TEAM AUSTRALIA TOPS OPENING QUALIFYING IN EDMONTON Champ Car Atlantic Championship leader, Team Australia's Simon Pagenaud, has topped opening qualifying for Round 8 of the series in Edmonton, Canada today. Team Australia's Atlantic squad had...
TEAM AUSTRALIA TOPS OPENING QUALIFYING IN EDMONTON
Champ Car Atlantic Championship leader, Team Australia's Simon Pagenaud, has topped opening qualifying for Round 8 of the series in Edmonton, Canada today.
Team Australia's Atlantic squad had a fantastic day at Edmonton, with Pagenaud topping opening qualifying for fourth time out of eight rounds so far this season. Pagenaud's young Australian team-mate James Davison also performed exceptionally well to be 10th fastest in the highly-competitive 23-car field.
This weekend Pagenaud and Team Australia are aiming to maintain their lead of the Atlantic championship and the chase for the $US2million first prize for the winner. The Frenchman currently holds a nine-point lead in the championship over Andreas Wirth and is the top rookie.
Davison is one of the youngest and most inexperienced drivers in this year's championship, but the determined Victorian driver yet again showed his ability to be in the top 10 on the time sheets, ahead of many more experienced competitors.
Team Australia will now work to ensure that the Aussie Vineyards Swifts are at their best for tomorrow's final qualifying, where Pagenaud and Davison will aim to continue their fine form in Edmonton.
WHAT THEY HAD TO SAY --
SIMON PAGENAUD -- #15 TEAM AUSTRALIA/AUSSIE VINEYARDS SWIFT
"What a good result for today," said Pagenaud. "I have the best car that I have had all season. It felt great out there. We were quick all session and I just want to thank the team for giving me such a good car.
"I love this track, it is physical and challenging and that's what makes it great. Plus, going into the weekend with the championship lead really helped my mindset for the weekend and my confidence. I'm ready to get back in the car tomorrow."
JAMES DAVISON -- #5 TEAM AUSTRALIA/AUSSIE VINEYARDS SWIFT
"I feel like I'm driving the best I've ever have," said Davison. "I got my best qualifying of the season. It's really unfortunate that the red flag came out because I was just going quicker every lap. Confidence is what holds me back compared to Simon, but I'm getting over that barrier.
"It's a very physical track, but you don't race as fast as you qualify. So for tomorrow I will do my best to try stay in the top 10 and improve."
DERRICK WALKER -- TEAM AUSTRALIA CO-OWNER
"Our Atlantics team had a really good day," said Walker. "After a lot of hard work and preparation, a top ten for James is like a pole considering where he has been in qualifying at some of the previous races, so that is a big step for him.
"Simon is right on the money again and we just need to keep getting maximum points. The guys are right on target and we just need to keep it up."
CRAIG GORE -- TEAM AUSTRALIA CO-OWNER
"Simon continues to show that he is a class act," said Gore. "It's still early days, but it's always a great boost for the team to top Friday qualifying and this year Simon has done that four times. I'm confident that he can put the Team Australia car in a similar position tomorrow.
"James should be very pleased with his effort today. He has a very capable driver to learn from in Simon and he is taking advantage of every opportunity given to him. For him, top ten finishes are the goal so today is a very successful day for the Team Australia Atlantic squad."