CHAMPCAR/CART: Assen: Team Australia preview

ASSEN GIVES POWER FINAL CHANCE TO SHINE BEFORE HOME EVENT IN AUSTRALIA Team Australia will have one last chance to shine before it's home event on the streets of Surfers Paradise as Will Power and Simon Pagenaud compete in the Bavaria Champ ...

ASSEN GIVES POWER FINAL CHANCE TO SHINE BEFORE HOME EVENT IN AUSTRALIA

Team Australia will have one last chance to shine before it's home event on the streets of Surfers Paradise as Will Power and Simon Pagenaud compete in the Bavaria Champ Car Grand Prix at the Assen circuit in Holland this weekend.

Power had strong car speed in the #5 Aussie Vineyards Team Australia DP01 at Zolder last weekend, qualifying on the front row of the grid and finishing fourth.

This weekend Power is eager to post a podium finish, seeking to overtake Robert Doornbos and reclaim second in the championship standings before his home race, the Lexmark Indy 300 on October 18-21, which is the next race on the schedule after Assen.

Pagenaud is one of the few drivers in this weekend's field with previous racing experience at the Assen TT Circuit, which is more renowned for motorcycle racing that open-wheel motorsport.

The Frenchman scored victory at the Dutch circuit back in 2003 in Formula Renault competition, beating the likes of Lewis Hamilton on his way to the win.

Pagenaud will now be out to revisit the Assen podium as he seeks to earn his first Champ Car podium result in the #15 Aussie Vineyards Team Australia DP01 after five top five finishes already this season, his rookie year in Champ Car after winning last year's Atlantic title with Team Australia.

AUSTRALIAN SUCCESS AT ASSEN

The Assen circuit in Holland is a new venue for Champ Car, but the venue is one that has been host to many Australian successes over the years while playing host to the Dutch Motorcycle TT.

Australian Mick Doohan won five consecutive victories at Assen in the premier motorcycle class from 1994 to 1998. Fellow Aussie Wayne Gardner was another to claim victory for Australia at Assen with wins in 1986 and 1988.

Even this season it was Chris Vermeulen who scored pole for the MotoGP event, where fellow Aussie Casey Stoner scored second place in the race. Vermeulen is a three-time race winner in World Superbike events at Assen, with Troy Bayliss a double race winner at Assen, including this season, cementing the Australian success at the challenging circuit.

Power will be out to emulate that sort of success in the #5 Aussie Vineyards Team Australia DP01, pushing to overtake Robert Doornbos for second place in the Champ Car World Series standings with three events remaining.

WHAT THEY HAD TO SAY --

Will Power -- #5 Aussie Vineyards Team Australia DP01

"I am really looking forward to carrying our speed into Assen," said Power.

"The Aussie Vineyards car has been so quick and we had a great, mistake-free race last weekend, I just wish we could have brought back better results, but we can do it this time around.

"I've never been to this circuit before, but from Simon's experience there and as great as the car has been, I hope to bring Team Australia a podium this time, we are well overdue."

Simon Pagenaud -- #15 Aussie Vineyards Team Australia DP01

"We are coming off of some bad luck the past couple of races, but you can't always have bad luck, that will soon go away," said Pagenaud.

"We will try to pull all the details together for Assen. It has been a tough rookie season, but all of this is good for next year, because I'm learning a lot by having so much trouble.

"It's a very nice track, very fast, which should suit our car very well. I really expect to put the Aussie Vineyards car up front again and show the Team Australia colours again."

Derrick Walker -- Team Australia Co-Owner

"Our analysis of the race track should suit our cars and drivers very well, so we are cautiously optimistic to be running up front again," said Walker.

"Will had the speed at Zolder but missed the podium and Simon had some rotten luck, so we look for a turnaround this weekend in Assen, another new and exciting venue for Champ Car."

Craig Gore -- Team Australia Co-Owner

"This is our last race before the Gold Coast event so I'm sure the entire team would love to get a good result on the board in Assen to give us momentum for Surfers Paradise," said Gore.

"Will closed the gap to second in the championship at the last race and there is no reason he cannot overtake Doornbos at Assen. The team gave Will a great Aussie Vineyards car in Zolder and the aim will be for us to get another front row start this weekend.

"Simon has experience around Assen so Will and the team will no doubt be speaking with him and learning about the circuit. Simon has been on the Assen podium before so it would be great for him to get his first Champ Car podium in Holland."

-credit: team aus

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Lewis Hamilton , Robert Doornbos , Troy Bayliss , Wayne Gardner , Chris Vermeulen , Mick Doohan , Will Power , Simon Pagenaud , Casey Stoner