BIG CHALLENGE AHEAD FOR TEAM AUSTRALIA Team Australian Champ Car Atlantic drivers Simon Pagenaud and James Davison face a tough challenge in Round 7 of the Champ Car Atlantic Championship after problems in qualifying today for the Molson Grand...
BIG CHALLENGE AHEAD FOR TEAM AUSTRALIA
Team Australian Champ Car Atlantic drivers Simon Pagenaud and James Davison face a tough challenge in Round 7 of the Champ Car Atlantic Championship after problems in qualifying today for the Molson Grand Prix of Toronto.
An engine problem prevented Pagenaud from continuing his blistering qualifying form. The Frenchman's engine progressively lost power during today's qualifying session. When the engine began to make an unusual noise Pagenaud sensibly shut the car down and parked it out of harms way, but had to settle for 15th place.
Davison will start Sunday's race from 20th after battling with a lack of grip during qualifying. Both Team Australia Atlantic drivers will be looking to move up the order and score points towards the championship in Toronto tomorrow.
WHAT THEY HAD TO SAY --
SIMON PAGENAUD -- TEAM AUSTRALIA/AUSSIE VINEYARDS #15 SWIFT
"We improved the car a lot," said Pagenaud. "The car was good to drive. You could see that on the first run on new tyres we were P3. We could have had the pole today.
"Later on in the session we had an engine problem. Everyone was catching me in the straight line a lot at the end. On new tyres I couldn't do better than my lap on old tyres. There was obviously something wrong as my engine started to make weird noises so I turned it off, because if we blew the engine on the track it would have caused a red flag and if you cause a red flag you lose your best lap time.
"Overall we had a good balance today which is great. I start 15th, so that will make it difficult because the track is not very wide, but I'm sure I can catch some people and get into the top eight for tomorrow."
JAMES DAVISON -- TEAM AUSTRALIA/AUSSIE VINEYARDS #5 SWIFT
"It's fair to say we are struggling this weekend," said Davison. "Simon isn't where he usually is and I've moved backwards as well. I fell like I'm driving better every time I get in the car. Basically the car is lacking grip. The car is not gripped up and is either under steering or the rear is loose, so it's a handful.
"It's a disappointing result, but we are really trying though. In the past I always move up on race day. For tomorrow, if we can sort the car out and I can do my bit then we can come home with a top ten result."
DERRICK WALKER -- TEAM AUSTRALIA CO-OWNER
"We have a lot of work to do for both Champ and Atlantic," said Walker. "We are clearly missing the boat and have to do a lot more work to catch up. It's in the cars there somewhere, we've just got to find it."
CRAIG GORE -- TEAM AUSTRALIA CO-OWNER
"Obviously the boys are struggling to come to grips with the Toronto track," said Gore. "We have plenty of work to do overnight to put us in a position to pick up a decent bag of championship points.
"Toronto is one of those places where anything can happen. I think if the racing gods are on our side tomorrow we can be in the mix."