TEAM AUSTRALIA WINS CANADIAN TRIPLE CROWN AWARD Equal-best finish for Pagenaud with fourth as Power retires with steering failure while battling for the lead Team Australia has won in the inaugural Canadian Triple Crown award on a mixed day for...
TEAM AUSTRALIA WINS CANADIAN TRIPLE CROWN AWARD
Equal-best finish for Pagenaud with fourth as Power retires with steering failure while battling for the lead
Team Australia has won in the inaugural Canadian Triple Crown award on a mixed day for the Aussie Vineyards squad at the Rexall Grand Prix of Edmonton in Canada today.
Rookie Simon Pagenaud equalled his best finish in Champ Car with fourth place at the demanding 1.973-mile (3.175-kilometre) circuit, making it six-straight top 10 finishes and four straight top five finishes for the Frenchman.
Pagenaud, who won last year's Champ Car Atlantic Championship for Team Australia, now jumps to fifth in the Champ Car World Series standings and remains second in the Rookie of the Year points score, closing the gap to Dutchman Robert Doornbos.
Will Power made a tremendous start to the race in the #5 Aussie Vineyards Team Australia DP01 only to fail to finish due to a steeting rack failure.
The Australian started from pole position but lost out at the start to defending champion Sebastien Bourdais due to pole position being positioned on a slipperier, painted side of the runway circuit.
Power, however, charged on and reclaimed the lead with some quick driving and slick work from the Team Australia crew during the first round of pit stops.
As the second round of pit stops were playing out the Toowoomba-born driver experienced steering failure and was forced to retire. The problem was due to a manufacturing default and Power was lucky not to have a major accident on the circuit.
Power drops to third in the series standings, but will have the opportunity to bounce back at next weekend's San Jose Grand Prix on the streets of San Jose in Silicon Valley, California.
Sebastien Bourdais won today's Rexall Grand Prix of Edmonton ahead of Justin Wilson and Graham Rahal. Bourdais now leads the Champ Car World Series standings, 20 points ahead of Doornbos with Power a further five behind.
ABOUT THE CANADIAN TRIPLE CROWN
The Champ Car Canadian Triple Crown team competition got underway in Mont Tremblant on July 2 and then moved on to Toronto before the final leg took place this weekend in Edmonton. The Team Australia drivers were awarded with trophies, created by renowned Inuit artist Ohito Ashoona, representing Inuksuks which are a symbol of co-operation and team building as well as leadership, achievement and strength.
The award takes in the three differing forms of circuits that challenge teams in the Champ Car World Series, with the first event on the sweeping and undulating permanent road course at Mont Tremblant, the second the tight and twisting street circuit of Toronto and the final event, the third in four weeks, on the fast and demanding Edmonton airport circuit.
By winning this new and prestigious award Team Australia has displayed the pace and versatility of the Aussie Vineyards team and its drivers across all three types of circuit - road course, street circuit and airport.
WHAT THEY HAD TO SAY --
Will Power -- #5 Aussie Vineyards Team Australia DP01
"Up until this point, Canada has been very friendly to us," said Power.
Yeah, it's a great country. All the tracks are awesome and the fans are very enthusiastic with massive crowds. So it's a very good thing that Champ Car's done, to have this triple crown championship.
"It makes it a lot more interesting for everyone. But, yeah, you know, it's a bittersweet day for me especially because I've obviously lost a lot of points to Sebastien.
"I had a major part break in the steering. So in a way it was lucky I pulled in because now looking at it, it could have been a massive accident.
"But, yeah, I'm very happy to win the Triple Crown. Simon has been extremely consistent. Up until this point so have I. So it's very good for Team Australia."
Simon Pagenaud -- #15 Aussie Vineyards Team Australia DP01
"The Triple Crown is a great thing because it involves a little bit more for the Canadian fan, and I think that's a great move from Champ Car," said Pagenaud.
"It's such a good award and I'm also glad to be able to win this championship with Will.
"We have been so far the strongest combination since the beginning of the year, and it's great. You know, we are working together.
"I just want to say thanks to Craig Gore and Derrick Walker. The Aussie Vineyards team has been so, so strong for the last couple of races.
"Canada is a great country. I really love coming here. They have great racetracks, especially Edmonton. Again, we had a very good attendance. It was really crowded. It's very enjoyable for us driver. I want to thanks all the fans for that."
Derrick Walker -- Team Australia Co-Owner
"Considering the race, Simon had a fantastic race to end up fourth place, some really good pit stops which really moved him up," said Walker.
"As the season goes on Simon gets stronger and it's all a great team effort.
"Everything was going according to plan with Will, until unfortunately our Panoz steering rack broke and sheared out two teeth of the pinion.
"Looking at it more in depth, it's clear the design of the steering rack pinion is not up to the job, to say the least.
"At least we came away with the Canadian Triple Crown. It was a great result for Team Australia, I'm glad that we are the first team to pull off and win the Triple Crown."
Craig Gore -- Team Australia Co-Owner
"It's great for Team Australia to pick up this Canadian Triple Crown award on what was a bittersweet day for the team," said Gore.
"Simon drove exceptionally well to get yet another fourth place finish. He's risen to fifth in points now and for a rookie that's very good going into the second half of the season because with experience he is only going to get better.
"Will's situation is very, very frustrating. He was a really good chance of winning today's race and something out of the team's control has stuffed his chances and put him out of the race.
"We are only halfway through the season so we will bounce back and work harder than ever from here on in. Will is going to be one fired up young man in San Jose next weekend."
AUSTRALIAN TV SCHEDULE @Tuesday 24 July 2007 @Seven @12:50am -- 2:00am
-credit: team aus