POWER WINS LONG BEACH GRAND PRIX CHAMP CAR FINALE Team Australia star Will Power will go down in history as the final Champ Car winner after dominating the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach in California today. Power led 81 of the 83 laps to...
POWER WINS LONG BEACH GRAND PRIX CHAMP CAR FINALE
Team Australia star Will Power will go down in history as the final Champ Car winner after dominating the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach in California today.
Power led 81 of the 83 laps to take the prestigious victory at the 34th running of the famous event, which marked the final race sanctioned by Champ Car.
Points from today's event still count towards the 2008 IndyCar Series, with Power's win elevating the young Australian up to fifth in the series standings as well as giving him the lead of the Bombardier Rookie of the Year standings after three races.
Danica Patrick, who won yesterday's Japan Indy 300 in Motegi, Japan, was also credited with points for her victory as both events were considered as points scoring events for the newly-unified IndyCar Series.
Last season Power was known as the master of standing starts and today's one-off return to the Champ Car format gave his another opportunity to show that skill. Power got the best launch from the grid from fourth place to lead into the first corner and from there the #8 Aussie Vineyards -- Team Australia car was simply unstoppable with Power securing a dominating victory.
It was a great day for the KV Racing Technology team, with all three cars finishing in the top 10 as Oriol Servia came home in fifth position and team co-owner and 1996 series champion Jimmy Vasser coming out of retirement to finish in 10th place.
Power will jump back into the #8 Aussie Vineyards -- Team Australia Honda/Dallara/Firestone next weekend for the Road Runner Turbo Indy 300 at the 1.5-mile Kansas Speedway oval.
WHAT THE TEAM HAD TO SAY --
Will Power - #8 Aussie Vineyards - Team Australia DP01
"I got a very good start in the KVRT Aussie Vineyards -- Team Australia car, which I knew was really important," said Power.
"The KVRT team did a great job with the car. I was very fast in the race, good fuel saving, great pit stops. I am very happy for Kevin Kalkhoven and Craig Gore, who is the one who gave me the opportunity to race Champ Cars.
"I am also happy for the whole KVRT team and my Aussie Vineyards crew. They have put in so much work over the last couple of months, having been away from their families, it's great to give them a win because they are the ones who deserve it."
"I just got a great start. It hooked well and I did plenty of practice starts in the Warm Up.
"It means a lot to win the last Champ Car race. We were looking to win this championship this year and then suddenly it changed and we had one series.
"But this is a great way to finish off Champ Car. I've got to hand it to this team for everything they have done over the winter."
Craig Gore - Aussie Vineyards - Team Australia
"Will has done it again and has produced one of the most dominating drives for a long time," said Gore.
"He did not put a foot wrong for the entire race and he had the Aussie Vineyards -- Team Australia car running like clockwork. From the standing start right to the finish Will was the class of the field and he deserved this win.
"It means a lot for everyone involved with Aussie Vineyards and the Team Australia program to win this final Champ Car race. The future is very bright for the IndyCar Series and it was great to give Champ Car a fitting send off at Long Beach this weekend.
"We still face some challenges on the ovals but Will and the team have shown their class on the street circuits, even at this early stage in the year.
"It's great to see a young Aussie and a young Queenslander flying the flag and showing what a world class driver he is and I think we will see a lot more from the #8 Aussie Vineyards -- Team Australia car this season and in the future."