CHAMPCAR/CART: Toronto: Team Australia race report

WILL POWER WINS IN TORONTO TO VAULT BACK INTO CHAMPIONSHIP CONTENTION Australian Will Power has won his second Champ Car event for the season by capturing the Steelback Grand Prix of Toronto at the Exhibition Place street circuit in Toronto, ...


Australian Will Power has won his second Champ Car event for the season by capturing the Steelback Grand Prix of Toronto at the Exhibition Place street circuit in Toronto, Canada today.

Power drove his #5 Aussie Vineyards Team Australia DP01 Champ Car to a superb victory ahead of Swiss driver Neel Jani and Britain's Justin Wilson. Power's Team Australia team-mate Simon Pagenaud, who hails from France, was an impressive fourth.

The result lifts Power to second in the Champ Car World Series after seven rounds held in the 16-event championship. Robert Doornbos now leads the series standings by a mere two points over Power, while defending series champion Sebastien Bourdais now lies third, one point behind the Australian.

The win comes exactly 100 days before the home event for Power and Team Australia, the Lexmark Indy 300 on the streets of the Gold Coast in Queensland, Australia, on October 18-21.

In a race of changing weather conditions, Power kept his composure and displayed his supreme wet weather driving skills and car control to cut through the field and pull away to claim his second career victory in Champ Car and vault right back into the thick of the championship battle.

Starting from seventh on the grid, Power used his head to get through a frantic opening lap unscathed and then set about chasing down the lead. Once rain began to fall Power was the class of the field, simply too good for Jani and Wilson on the slippery circuit in the closing stages.

Power, 26, was born and raised in Toowoomba, Queensland and now lives in Indianapolis, Indiana, United States during the racing season, where the Team Australia operation is based.

This is the second Champ Car win for Team Australia, which was formed in 2005 by veteran Champ Car team owner Derrick Walker and Australian businessman and Aussie Vineyards boss Craig Gore.

Team Australia continues to lead the Canadian Triple Crown standings, ahead of RSports and Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing with one round remaining

Pagenaud's drive was also a stellar one, the Champ Car rookie proving one of the fastest cars on the circuit in the dry conditions in the first half of the race.

The reigning Champ Car Atlantic champion led the race at one stage, a great recovery after contact with Alex Tagliani knocked the front wing from the #15 Aussie Vineyards Team Australia DP01 at the first corner.

Round 8 of the Champ Car World Series will be held in two weeks time in Edmonton, Canada on July 20-22.


Will Power -- #5 Aussie Vineyards Team Australia DP01

"What a great day, we are officially back in the championship hunt," said Power.

"After Friday's qualifying I wasn't too sure about the weekend, but I just have to say thanks to Team Australia. They did an awesome job and worked so hard and they all deserve this win.

"I also have to say thanks and congratulations to Craig Gore, if it weren't for him I wouldn't be here and he couldn't be here, so this win is for him as well."

Simon Pagenaud -- #15 Aussie Vineyards Team Australia DP01

"We had a decent start and through the back straight we had a run on Alex Tagliani, but I thought he saw me going into turn three, but unfortunately closed the door, but I was already there," said Pagenaud.

"I tried to back up to avoid him, but I just collected his rear wing with my front wing. From there we did a different strategy, which worked really well, especially if it had stayed dry, because we were leading at one point and I think in dry conditions we could have won the race.

"I have to thank Team Australia for that, they have worked so hard all weekend. I'm quite happy with the result.

"It was a crazy race for me, I was back and forth throughout the race and I'm really happy, we were there in the end, I'll take it.

"I'm really happy for Will he did a great job and now we are taking the lead in the Canadian Triple Crown, so that means that Team Australia is doing an awesome job and I'm looking forward to going to Edmonton to close the deal."

Derrick Walker -- Team Australia Co-Owner

"Tremendous team effort all the way around," said Walker.

"When the conditions really change a lot, that is when a team rises to the top, when they can deal with change and when they can deal with adversity.

"Of course from the driver perspective, for us to come in first and fourth here, given everything that happened in the race, I think it's a tribute to the whole team.

"I'm really happy, it gets us back in the points race. Great Day!"

Craig Gore -- Team Australia Co-Owner

"What another amazing day in Team Australia history," said Gore.

"Derrick and the team have done an exceptional job so far this season and to already have a couple of wins on the board is fantastic.

"I get the feeling that it's not over just yet.

"Will is right back in the championship hunt and there is every chance that our own race on the Gold Coast in October is going to be vital to the series outcome in more ways than one.

"The phone has not stopped ringing with well wishes and messages of congratulations.

"Today is an even better day to be an Australian and I am proud as hell about what Team Australia has achieved this year."

-credit: team aus

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Alex Tagliani , Sébastien Bourdais , Robert Doornbos , Neel Jani , Will Power , Simon Pagenaud