PAGENAUD SECOND AND POWER FIFTH IN EDMONTON Team Australia has made a strong start to the Rexall Grand Prix of Edmonton with Simon Pagenaud and Will Power second and fifth fastest respectively in provisional qualifying in Edmonton, Canada ...
PAGENAUD SECOND AND POWER FIFTH IN EDMONTON
Team Australia has made a strong start to the Rexall Grand Prix of Edmonton with Simon Pagenaud and Will Power second and fifth fastest respectively in provisional qualifying in Edmonton, Canada today.
Rookie Pagenaud, who won the Champ Car Atlantic race in Edmonton last season in the Aussie Vineyards Atlantic car en route to winning that championship, reaffirmed his form at the fast Edmonton airport layout with second fastest behind defending series champion and countryman Sebastien Bourdais.
Power, who was fastest in practice earlier in the day, was fifth fastest in the #5 Aussie Vineyards Team Australia DP01 around the 1.973-mile (3.175-kilometre) circuit, known as one of the most demanding in the Champ Car World Series.
Power was strong throughout the session, but in turn seven the Australian grazed the wall, resulting in a bent left rear toe-link. Power had to wait for the toe-link to be replaced and his qualifying hopes for provisional pole were dashed when the session was called early due to an accident.
Team Australia will have the chance to go one better tomorrow when final qualifying for Round 7 of the 2007 Champ Car World Series is staged, before the Rexall Grand Prix of Edmonton is held on Sunday.
Sebastien Bourdais won provisional pole and a guaranteed front row start in Edmonton today, ahead of Pagenaud, Graham Rahal, Bruno Junquiera and Power. Championship leader Robert Doornbos was 10th fastest.
WHAT THEY HAD TO SAY --
Will Power -- #5 Aussie Vineyards Team Australia DP01
"We had a really good Aussie Vineyards car, one good enough for pole," said Power.
"Unfortunately I hit the wall. I just barely touched it, didn't even get into the rim and bent the left rear toe link. The cars are very fragile and very easily bend and unfortunately that hurt us for today.
"I think we can possibly get pole tomorrow and that will be our aim. Obviously the track changes and things get better, so we'll see."
Simon Pagenaud -- #15 Aussie Vineyards Team Australia DP01
"First of all, Edmonton is a very different track compared to the driving the Atlantic car last year because it goes a lot quicker and we're much more busy in the Champ Car," said Pagenaud.
"Some corners that were flat last year in Atlantic are not in the Champ Car. So it's just a little bit trickier. You just need to be more on your game.
"You know, it's just been a very good day for us because this morning it was not that good, we had a couple issues. The whole Aussie Vineyards team has been working really, really well, making my car working for this afternoon.
"When we came in practice this afternoon, the car was great. I just said, 'that's a great car, just do a couple of changes, but we're not far away'.
"We put new tyres on and it was great. It's great, great feeling."
Derrick Walker -- Team Australia Co-Owner
"I think there was probably about three or four cars that thought they probably could have gotten pole, us being two of them," said Walker.
"Unfortunately the accident cancelled the end of qualifying. It's not the end of the world, both boys are really running well which will make for a real 'knicker-gripper' tomorrow."
Craig Gore -- Team Australia Co-Owner
"Simon certainly likes the Edmonton circuit and today he did an outstanding job in the Aussie Vineyards car," said Gore.
"Will was on top of his game right from the start of the day, but didn't go as well as he would have liked in qualifying.
"He's got the opportunity to get the job done in final qualifying tomorrow to make sure that he is right up there with Bourdais for the start of the race."
-credit: team australia