POWER SECOND FASTEST DESPITE WRIST INJURY IN MEXICO Will Power has shown some Australian grit and determination to drive to second fastest in provisional qualifying for the final round of the Champ Car World Series in Mexico City, Mexico ...
POWER SECOND FASTEST DESPITE WRIST INJURY IN MEXICO
Will Power has shown some Australian grit and determination to drive to second fastest in provisional qualifying for the final round of the Champ Car World Series in Mexico City, Mexico today.
Power is driving with two hairline fractures in his left wrist after an accident in the last round of the series on the Gold Coast. But Power pushed on today to set the second fastest time in opening qualifying behind series champion Sebastien Bourdais.
Power opted not to use a carbon fibre brace developed for his injured left wrist as it was too restrictive, leaving the driver from Toowoomba in Queensland to steer the #5 Aussie Vineyards Team Australia DP01 with strapping on his left wrist.
To give Power confidence for tomorrow's final qualifying session, he set today's time without using either of his two allocated sets of the softer compound Bridgestone 'red' tyres, meaning he will have two of the softer sets for final qualifying tomorrow.
Fellow Team Australia driver Simon Pagenaud had an equally-impressive today as the Frenchman drove the #15 Aussie Vineyards Team Australia DP01 to fifth fastest.
The performance made Pagenaud the fastest rookie in today's opening qualifying session and made Team Australia the only team to have two cars in the top five in qualifying today at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez.
Earlier in the day Power and Pagenaud were fourth and fifth respectively in the first practice session of the weekend around the 2.774-mile (4.464-kilometre) road course.
WHAT THEY HAD TO SAY --
Will Power -- #5 Aussie Vineyards Team Australia DP01
"Unfortunately when I crashed out at Surfers I still had my hand on the wheel when I hit and I cracked a couple of bones, so it's pretty sore this weekend," said Power.
"Before qualifying I took off the strapping and it hurt it a little bit more. The thing is I've just got to deal with it and do like Justin did last year and deal with the pain and get it done.
"I chose not to wear a brace on my wrist. In practice we had it strapped on really tightly. The brace is too restrictive. You get your hand jammed up and you can't turn. I opted to get it strapped up, and it's doing a good job.
"We didn't run the softer red tyres today, so I think we can close the gap to Sebastien tomorrow. You're getting a lot out of the race car here. I believe you can gain anywhere between a half a second and a second with the Bridgestone Reds.
"We're looking pretty good for tomorrow. We didn't have a good first run so I wasn't confident enough to progress. I'm thinking it's better tomorrow when we can run two sets."
Simon Pagenaud -- #15 Aussie Vineyards Team Australia DP01
"It was a good day overall," said Pagenaud.
"I think we need to improve the Aussie Vineyards car a bit. We are definitely headed in the right direction, but we still have some work left to do.
"I really enjoy this track, it's very quick and fun to drive and very unusual in fact. I've never seen a track like this before, it's cool, but a killer on the tyres.
"I'm happy to be here in Mexico and I'm having a great time."
Derrick Walker -- Team Australia Co-Owner
"We need to do some work on Simon's car to get him a little closer," said Walker.
"It's a little too marginal there in qualifying. We needed just a little bit more to get him a further up. Basically our Aussie Vineyards cars are running according to plan.
"We opted for a little bit of a different strategy here and saved our reds and almost had pole time with blacks. We are in pretty good contention and if we keep on rubbing on it we should be fine."
Craig Gore -- Team Australia Co-Owner
"This was just the start to the weekend we were looking for," said Gore.
"Obviously it's always good to get the pole on Friday as you can lock yourself into a front row start for the race, but to have both cars in the top five is a fantastic effort.
"This whole team is putting in maximum effort and wants to end this season on a high with a strong result.
"Will is hanging tough with his wrist and he is extremely focused on doing a good job this weekend.
"Simon has done a really good job to be in the top five today. Mexico is a tough place but he has taken a liking to it and I'm looking forward to seeing him right up there with Will in the race on Sunday."
-credit: team australia