What promised to be a great day for the Team Australia Champ Car Atlantic team turned sour at the Portland International Raceway today. Simon Pagenaud, who qualified on the front row, was sandwiched between Graham Rahal and Ryan Lewis at turn...
What promised to be a great day for the Team Australia Champ Car Atlantic team turned sour at the Portland International Raceway today.
Simon Pagenaud, who qualified on the front row, was sandwiched between Graham Rahal and Ryan Lewis at turn one on the opening lap.
Pagenaud had to pit to replace his front wing and rejoined the race, but had a mechanical failure three laps from race end and was classed in 23rd spot.
Davison had a reasonable start in his Aussie Vineyards entry, but got caught up in an accident at turn one on lap 11 and his day ended with him being officially classed in 25th position.
Canadian rookie James Hinchcliffe made a last-lap move on Lewis to claim his maiden Atlantic victory. Andreas Wirth was third and maintains the championship lead on 109 points ahead of Hinchcliffe (85) and Pagenaud (80).
Davison is in 18th position in the championship on 19 points. The Atlantic cars return to action next weekend with a doubleheader at Cleveland's Burke Lakefront Airport.
WHAT THEY HAD TO SAY--..
JAMES DAVISON - # 5 TEAM AUSTRALIA/AUSSIE VINEYARDS
"I got a good start and was up to twelfth and just keeping a pace, there was a long way to go, and then I saw Leo was behind me, we stayed about the same distance for the two laps and then I broke it into turn one and bounced off him. I don't know if he came from way back and did a risky move, but it damaged my car and then once I got back going, it was obvious that I had suspension damage, it just pointed me towards the wall and I couldn't do anything. It's disappointing because I really need laps in the car and I've come home with a damaged race car, which I really didn't need."
SIMON PAGENAUD - # 15 TEAM AUSTRALIA/AUSSIVE VINEYARDS
"Today was such a shame because our car was very fast, Team Australia gave me a perfect car to win the race, but that's life," said Pagenaud.
"I think that we could have won the race, which is a big disappointment for me. "Unfortunately I got caught in a sandwich with the Mi-Jack Conquest guys, and I hit with Rahal."
"My race after that was finished. I saw the leader behind me and I thought there was going to be a yellow flag, but then in the end there was something wrong with the car and I had to park it. It was very disappointing, but now we just have to focus for Cleveland."
DERRICK WALKER -- CO-OWNER TEAM AUSTRALIA
"Simon had by far the quickest car in the race, it's almost a tragedy," said Walker.
"I don't know what we have to do to get him to win, but he got into that turn one situation which was none of his doing, but unfortunately suffered a penalty with ultimately a broken suspension because of it."
"But he by far had the quickest car and drove his heart out. Simon is a true champion. "He didn't win today, but he will."
"On the other hand it was too bad for James. He was driving a really good race up to that point, a late breaking pass caught him by surprise and unfortunately he suffered with that incident where he ran into another car, or was hit by another car."
"It was just a racing situation, it's a part of his learning curve, too bad that it had to be today, but he did a good job up until that point, so we'll be back."