada. The Aussie Vineyards team now leaves the Canadian venue with Alex Tagliani fourth in the championship and Will Power leader of the rookie standings.
Race day started poorly for the Aussie Vineyards squad when Tagliani had a front lower wishbone fail on his Lola in the morning warm-up, sending his car into the wall and severely damaging the chassis. Team Australia then kicked into action with crew from both cars working frantically to get the spare car ready for Tagliani in only two hours.
The team admittedly struggled for set-up in qualifying, but as has been the case all year, both cars were at their best on race day. After starting mid-pack, Tagliani climbed up the order to finish sixth and Power seventh to give a boost to the championship aspirations of the Aussie Vineyards team.
Remarkably, despite using Team Australia's spare Lola chassis, Tagliani recorded the fastest lap of the race. The Canadian's Aussie Vineyards car was showing strong pace towards the end of the race and Tagliani now sits fourth in the championship.
Power also came on strong in the latter stages of the event to finish one place behind his experienced team-mate. The strong finish from the Australian driver vaults him from fourth to first in the Roshfrans Rookie of the Year standings.
WHAT THEY HAD TO SAY --
ALEX TAGLIANI -- TEAM AUSTRALIA/AUSSIE VINEYARDS #15 LOLA
"All I have to say right now is what an outstanding job the team did putting this car together in about two hours," said Tagliani.
"They are the reason why we are out there. The engineers did a great job in giving me a fast car, we had the fastest lap of the race and we never gave up. Even at the end we had the shot at the podium if the race would have kept going green.
"It was amazing. I can't thank them enough. They are a great group of guys.
"Early on in the race I didn't want to push, I wanted to be safe. Then I felt that the car was good so I was able to stay close to Tracy, Bourdais and Wilson and to fight with those guys.
"We had a pretty good car for the whole race and I'm so happy with the result."
WILL POWER -- TEAM AUSTRALIA/AUSSIE VINEYARDS #5 LOLA
"Today I got a really good start and got a good run down the back straight into turn three and passed a few people," said Power.
"In the first pit stop we lost a position because the rear tyres went off really badly and I was struggling for pace. After that the race was just a procession.
"The last couple of laps were really interesting. I passed Junqueira and unfortunately Zwolsman prevented me from having a chance to attack Alex (Tagliani).
"We still had a really good result. We got some really good points for the rookie standings. Compared to how I was in qualifying it was really good for the team."
DERRICK WALKER -- TEAM AUSTRALIA CO-OWNER
"All weekend long we were off the pace," said Walker. "We just couldn't get the cars quick enough to be more competitive. The whole thing about the weekend was the team effort and them putting the #15 car back on the race track after basically writing off another car.
"Without a mammoth effort on the part of everybody we would have only had one car to race. I think both drivers did a good job in the race and brought home solid finishes which capitalise on all the effort they put into it."
CRAIG GORE -- TEAM AUSTRALIA CO-OWNER
"The whole team toughed it out over the weekend and was rewarded for its efforts with a couple of top-seven places," said Gore.
"The crew did an amazing job to get the spare car ready after the drama in warm-up. It just goes to show what you can achieve when you have such a dedicated team and solid leadership. In many ways that is what this entire Team Australia program is about.
"Will has again proven himself as the leading rookie in the field and he continues on track to be Rookie of the Year. Wouldn't it be fantastic if he could edge away and give himself a chance to collecting that title in front of a home crowd on the streets of the Gold Coast in October!
"Alex is now fourth in the championship and while the guys in front of him have a bit of a break, he is certainly still in championship contention."