CHAMPCAR/CART: Surfers Paradise: Team Australia press conference

WILL POWER SIMON PAGENAUD DERRICK WALKER THE MODERATOR: We'll do Team Australia interviews. We'll start first with Mr. Power. Obviously something happened there with your left wrist, disappointment today. Tell us a little bit about how it...


THE MODERATOR: We'll do Team Australia interviews. We'll start first with Mr. Power.

Obviously something happened there with your left wrist, disappointment today. Tell us a little bit about how it played out.

WILL POWER: Yeah, I mean, once again in the first stint we had to pit under yellow. All the cars are compressed. There's a lot of mayhem in the pit lane. Unfortunately I got sent early. Just a simple mistake. The guy left a lollypop and sent into another car, which bent the steering arm, then we're on the back foot. From that point on, the steering wasn't straight. The suspension was slightly bent. So the car wasn't behaving exactly how it should.

Then trying to charge back through the field, got a run on Katherine Legge. I guess the car stepped out a little bit and grabbed her back wheel and threw me into the wall.

A disappointing day. You know, once again, the same as last year, we have the car, had everything in place to win the race, but, you know, just bad luck. These things happen.

Feel disappointed for all the fans that came out to watch us today.  Feel
disappointed for Craig Gore, as well.  Unfortunately he couldn't be
here.  You know, we'll lift above it, move on.  We've got to race in
Mexico.  Try and win that one.

Q: Simon, tell us about your race, up and down the grid, didn't know where you were going to finish, but ended up with a great result. Tell us how you felt the race went for yourself.

SIMON PAGENAUD: We had a very good car. The car was just fantastic all race. Just the race is not as good as it should be, the fuel save mode, because all race, I just save fuel and not push a hundred percent. It was pretty disappointing I would say from a racing point of view. I think we need to work on that for next year to make the race a bit more interesting for the drivers and the fans also.

But I was really pleased because we worked really well on that car during the practice and in qualifying. In the race I had a really good car. It was very fun to drive. I was also very pleased to see so much Team Australia flags on the side of the track. I could even see it when driving. It was really nice. It's great to feel so much support coming here.

I'm disappointed for Will. He had the pace to win today. But we're going to try to come back again to win next year.

THE MODERATOR: A lot of emotions today, some good, some bad. Put this in perspective on how Will and Simon did for you this weak.

DERRICK WALKER: We certainly came here with a well thought-out plan. A lot of work went into engineering the cars, getting the car we thought we needed to win with. I think we actually achieved that part of our mission.

But as it played out, we did make a mistake. The rest is history. I think we take away from this that we've come a long way on this program, which is really only into its third year pretty well. So we're getting stronger as each year goes by. But still today's result, we had a car to win and there's no excuse.

We'll go back and regroup and learn something from this day, come back and hopefully win next year. There's obviously the potential there to do very well. We've just got to get a few bugs sorted out.


Q: Simon, you've gone very well so far this year. How do you think you will go in 2008? Do you think you'll be able to break through for your first victory or challenge Will for the championship next year?

SIMON PAGENAUD: I think we have been stronger and stronger every race. Today was a very good day. I mean, I have not been doing any mistake. The race car was better than it has ever been this year. I really understand the racing now, really understand the strategy and everything. So I think next year, you know, by stepping back during the winter, when I'm going to jump in the car again, I think I should be ready for be a contend for the championship next year. That was really the goal this year and to be able to win next year, so I think we have a chance.

Q: Will, this is probably dependent on whatever happens with your medical, but do you feel confident you'll be right with your wrist injury ahead of Mexico?

WILL POWER: Yeah, I think so. I've got to get an x-ray. My physio is pretty sure it's not broken. It's pretty sore. Hopefully it's good.

Q: Some pretty colorful language last year when Sebastien took you out. Was it difficult to bite your tongue this time around when it was one of yours that really caused your demise?

WILL POWER: Yeah. I mean last year also in the pit lane, a Forsythe car drilled me into the wall, which caused damage to the car. Once again, I mean, it's nothing to do with Forsythe. Just we got let go early. Just a mistake. Nothing we can do about it.

The guy that made the mistake is usually flawless with his work.  It
happens.  We're all human.  We're not computers.  It's just one of those
things.  You can't go around blaming people.  It's just what happened.

Q: Simon, rookie. What did you think of the of the track?

SIMON PAGENAUD: As a rookie? Frightening (laughter). That was my first word. Yeah, it's really honest. That was my first word when I jumped out of the car after the first session. Frightening because it's really fast. I drove on Monaco before, but it's nothing compared to Surfers Paradise. I had a blast. It's just at the beginning you need to be confident, trust your car. When you handle it really well, it's so much fun to drive. I would be very glad to come back next year.

-credit: ccws

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