TEAM AUSTRALIA RETURNS TO HAPPY HUNTING GROUND Team Australia will return to the site of one of its proudest moments this weekend when Round 7 of the Champ Car World Series is held in Toronto, Canada. The Molson Grand Prix of Toronto, held...
TEAM AUSTRALIA RETURNS TO HAPPY HUNTING GROUND
Team Australia will return to the site of one of its proudest moments this weekend when Round 7 of the Champ Car World Series is held in Toronto, Canada.
The Molson Grand Prix of Toronto, held each year at the Exhibition Place street course, was the scene of Team Australia's second-ever Champ Car podium last season, when Alex Tagliani drove a commendable race to finish third in his home country in the Aussie Vineyards Lola.
For series rookie Will Power this weekend will again bring the challenge of an unfamiliar circuit, but that will not faze the Australian as he tries to regain the lead in the Roshfrans Rookie of the Year award standings.
Both the Team Australia/Aussie Vineyards Lolas showed great speed on race day at the last round in Cleveland, Ohio and the team is confident in carrying that form into this weekend. Tagliani led 18 laps at the Burke Lakefront Airport circuit in a strong performance, while Power was a solid ninth despite an unscheduled pit stop.
The Team Australia crew also welcomes the Toronto round, one of the highlights of the Champ Car calendar since 1986, for the welcome the teams receive each year from the passionate Canadian fans who come to support Tagliani and his team.
WHAT THEY HAD TO SAY --
ALEX TAGLIANI -- TEAM AUSTRALIA/AUSSIE VINEYARDS #15 LOLA
"I feel really good going into the race weekend," said Tagliani.
"It was really nice to leave Cleveland with a positive result. Our goal for Toronto is to get into the top three and we see that it is in our grasp after Cleveland. Team Australia finished on the podium there last year. The Toronto course is very challenging, which is what I love about it.
"It's always exciting the first time we go to Canada. As a driver it's great to compete in front of an energetic crowd like that. I look forward to the weekend and hopefully bringing home a podium finish."
WILL POWER -- TEAM AUSTRALIA/AUSSIE VINEYARDS #5 LOLA
"This will be my first time to the Toronto circuit, so I'm looking forward to that," said Power.
"We should have a good car for Toronto, because based on the tapes I've seen, it's a similar circuit to Long Beach and we ran really well there. Toronto looks very challenging.
"I'm really motivated to do well this weekend because I haven't really been converting my qualifying into good race results. I'm training hard and continuing my normal preparation to bring the team a positive result in Toronto."
DERRICK WALKER -- TEAM AUSTRALIA CO-OWNER
"We've always had a fairly good car at Toronto," said Walker.
"Although it has been a challenging track it's not been a difficult track for us to get close with the set-up. I would expect us to be in the hunt, we've always had a good balance there.
"Being on Canadian soil is always good for another few tenths of a second for Alex. Toronto always puts on a great show, so it should be a good weekend."
CRAIG GORE -- TEAM AUSTRALIA CO-OWNER
"I am sure Alex will be as keen as ever to produce some good results this weekend in front of a home crowd and cement himself in the top few of the championship," said Gore.
"Will has the motivation of trying to keep the Rookie of the Year trophy within his grasp.
"The continued results allow us the chance to take the Team Australia program and our sponsors to the world and, in particular, the North American market.
"This is about flying the Australian flag and the colours of our sponsors such as Aussie Vineyards, RM Williams, Qantas, Visa and WPS on the world stage."