ANOTHER PODIUM FOR PAGENAUD AND TEAM AUSTRALIA IN ATLANTICS Team Australia Atlantic driver Simon Pagenaud continues to lead the Champ Car Atlantic Championship after claiming third in the Grand Prix of Denver in Colorado today. The Frenchman...
ANOTHER PODIUM FOR PAGENAUD AND TEAM AUSTRALIA IN ATLANTICS
Team Australia Atlantic driver Simon Pagenaud continues to lead the Champ Car Atlantic Championship after claiming third in the Grand Prix of Denver in Colorado today.
The Frenchman piloted the #15 Team Australia car to his sixth podium result of the year on the Denver street course, continuing his charge towards the championship. Pagenaud's main championship rival Graham Rahal had a superb weekend, dominating proceedings, but the Team Australia driver showed his maturity in making the most out of what he had to finish a solid third and most importantly, collect points to minimise the impact of Rahal's awesome weekend.
Pagenaud still leads the championship by 16 points with two rounds remaining. Both of those rounds are held at circuit that should suit the Team Australia driver's style. While this weekend's race was held on the streets of Denver, both the Montreal and Road America events are on smooth and fast circuit more like those of Europe where Pagenaud learned his craft, giving the Team Australia/Aussie Vineyards/Location U/Cons. Gen. Vienne confidence for the final stages of the season.
Pagenaud's young Team Australia team-mate James Davison had a turbulent weekend in the #5 Aussie Vineyards Swift. Davison lived up to expectations that Denver would be one of the better rounds for young driver and was looking like posting a top 10 finish until caught out by another driver's incident.
Davison was first cut-off by another driver, puncturing his tyre and damaging the steering. The Team Australia crew changed the tyre under safety car conditions, allowing Davison to stay with the pack. As the young Aussie Vineyards driver was working his way back up the field the car of Tim Bridgman tapped the wall and slowed, leaving the young Australian no where to go but into the back of Bridgman, rolling the Aussie Vineyards car in spectacular fashion.
Davison was taken to the Champ Car medical facility as a precaution and was soon given the all clear after medical officials assisted the Aussie Vineyards driver, icing soreness for 20 minutes to help recovery.
WHAT THEY HAD TO SAY --
Simon Pagenaud -- #15 Team Australia/Aussie Vineyards/Location U/Cons. Gen. Vienne Swift
"The car was pretty good at the end of the race" said Pagenaud.
"In the beginning we struggled a little bit with the tire pressure because we had a lot of yellow flags during the race and we were not expecting that.
"Then on cold tyres it was pretty hard to drive, but by the end of the race our set-up was really good. At the end I pushed hard because the car was good. Fortunately we finished third on a race track that is not good for us. I'm sure in Montreal we will be great."
James Davison -- #5 Team Australia/Aussie Vineyards Swift
"I got a good start today and made up a few positions, putting me tenth," said Davison.
"Then there was full course caution and when we went green again I got cut off twice by another competitor. The second time I got cut off it punctured my tyre and bent my steering. I got another tyre on the second full course caution.
"When we went green again I was driving my way through the field and Tim Bridgman tapped the wall. I was passing Jonathan Bomarito as Bridgman lifted right off of the throttle down the straight, which left me to go straight into the back of him.
"It was obviously disappointing to finish the weekend like that, but the team and I are coming along. It wasn't meant for us this weekend and I look forward to Montreal as this will be my second time to visit that track."
Derrick Walker -- Team Australia Co-Owner
"Very intelligent finish on Simon's part, he didn't have the best car, but it got better as the race went on," said Walker.
"He was smart and managed the speed and to get a good finish to help him in the championship. It's difficult to see what we could have done differently for James. The guys in front of him all got together and he ended up being the loser.
"We continue to see strength in our programs and James certainly deserved better today. It's a shame he couldn't show it."
Craig Gore -- Team Australia Co-Owner
"Simon showed why he is the championship leader this weekend," said Gore.
"He didn't have everything going his way, but he toughed it out and still finished on the podium and earned a good bunch of points. It's making the most out of every race weekend that wins championships and Simon is still on track to get Team Australia's first title in September at Road America.
"James took another leap forward this weekend but it was unfortunate that his race ended the way it did. The main thing is that he is fine and uninjured.
"He is pushing harder and getting higher up the timesheets with every round and I am sure he is looking forward to Montreal, which like Denver, is a circuit he likes and already knows."
-credit: team australia