CHAMPCAR/CART: Zolder: Team Australia Saturday notes

POWER TO START FROM SECOND IN BELGIUM Will Power will start from second on the grid in the Belgium Champ Car Grand Prix after final qualifying at the Zolder circuit in Belgium today. The Team Australia driver was third fastest in final ...

POWER TO START FROM SECOND IN BELGIUM

Will Power will start from second on the grid in the Belgium Champ Car Grand Prix after final qualifying at the Zolder circuit in Belgium today.

The Team Australia driver was third fastest in final qualifying today, but will start from second by virtue of being fastest in yesterday's opening qualifying session, where the fastest driver is guaranteed a front row starting spot.

With a front row spot already assured, Power and the Team Australia crew shifted focus to race set-up today and decided against using the red 'option' tyres, which are of a softer compound, in qualifying today, saving the additional set for tomorrow's race.

Even without the use of the softer tyres Power was still third fastest in the #5 Aussie Vineyards Team Australia DP01 around the 2.492-mile (4.010-kilometre) circuit.

Simon Pagenaud was eighth fastest around the Zolder circuit in the #15 Aussie Vineyards Team Australia DP01 but that time was not a clear indication of the outright speed of the French rookie.

Pagenaud was blocked by another competitor on his fastest lap, denying him the opportunity to match his outstanding Friday qualifying performance, where the 2006 Atlantic champion was third fastest.

Sebastien Bourdais will start from pole position in the Belgium Champ Car Grand Prix ahead of Power and Dutchman Robert Doornbos.

WHAT THEY HAD TO SAY --

Will Power -- #5 Aussie Vineyards Team Australia DP01

"That is exactly how we thought it would play out today so we used the red tyres yesterday to try and guarantee a front row start," said Power.

"We decided to not use them today to save a set for the race. I think the time we did on blacks was only 0.3 seconds off Sebastien, so I think we are in pretty good shape for the race.

"We are thinking of tomorrow -- we need to win a race and everything has played out exactly as I wanted, no problem."

Simon Pagenaud -- #15 Aussie Vineyards Team Australia DP01

"We had a great Aussie Vineyards car and it had a pretty good balance," said Pagenaud.

"I don't really know why we couldn't make the lap time. I was held up by Katherine (Legge) in the last lap, so that didn't help, because that was my fastest lap.

"I think that would have put us on the first two rows, which is quite a shame, but that's how it is and we'll try to have good result during the race tomorrow."

Derrick Walker -- Team Australia Co-Owner

"Qualifying played out as we had predicted," said Walker.

"Pretty well everyone is on a different strategy to us, we are still looking at the race and saving our tyres for the race. A front row spot enables you to think strategically about the race so that's what we are doing there with Will, mission accomplished today.

"Simon unfortunately with traffic lost out on a top five position. He caught some traffic and the rest was history.

"We have a couple of really good Aussie Vineyards cars, it's a close field, so it's going to be a very interesting and tough race tomorrow. I think the team is up for it, so we will see what happens tomorrow."

Craig Gore -- Team Australia Co-Owner

"Will and the team decided against using a set of the softer red tyres today and instead did some work on race set-up, so with that in mind Will has done very well to still be so close to Sebastien," said Gore.

"Getting the fastest time on Friday meant that Will was locked in on the front row and with a set of reds saved for the race tomorrow it is going to be an interesting strategy battle.

"Simon was held up on his quickest lap so qualifying isn't really an indication of where he is in the order. I'm sure he will be able move forward in the race tomorrow."

-credit: team au

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Sébastien Bourdais , Robert Doornbos , Will Power , Simon Pagenaud