POWER AND TEAM AUSTRALIA BOUNCE BACK IN EDMONTON Team Australia has yet again shown its ability to triumph over adversity by getting Will Power back on track to qualify seventh for tomorrow's West Edmonton Mall Grand Prix in Alberta, Canada ...
POWER AND TEAM AUSTRALIA BOUNCE BACK IN EDMONTON
Team Australia has yet again shown its ability to triumph over adversity by getting Will Power back on track to qualify seventh for tomorrow's West Edmonton Mall Grand Prix in Alberta, Canada today.
Power crashed in practice yesterday and missed Friday's qualifying session, but the Team Australia crew worked hard over night to prepare another chassis for the Australian.
Crews from both Team Australia cars, plus some of the Team Australia Atlantic crew, all worked until 1.00am in the morning to have Power's car ready. The Team Australia crew is also grateful to the other teams that contributed parts to get the #5 Team Australia/Aussie Vineyards Lola back on track.
Power showed great speed in Friday's opening practice with fifth fastest and despite a lack of track time after his crash, the Australian was right back on the pace today.
Power posted the sixth fastest time but was demoted one position to seventh for a driving infringement when the Queenslander inadvertently blocked another car.
Alex Tagliani maintained his position from yesterday's qualifying and will start the race from 11th on the grid. The Canadian was unable to find sufficient improvements in the set-up of the Aussie Vineyards Lola to edge into the top 10, but Tagliani has shown many times this year that his consistency and experience make him a force come race day.
Defending Champ Car World Series Champion Sebastien Bourdais will start tomorrow's race from pole ahead of former series champ Paul Tracy and Englishman Justin Wilson.
WHAT THEY HAD TO SAY --
WILL POWER -- #5 TEAM AUSTRALIA/AUSSIE VINEYARDS LOLA
"I just want to thank Team Australia," said Power.
"The guys put in a massive effort. We have such a great team and I'm so lucky to have them.
"The car felt really good, which made for a great session. In pre-qualifying we found a good set-up. The car was a little bit nervous over the bumps, but we made some really good changes that settled it down and made me more confident through the corners.
"After that it was just a matter of getting laps in. Overall I'm really happy with the whole team effort and I'm really confident for a positive result tomorrow."
ALEX TAGLIANI -- #15 TEAM AUSTRALIA/AUSSIE VINEYARDS LOLA
"Again, today was a bit of a struggle, but we are getting there," said Tagliani.
"The team is working really hard and I know we will get it. Right now we are a little inconsistent and are looking to find a good balance on the car. For tonight, we just need to work hard and focus for a good result tomorrow."
DERRICK WALKER -- TEAM AUSTRALIA CO-OWNER
"It is an amazing recovering made by the entire team," said Walker.
"It was an entire team effort and everyone worked into the night and got Will's car back together with a different chassis. A lot of parts were loaned to us by a lot of race teams that really helped get us out of a jam.
"The car is back, Will is back and we are looking good for a good race. Alex needs a different kind of car to work with and we are not there yet. We have a completely different package for him tomorrow.
"Eleventh place is decent and with the way he races and the way the race is going to be I think we've got to be optimistic for a good Team Australia finish."
CRAIG GORE -- TEAM AUSTRALIA CO-OWNER
"Yet again the Team Australia crew has performed admirably," said Gore.
"To get Will out on track was a fantastic effort by itself, but to then give him a car that was the sixth fastest out there it remarkable. I take my hat off to them yet again. The spirit among the people in the Team Australia organisation is amazing.
"Will also deserves a pat on the back because he had a big hit. He is the sort of driver that can put it behind him very quickly and focus on what he needs to do to get the Team Australia car up the front.
"Alex's Aussie Vineyards car isn't quite on the pace just yet, but he is a guy with so much experience that come race day he is able to lift to a new level.
TAGLIANI'S HELMET IN EDMONTON
Team Australia's Alex Tagliani has paid tribute to two of his best friends at the West Edmonton Mall Grand Prix this weekend.
Georges Laraquoes, who currently plays for the Edmonton Oilers and has just signed for the Phoenix Coyotes, and Steve Charbenaou who plays for the Edmonton Eskimos, are both on hand to watch Tagliani race this weekend.
In return for their support, Tagliani is driving with a special helmet that features the colours of Edmonton's two NHL ice hockey teams.