KV RACING TECHNOLOGY -- TEAM AUSTRALIA'S WILL POWER TAKES POLE FOR TOMORROW'S NIKON INDY 300
RAIN HAMPERS ORIOL SERVIA'S EFFORT
SURFERS PARADISE, QUEENSLAND, AUSTRALIA -- OCTOBER 25, 2008 -- Round #18, 2008 IndyCar Series season -- KV Racing Technology -- Team Australia Will Power captured the pole for tomorrow's Nikon Indy 300 in Surfers Paradise, Queensland, Australia. Teammate Oriol Servia qualified 15th after rain hampered his qualifying effort.
Power, KV Racing Technology #8 Aussie Vineyards -- Team Australia Honda/Dallara/Firestone, making his third appearance at his home track, captured his third consecutive pole with a lap of 94.9451 seconds (105.977 mph). He is the only driver to have earned three poles on the 2.795-mile, 12-turn Surfers Paradise temporary street circuit, let alone three in a row. Servia, KV Racing Technology #5 Team Australia Honda/Dallara/Firestone, making his ninth appearance in Surfers Paradise, did not advance out of group #1 in the first round of qualifying when heavy rain at the start of his session negated what had been a fast car on a dry track. Servia posted a time of 115.6628 seconds (86.994) and will start on the inside of Row #8.
"I can't believe I have another pole start here," Power said. "But, it's only the pole and the goal is to win the race on Sunday. That's the big prize here. It was a mega last lap. And I'm really happy for Craig Gore, Kevin Kalkhoven and Jimmy Vasser. They have supported me through my whole professional career so I am really happy for them. I also want to thank everyone at KV Racing Technology -- Team Australia. Mark Johnson, Dave Brzozowski, the engineers and the entire crew has done a great job all weekend."
Commenting on his qualifying session Servia said, "I am obviously very disappointed, I started the weekend bad by crashing in the first practice session. Then, just when I felt I was getting comfortable again with the KV Racing Technology -- Team Australia car for qualifying, it rained. I thought I was going to finish fifth on the last lap and didn't want to risk too much in the wet spots, but it wasn't enough. It's not where I wanted to start. It's not what the car, or myself are capable of, but hopefully we will have a better day tomorrow in the race. The last few years I have qualified well, but haven't done well in the race, so maybe this year things will be different."
Power started the day at the top of the speed charts after yesterday's twin practices with a time of 94.8084 seconds (106.130 mph). In this morning's practice, which was run in two groups, he went out with the second group and posted the second fastest lap of his session, 94.6523 seconds (106.305 mph), and the second quickest when the times from both groups were combined. Servia, fourth fastest yesterday, 96.4394 seconds (104.335 mph), ran with the first group and posted the third fastest time in his session and the eighth best overall recording a lap of 96.1073 seconds (104.695 mph).
Power, in Group #2 of Round #1, which was run without rain, but still on a very wet track, advanced when he posted the fastest lap in his group with a lap of 110.4357 seconds. During Round #2, with the track was drying, Power ran on slick tires and recorded the fifth fastest time, 100.4642 seconds to advance to the final round, the Firestone Fast Six. In the finals, the local boy was able to pull out all the stops on a dry track notching his fast lap on the last lap of his run.
This is the sixth time in seven road/street events that KVRT has placed at least one car in the Firestone Fast Six and the fourth time Power has made the final round (Power: St. Petersburg, Edmonton, Sonoma and Surfers Paradise; Servia in Watkins Glen, Edmonton, Sonoma and Detroit).
Power's pole today is the eighth top-10 starting position in 18 races this year, his sixth top five starting spot and first pole of the season. He has now qualified on the pole in three of his four starts here. He finished 15th in 2005, 12th in 2006 and 16th in 2007
The Nikon Indy 300 will be broadcast on ESPN Classic on Saturday, October 2 at 10:30 p.m. ET. There will be a re-air on ESPN 2 on Sunday, October 26 at 10:00 p.m.