Besnard 13th in Champ Car Qualifying Australian driver David Besnard today piloted his Wright Patton Shakespeare-supported Walker Racing Reynard to 13th position in the first of two qualifying sessions ahead of the Lexmark Indy 300 on the...
Besnard 13th in Champ Car Qualifying
Australian driver David Besnard today piloted his Wright Patton Shakespeare-supported Walker Racing Reynard to 13th position in the first of two qualifying sessions ahead of the Lexmark Indy 300 on the streets of Surfers Paradise this weekend.
Besnard put in a super-impressive debut performance and showed he has retained the open-wheel form that carried him to a US Formula 2000 Championship in 1998.
But immediately after getting out of the car to the applause of fans and his race crew, Besnard declared the job was still ahead of him.
"It's a nice start but my job is really only just beginning," he said.
"I'm not thinking about how I went today, I'm thinking about how to make the car go faster.
"When the weekend is over I'll look back and assess how I went but in the mean time I've just got to keep focused on improving the car and my own performance."
Besnard's qualifying performance put him as the third highest-placed rookie behind 2003 Toyota Atlantics champion A.J Allmendinger and ex-Formula One driver Justin Wilson -- both of whom have been competing in this season's Champ Car series.
Another four season-rookies have qualified behind Besnard.
The Champ Car drivers will line up again tomorrow for a morning practice session before the second and final qualifying session.
"There's a lot of driving still to do and I'm learning more and more each time I step into the car," said Besnard.
"Hopefully I can get a bit quicker and then that will set me up nicely for the race on Sunday."
Besnard had his first hit-out on the tight Surfers Paradise street circuit during the morning practice and showed great maturity in just his third time behind the wheel of a Champ Car.
Two months ago Besnard had his first drive in a Champ Car when he had a one-day test session in Phoenix, Arizona, with series co-owner Kevin Kalkhoven's PKV Racing team.
He did enough in that session, which was organized by Besnard's Australian team owner Craig Gore, to earn a second practice day three weeks ago, this time with Derrick Walker's Walker Racing in Orlando, Florida.
Besnard again showed he was capable behind the wheel of the powerful Champ Cars and his efforts gave him the green light to compete in this weekend's race in the Walker Racing Reynard.
The move meant Besnard had to temporarily forfeit his regular-season role behind the wheel of one of the two Wright Patton Shakespeare Ford Falcons in the V8 Supercar Championship Series.
His place in the Surfers Paradise V8 Supercar round has been taken by John McIntyre, who was Besnard's co-driver at last month's Bathurst 1000.
Besnard will resume his role in the V8 series for the next round in Tasmania.