PAGENAUD PUTS TEAM AUSTRALIA ON THE FRONT ROW IN DENVER Team Australia Atlantic ace Simon Pagenaud has qualified second for the Champ Car Grand Prix of Denver in Colorado today. The Frenchman, who currently leads the Champ Car ...
PAGENAUD PUTS TEAM AUSTRALIA ON THE FRONT ROW IN DENVER
Team Australia Atlantic ace Simon Pagenaud has qualified second for the Champ Car Grand Prix of Denver in Colorado today.
The Frenchman, who currently leads the Champ Car Atlantic Championship standings, improved the street course set-up of his Team Australia Swift overnight to rise from sixth to second on the grid.
Pagenaud will start alongside championship rival Graham Rahal, who is second in the standings. With three races to go in the Atlantic season, the Denver round will be crucial for Pagenaud as he chases Team Australia's first championship.
Young Australian James Davison also made great gains in the #5 Aussie Vineyards Atlantic and was looking likely to qualify in the top 10.
Davison was on his fastest lap of the day when the Aussie Vineyards car ran out of the fuel late in the session. Davison's earlier laps were still fastest enough to put him 14th on the grid for tomorrow's race.
WHAT THEY HAD TO SAY --
Simon Pagenaud -- #15 Team Australia/Aussie Vineyards/Location U/Cons. Gen. Vienne Swift
"It was a much better day today than yesterday," said Pagenaud.
"We improved quite a lot and the tyres were much better. Overnight we made great improvements to the car. Now we have a balance that suites me pretty well, but we still have some improvements to make.
"I'm pretty happy because when we put on new tyres we took the red flag and my tires were at the edge at the moment and then I was able to do a very good lap. The problem was we took the red flag and I came back to the pit and the tyre pressures cooled down a bit and the rear tyre was not as good as it was before after that.
"The good picture is that we are P2 in qualifying. Standing starts are good for me, so we are holding onto the championship."
James Davison -- #5 Team Australia/Aussie Vineyards Swift
"Today the car was great right there at the end," said Davison.
"I was right there in the top ten. On my last lap, I was on an awesome lap with three corners to go and I ran out of fuel. We ran hard and got more laps in and in the end, ran out of fuel. Unfortunately things happen in racing and I ran out of fuel. That's just the way it goes sometimes."
Derrick Walker -- Team Australia Co-Owner
"Simon did a super job to get P2," said Walker.
"The car was much, much better today. The guys did a lot of good work with the car and got a lot of good balance. Simon put it where it belongs on the front row.
"I feel sorry for James because he deserved a much better position than he ended up. We raced harder and longer than we thought we were going to do in qualifying and basically didn't have enough fuel to do that many laps.
"It's a shame because he was on his best lap on the last lap. It was a big disappointment because he continues to gather strength and race the race. He did an excellent job and it's a pity we didn't let him do it today."
Craig Gore -- Team Australia Co-Owner
"Simon continues his great form and I am sure that he and Graham Rahal will have a great race tomorrow," said Gore.
"James is quite unlucky not to be in the top 10 and he could be looking at his best result of the season tomorrow if he keeps it all together."
-credit: team australia