TEAM AUSTRALIA STRUGGLES IN SAN JOSE Team Australia has struggled on the final day of qualifying for tomorrow's San Jose Grand Prix in California -- round nine of the Champ Car World Series. Will Power, who sits third in the championship ...
TEAM AUSTRALIA STRUGGLES IN SAN JOSE
Team Australia has struggled on the final day of qualifying for tomorrow's San Jose Grand Prix in California -- round nine of the Champ Car World Series.
Will Power, who sits third in the championship points, was constantly held up in traffic in his Aussie Vineyards entry and could not manage better than 12th when the checkered flag dropped to end the session.
His team mate Simon Pagenaud spun at turn six and lost his best lap which would have placed him in the top three and he will start ninth tomorrow.
Before today, neither Team Australia driver had qualified worse than seventh in the previous eight rounds.
The pole for tomorrow's race has been taken by English driver Justin Wilson ahead of series leader Sebastien Bourdais who keeps his front row starting position after clinching provisional pole yesterday.
Another English driver, Dan Clarke, will start from third and he will be joined on row two by Spaniard Oriol Servia.
Power was enormously frustrated by the traffic congestion and one run in particular where he was constantly held up by Belgium driver Jan Heylen.
Power's frustration was supported by pole sitter Wilson, who had this to say in the media conference -- "The second set was working well, but there was somebody ahead of Will Power who just slowed up every lap for no apparent reason. Backed Will up, Will backed me up, I think I was backing Katherine up. It was just a mess. I'm not sure who that guy was, but he was the person causing everyone hassle throughout the session."
Ironically, the driver who sits between Power and Bourdais on the championship points table, Robert Doornbos, also struggled today and will start 15th tomorrow.
WHAT THEY HAD TO SAY --
Will Power -- #5 Aussie Vineyards Team Australia DP01
"Unfortunately we were unable to get a single good lap in," said Power.
"The Aussie Vineyards car was great, we were definitely good enough.
"We were on one real good lap when (Tristan) Gommendy spun off and came straight back in front of me. He stopped and then decided to start his lap on the lap I had left. It's just unfortunate and enormously frustrating.
"At one stage (Jan) Heylen held us up for lap after lap I just couldn't work it out.
"Now we just focus on gaining as many positions as we can tomorrow and keep ourselves in the championship hunt."
Simon Pagenaud -- #15 Aussie Vineyards Team Australia DP01
"We definitely made good improvements today," said Pagenaud.
"We were fighting for P1 all session, but I made a mistake on the first stint of reds and I went off, because I was trying a little bit too hard, but that's what you have to do sometimes to get a pole.
"Unfortunately I caused a red flag, because I couldn't get back on track because I was facing in the wrong direction.
"It's a tough one because we have been working and driving well and the mistake was a bad result for us. San Jose is an unusual track so we will see what happens in the race for tomorrow.
Derrick Walker -- Team Australia Co-Owner
"It was a very disappointing day when it's all said and done," said Walker.
"Both cars were capable of doing front row stuff today and for one reason or another whether it was traffic or Simon's inadvertent spin taking away his quickest lap, it's a disappointment, but tomorrow's another day and we have two excellent race cars.
"Hopefully we'll get a break tomorrow and be back up there."
Craig Gore -- Team Australia Co-Owner
"It looks like we have some work to do tomorrow," said Gore.
"I am sure Derrick and guys will produce a strategy that will put us in the hunt."
-credit: team aus