POWER EYES CHAMPIONSHIP LEAD AS PAGENAUD RETURNS TO HAPPY HUNTING GROUND IN EDMONTON Team Australia is on the attack ahead of the Rexall Grand Prix of Edmonton as Round 7 of the Champ Car World Series is held in Edmonton, Canada this ...
POWER EYES CHAMPIONSHIP LEAD AS PAGENAUD RETURNS TO HAPPY HUNTING GROUND IN EDMONTON
Team Australia is on the attack ahead of the Rexall Grand Prix of Edmonton as Round 7 of the Champ Car World Series is held in Edmonton, Canada this weekend.
After winning the last round of the championship in Toronto, Australian ace Will Power is out to maintain his forward momentum and improve on his second place in the series standings with a strong result on the fast and demanding Edmonton airport layout.
Power lies just two points behind series leader Robert Doornbos, with defending series champion Sebastien Bourdais just one point behind Power in third, making this weekend's Edmonton event a crucial one for the championship heading into the second half of the season.
Edmonton holds fond memories for Team Australia rookie Simon Pagenaud. The Frenchman collected his and Team Australia's first victory in last year's Champ Car Atlantic race at Edmonton. Pagenaud and Team Australia then went on to win the championship before reuniting in the top-flight Champ Car World Series in 2007.
Pagenaud has been a rising star over the last few rounds and is showing speed that indicates he is on the verge of joining Power as a consistent front-runner in Champ Car. It could be Edmonton, the scene of Pagenaud's fine Atlantic victory in Aussie Vineyards colours 12 months ago, which sees Pagenaud score his first Champ Car podium.
Team Australia also enter this weekend's event leading the Canadian Triple Crown standings as that title enters it's final event. The three-race award, held over three Canadian venues on very different circuits, tallies the average finishing position for each team from the flowing road course at Mont Tremblant, the tight and technical Toronto street circuit and the fast and demanding Edmonton airport circuit.
WHAT THEY HAD TO SAY --
Will Power -- #5 Aussie Vineyards Team Australia DP01
"I feel very confident going to Edmonton," said Power.
"It's definitely the type of circuit that suits my style, but this year that has meant absolutely nothing. We will go there and do the best job that we can and fight for the championship.
"At tracks where we thought we would be strong we haven't been, but that adds to the unique style of Champ Car and the kind of racing fans like to see, anything can happen.
"For me, this is a track that I do really enjoy and Edmonton was the start of some really good results for me and I look forward to it.
"The goal is to get another pole position, put a whole weekend together of good racing and qualifying, and to bring home the Canadian Triple Crown trophy."
Simon Pagenaud -- #15 Aussie Vineyards Team Australia DP01
"Going back to Edmonton brings back a lot of good memories for me," said Pagenaud.
"I earned my first win in the U.S. and in Atlantics there last year and I'm delighted to go back. It's a great crowd and I always love racing in Canada.
"Edmonton is a very fast, technical track and my Team Australia crew has given me a great Aussie Vineyards car. Hopefully I can bring home a podium finish this weekend and write our names on the Canadian Triple Crown trophy.
"We have a great advantage because we are leading the Triple Crown and hopefully we can bring that honour home as well."
Derrick Walker -- Team Australia Co-Owner
"Edmonton represents a very important event on the calendar in two ways," said Walker.
"One, it's the third and final round of the Canadian Triple Crown, which we are trying to capture as a team in the first year. Secondly, the championship is back.
"We have at least four drivers who are so close with the championship and at the midseason point of the year, every race is critical to maintain your reach of winning the championship.
"Edmonton is good for us, I think our cars at past events that have been similar to Edmonton have been very favourable, the only bad news is, since then there have been two or three drivers that have really good cars at a similar like tracks.
"It's not so good news for us, but great news for the fans, so it should be a really well contested race."
Craig Gore -- Team Australia Co-Owner
"Edmonton is a really important event for Team Australia," said Gore.
"Will and the entire Aussie Vineyards team have worked very hard and closing the gap to the championship lead and now we are right in the middle of a three-way fight for the title.
"Momentum is on our side heading into Edmonton, which is a very fast and demanding circuit, so it's vital that we continue to work hard at improving our package.
"Simon has been superb this year in our #15 Aussie Vineyards car and Edmonton is a special place for both he and Team Australia, as it is the place where he won both his and Team Australia's first Atlantic race last season.
"He has been so impressive so far this season, so while the focus is clearly on the top three in the championship, Simon could be the real dark horse heading into this weekend."
-credit: team australia