CHAMPCAR/CART: Cleveland: Team Australia Friday report

POWER AND PAGENAUD IN TOP THREE AT CLEVELAND Team Australia's Will Power and Simon Pagenaud have finished second and third respectively in the opening qualifying session for this weekend's Champ Car Grand Prix of Cleveland in Ohio...

POWER AND PAGENAUD IN TOP THREE AT CLEVELAND

Team Australia's Will Power and Simon Pagenaud have finished second and third respectively in the opening qualifying session for this weekend's Champ Car Grand Prix of Cleveland in Ohio today.

Power lapped the temporary circuit on the shores of Lake Erie in 57.301 seconds (132.312 mph) with Pagenaud hot on his heels at 57.338 seconds (132.226 mph).

Power turned his quickest lap on his 13th circuit while rookie Pagenaud experimented by running on the Bridgestone alternate tyres during his second stint.

He was unable to go faster on the 'reds' but is confident the team has potential for improvement in tomorrow's qualifying session. Pagenaud's time also made him the fastest rookie in today's session.

Defending series champion and current championship leader Sebastian Bourdais guaranteed himself a front-row starting spot for the race by clocking the fastest time today.

Friday's qualifying session was very competitive with only one-half-second separating positions two through 11 on the time sheet.

WHAT THEY HAD TO SAY --

Will Power -- #5 Aussie Vineyards Team Australia DP01

"As the track gripped up we developed a little bit more understeer," said Power.

"It's easy to overdrive the car at this track because there's so much room on the entry to the corners. All I had to do was put a lap together and I knew we would be up there.

"I sort of did that in the second run, but I have still got to work things out a little bit better in my head, just to do a nice neat lap."

Simon Pagenaud -- #15 Aussie Vineyards Team Australia DP01

"Basically this morning I thought I knew the track, but it is a lot more narrow when you are driving in a Champ Car compared to last year in the Atlantic," said Pagenaud.

"Every corner popped up pretty quickly to my eye. I had to review my reference points, my brake points, all of that.

"But after eight laps, I would get back to speed and was able to score a top five this morning. So I think we're already on a good pace. I can't wait for tomorrow already."

Derrick Walker -- Team Australia Co-Owner

"This was an excellent first day for Team Australia," said Walker.

"Both Will and Simon really drove well in both sessions and the team is just getting stronger and stronger, pretty impressive.

"We still have one car to beat, so there is still a lot of work to be done yet.

"Good day for the team, congratulations and great job to everybody."

Craig Gore -- Team Australia Co-Owner

"It was a terrific effort by everyone involved today," said Gore.

"This is a big weekend for Team Australia with Will and Simon in Cleveland, Marcos Ambrose in his NASCAR Busch car in Milwaukee and our two-car V8 Supercar team in Darwin.

"Cleveland is such an interesting track and I think Will and Simon have done an exceptional job considering the amount of running they have had there.

"It will be terrific if they can continue that form tomorrow and then take it into Sunday's race."

-credit: team australia

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Marcos Ambrose , Will Power , Simon Pagenaud