CHAMPCAR/CART: Will Power - Australian teleconference

INTERVIEW WITH TEAM AUSTRALIA DRIVER WILL POWER AS HE CHASES ROOKIE OF THE YEAR TITLE The following is a transcript of an interview with Team Australia Champ Car driver Will Power from a teleconference with the Australian media today. This ...

INTERVIEW WITH TEAM AUSTRALIA DRIVER WILL POWER AS HE CHASES ROOKIE OF THE YEAR TITLE

The following is a transcript of an interview with Team Australia Champ Car driver Will Power from a teleconference with the Australian media today.

This weekend Power will aim to become the first Australian to claim the prestigious Champ Car Roshfrans Rookie of the Year title in the final round of the Champ Car World Series in Mexico City.

Power is currently 15 points ahead of nearest rookie rival Dan Clarke of England, and is assured the title if he finishes fifth or better in Sunday's race in Mexico at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez. If Clarke does not gain pole position in either of the qualifying sessions this weekend, Power will only have to finish sixth or better to claim the Roshfrans Rookie of the Year.

QUESTION
Will will be competing in the final round of the Champ Car World Series this weekend. He leads the Rookie of the Year standings by fifteen points and basically needs to finish fifth or better to wrap up the title in the worst case scenario, which would see his opponent Dan Clarke from England taking pole both days, recording the fastest lap and winning the race -- Dan Clarke has not won a race this year.

I guess Will it'd be fair to say that this is probably the biggest racing weekend of your life?

WILL POWER
Yeah I'm taking it as just another weekend but it's quite an important one. The good thing is that it's the second time I've been to this track, I didn't have to learn the circuit so I won't waste any time on Friday learning the track. I think we should have a good car here and the track is not like a normal street circuit, it's a real European style track so it's very flowing and it suits my style more than street circuits do. I think we should have the speed here, but as you can see with what happened at Surfers -- anything can happen in racing so we've got to take it as it comes.

QUESTION
Let's talk about Surfers for a moment, obviously you got the pole there both days and had the crowd support, how do you come off that high and the disappointment of the race? There's a lot on the line for you this weekend, you set your goal at the start of the year for Rookie of the Year and there's a lot of people who put a lot of effort into this especially Craig Gore and the entire Team Australia Program.

WILL POWER
From the start of the year it's been my goal to win Rookie of the Year and it would be a great way to pay Craig Gore back for all the effort and money he's put into the team, and Derrick Walker and Team Australia as well. They've made this team into a really strong team to the point where we're getting pole positions and contending for race wins. I think to finish the year of winning Rookie of the Year and winning a podium here would be a great way to go out.

QUESTION
What would it mean to you to become the first, not only Queenslander, but first Australian to win Rookie of the Year in this open wheel Championship, which is considered to be one of the two major Championships in the world?

WILL POWER
It would mean a lot to me because I'm at a point in my career where I'm earning money to drive and that's something you've worked at all your life -- to be paid to do what you love. I'm at that point now and I think winning Rookie of the Year would be the next step in the ladder. It would be a great way to finish the year and a stepping stone to winning the title next year, as well as being great for the team and my confidence.

QUESTION
Will, have you spoken to Sebastien Bourdais following your coming together at Surfers? And do you have any lingering feelings about that incident?

WILL POWER
Yeah I spoke to Sebastien today and we didn't even speak about what happened. We just said g'day and had a chat about this circuit. These things happen all the time in motorsport and you can't hold grudges because there is no use. Every weekend there'll be something, or someone will get in your way or hit you -- these things happen. Unfortunately it's a pretty big deal to be taken out while leading your home race. At the end of the day he didn't mean to do it, he made a mistake. It was unfortunate, but on a positive note we had a really fast car and showed we could run at the front, in fact we had the quickest car there.

QUESTION
So you've forgiven him?

WILL POWER
Well ... no ... well, I have a long memory. Believe me you remember those sort of things. You don't keep mouthing off about it, it's done now. You have your good days and your bad days, sometimes you have the luck go your way and sometimes you don't -- that's just motorsport. If you go around trying to take people out and pay them back it's just a waste of time, it's not the correct thing or sportsmanlike thing to do at all.

QUESTION
The Lexmark Indy 300, while it ended in disappointment, you must have taken a lot of confidence from the poles and from leading for the first 13 laps or so, going into this final round at Mexico?

WILL POWER
Yeah it does, I think that getting the pole position makes you feel really good and lets you know that you can do it and the team can do it, when the car is right we can be right at the front. I've been really excited about this race because, just like Surfers, I've been here before and I like this circuit. We've come on really strongly in the second half of the year and I've really learnt the car. I'm probably feeling more comfortable than I ever have and I feel like I'm driving better than I ever have in my whole life. I really want to come out and finish the season on a high.

QUESTION
Now Will what happens after Mexico now? I understand there are some new cars in development for next season, what will you be doing between the weekend and the start of next season?

WILL POWER
Well basically after the weekend finishes that team will wait to get the new car which is supposedly coming early December. We're not allowed to test those cars until late January so I'll head home for a couple of weeks, have a bit of a holiday and really focus on my fitness for next year. After January we just start testing and we'll be testing every second week. It's important for us to get the new cars and get underway. We'll be starting even with everyone so it's important to get the development underway and try and get ahead of everyone by the start of the season.

QUESTION
So Will, will you be coming back home to Queensland during that time?

WILL POWER
Yeah I think I'll be coming back to spend Christmas with the family for a couple of weeks, then I'll head back to Indianapolis and start work.

QUESTION
With regard to this race, there's a couple of things up for grabs, 1 -- you've shown that you're probably good enough to win races outright with you're performance on the Gold Coast and 2 -- you've got a Rookie prize to win where you only really need to finish mid-pack. What is your view on how you should race this race? Should you be trying to win or are you only aiming to finish mid-pack? How do you look at it?

WILL POWER
Well it's been a bit funny for me because usually I'd really be thinking about the championship and the Rookie of the Year, but because I got a taste of running right at the front I've been thinking more about 'can I get on pole on this track?'. I'll be going into qualifying at every track and doing the absolute best I can, and where you qualify really governs the approach you have in the race. If you qualify badly you'll just be conservative and finish mid-pack, but if I qualify in the top 3 or 4 you're challenging for a podium and you'll go for that result. Either way I'm going to have to be smart about the race and just think about the finish.

QUESTION
Is Mexico City a track where you can take a risk? More so than Surfers Paradise?

WILL POWER
Yeah you can definitely take more risks in Mexico because it's a road circuit with run off and not as many walls. It's actually a faster circuit, so if you come off in the wrong way you can have a massive shunt. You can run off the road in some places without any damage, you can probably take more risks while pushing hard.

-credit: www.teamaustraliamotorsport.com

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Sébastien Bourdais , Will Power , Daniel Clarke