TAGLIANI FIFTH FOR TEAM AUSTRALIA IN SAN JOSE Team Australia has had a mixed day in opening qualifying for the Round 9 of the Champ Car World Series at the Canary Foundation Grand Prix of San Jose in California today. Alex Tagliani was a...
TAGLIANI FIFTH FOR TEAM AUSTRALIA IN SAN JOSE
Team Australia has had a mixed day in opening qualifying for the Round 9 of the Champ Car World Series at the Canary Foundation Grand Prix of San Jose in California today.
Alex Tagliani was a strong fifth fastest in his Aussie Vineyards Lola in Friday's qualifying, while Australian rookie Will Power missed opening qualifying for the second round in succession after an accident damaged his car.
Tagliani was pleased with the improvements organisers have made to the San Jose layout for this year's race, one of the marquee events on the Champ Car schedule. In today's qualifying, all cars participating went faster than last year's pole time set by Sebastien Bourdais.
Tagliani is confident that the set-up of his Aussie Vineyards Lola can still be improved for tomorrow's final qualifying and the Canadian will be able to push even harder knowing that the track-related problems of last year's event are now unlikely.
Team Australia is growing a reputation as arguably the hardest working crew in the Champ Car World Series pit lane, and again the green and gold Aussie Vineyards squad will get to work on repairing Power's car.
Power had a master cylinder failure as he exited the pits for second practice, sending his Aussie Vineyards Lola down the escape road at Turn 1 and into a tyre wall.
The damage was enough to rule him out of action for the rest of the day, but the Roshfrans Rookie of the Year and his car will be back on track tomorrow. Power will spend the night analysing team-mate Tagliani's data from today so that both Team Australia/Aussie Vineyards cars can be on the pace for final qualifying at the tough Californian venue tomorrow.
WHAT THEY HAD TO SAY --
Alex Tagliani -- #15 Team Australia/Aussie Vineyards Lola
"The team did a really good job today," said Tagliani.
"There are a lot changes we need to do to the car to improve. The track is much better and the organisers have done a fantastic job, which is great because we are not having the issues that we had last year.
"Tonight we just need to look over data and then qualify well tomorrow."
Will Power -- #5 Team Australia/Aussie Vineyards Lola
"Going out of the pits, I was pushing hard as usual when I leave the pits to get used to what I will be doing in the race," said Power.
"I went to hit the brakes going into turn one, and the pedal just went to the floor. I went straight in pretty hard and did enough damage to miss out in qualifying.
"It's the second weekend in a row where we have sat out qualifying on Friday. It's a pity, but I look forward to tomorrow because I felt pretty comfortable around the track. At least Alex qualified well and we can get a good look at his data and get going well for tomorrow."
Derrick Walker -- Team Australia Co-Owner
"It appears that Will had a brake master cylinder failure at the end of the fastest straight on the track," said Walker.
"This left him with very limited braking, which put him into the tyre wall, damaging the car so much that we didn't have enough time to put it back together again.
"However, we are very confident everything will be back together tomorrow. The track will get quicker in the second day anyway, so we've lost a little bit, but not really too much.
"Alex has a fairly close car. He's right there, two or three tenths would put him fastest, so we are a lot closer. We know what we've got to do. We need to improve certain areas of the car such as the handling and I think we will be right up there tomorrow."
Craig Gore -- Team Australia Co-Owner
"It was a great effort from Alex today," said Gore.
"To be fifth on the opening day on a track that presented plenty of challenges at its debut last year is a terrific result. It's great to have the Aussie Vineyards colours towards the front in the heart of US wine country.
"It was unfortunate for Will to have that problem, but I'm sure he will recover tomorrow in final qualifying and keep his Rookie of the Year aspirations on track for all of Team Australia's sponsors and supporters."