CHAMPCAR/CART: Edmonton: Team Australia Saturday notes

WILL POWER SCORES FOURTH CAREER POLE IN EDMONTON Team Australia's Will Power has claimed his third Champ Car pole position for the season after stunning lap on the demanding Edmonton Airport circuit in Canada today. Today's pole gives Power an...

WILL POWER SCORES FOURTH CAREER POLE IN EDMONTON

Team Australia's Will Power has claimed his third Champ Car pole position for the season after stunning lap on the demanding Edmonton Airport circuit in Canada today.

Today's pole gives Power an extra championship point and means he now rests just one point behind series leader Robert Doornbos heading into tomorrow's eighth round of the 2007 Champ Car World Series.

The last time the points were this close in the championship after seven rounds was back in 1999 when Dario Franchitti and Juan Pablo Montoya ended the season tied on points.

Power's team-mate Simon Pagenaud has qualified seventh, which is the eighth time this season he has qualified seventh or better.

Power set a track record with a time of 58.40 seconds and was looking to go even quicker late in the session when he jumped a curb and took off his front wing.

Power, who is chasing back-to-back wins after clinching victory in Toronto two weeks ago, will start from pole ahead of yesterday's provisional polesitter Sebastien Bourdais and English driver Justin Wilson.

Wilson actually protested Power for an alleged "block" late in the session, but the protest was dismissed and the original qualifying positions stand.

WHAT THEY HAD TO SAY ...

Will Power - #5 Aussie Vineyards Team Australia DP01

"We have had the speed here all weekend, I just hadn't been putting laps together," admitted Power.

"We haven't had a clear run. That was pretty much my first clear lap and we did what we needed to do.

"It's a good deal to pick up the extra championship point, but we have to do it in the race tomorrow. I have to say that Canada's been quite friendly to us the last three races, so I am looking forward to the race tomorrow.

"It will be interesting in the race tomorrow. I think in qualifying and practice, everyone's pushing a lot harder and that's why they're going off, trying to find a limit.

"In the race, it's a little bit different story, people saving fuel and being a little bit more conservative.

"The race for the championship basically starts this weekend and hopefully we can keep the momentum going and he right there at the end.

"It is always great to claim the pole for Team Australia, Aussie Vineyards and all our other sponsors and fans, but we have a lot of work ahead of us."

Simon Pagenaud - #15 Aussie Vineyards Team Australia DP01

"It has been a rough day," said Pagenaud.

"We've had a good Aussie Vineyards car all day long and I guess qualifying didn't go the way that we had wanted. We had a good car in the first stint with red tyres.

"I did a decent lap, a 58.8, which was a P4, and when we went back out on track the red tyres worked really well on one lap and then I got blocked in the last lap by Mr. Doornbos.

"I guess he still doesn't get the rules of Champ Car.

"I don't know what to say, it's just very disappointing because obviously we had a better car than seventh, because the car was much quicker than that.

"The whole crew has done a great job and we have a great race car for tomorrow. I expect that we will do good in the race and we can get back up there."

Derrick Walker - Team Australia Co-Owner

"This is what we needed," said Walker.

"Every point is going to count in this championship. The car was right on the money and Will Power did the rest.

"It is a great starting position for tomorrow. Everybody in the team is pumped and we are looking for a good race.

"Seventh position was probably not what Simon was hoping for, but as we have seen at all these races, unless we have the whole package just right there are too many good cars out there that can get in the way.

"Despite that, P7 is a good place to start and the race is a completely different game.

"With some good luck, good cars and smart driving we will have two good finishes with our boys."

Craig Gore - Team Australia Co-Owner

"What an awesome result for Will and the Team Australia crew," said Gore.

"Will and the team just go from strength to strength and seem to be gaining in confidence every time they hit the track.

"Will knows he is a chance of winning this year's championship and he is focused on nothing else, which is what you want from a driver at this level.

"Hopefully we can get the luck we need in the race tomorrow and get back into the lead of the series.

"It is a big weekend for the Team Australia organisation with our Champ Cars in Edmonton, Marcos Ambrose in the NASCAR Busch race in St Louis and our two V8 Supercars on track at Queensland Raceway in Australia.

"Will's pole certainly helps the moral and momentum of the whole organisation.

"The great news is that Australia fans will have the chance to watch the Edmonton race on Channel 7 tomorrow night. Hopefully we will have an Australian winner to cheer for."

AUSTRALIAN TIMES @Australian Eastern Standard Times

Warm-Up @Monday 23 July 2007 @1:00am -- 1:30am

Race @Monday 23 July 2007 @5:00am -- 7:00am

AUSTRALIAN TV SCHEDULE @Tuesday 24 July 2007 @Seven @12:50am -- 2:00am

-credit: team au

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Juan Pablo Montoya