POWER SET FOR INDYCAR DEBUT AFTER STRONG HOMESTEAD OVAL TEST Will Power and Team Australia will embark on their first IndyCar Series race this weekend after testing wrapped up at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Florida today. Power, who has only...
POWER SET FOR INDYCAR DEBUT AFTER STRONG HOMESTEAD OVAL TEST
Will Power and Team Australia will embark on their first IndyCar Series race this weekend after testing wrapped up at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Florida today.
Power, who has only raced on an oval once in his career, was the third fastest driver on day one of testing at the 1.5-mile oval yesterday.
The driver from Toowoomba, Australia then backed that performance up with fifth fastest today. On both occasions the top two drivers were existing IndyCar Series drivers, making Power the fastest driver moving over from the Champ Car World Series to the IndyCar Series yesterday and the third fastest transitioning driver today.
This year's 2008 IndyCar Series will start this weekend with the Gainsco Auto Insurance 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. It will be Power's second race on an oval, his only other oval start coming at the 1.5-mile Las Vegas Motor Speedway in 2006 in Champ Car.
Power and the KV Racing Technology team have worked incredibly hard in a short space of time at getting used to their new Honda-powered Dallara IndyCar machine.
It has been an enormous effort for the crew working on the #8 Aussie Vineyards - Team Australia Honda/Dallara/Firestone to have the car ready for the two-day test on the Sebring road course and then the two-day oval test at Homestead, but not only was the car ready but Power was able to post solid times and run the car with no problems.
The learning curve for Power and his crew is still quite steep, but so far both driver and team have passed with flying colours.
WHAT THE TEAM HAD TO SAY --
Will Power - #8 Aussie Vineyards - Team Australia Honda/Dallara/Firestone
"The first couple of laps I was very unsure of the car but once I got into it, I started to feel really comfortable," said Power.
"Now it's a matter of working up to speed and start making changes and feeling how sensitive the car is to them.
"Then you have to learn traffic, which is probably even harder again. It's going to be a year of learning on the ovals.
"But it's good to be here and great with all the cars running and the two series together.
"I'm really looking forward to getting racing underway this weekend. We have had to put in so much work in such a short space of time so everyone cannot wait to get down to the real work, which is racing.
"The oval races in the early part of the season will be quite tough but the plan is to keep our heads and see where we run.
"Then we have a street course one week later at St Petersburg and I think we will have more of a chance at that race.
"I'm still amazed at what this crew has achieved. They have done an unbelievable job getting us to this point and I hope each and every one of them feels extremely proud for what they have achieved over the past couple of weeks."
Craig Gore - Team Australia
"Will has done a great job of learning a new car in a very short time frame," said Gore.
"The ovals will be tough to start with but Will is a smart driver who knows that speed will come over time.
"The crew has done an outstanding job to get the team ready for this first race of the year. We've completed four days of testing in a very short space of time and the cars have run very well indeed.
"This weekend's race starts an exciting new chapter in not only the Team Australia program, but US open-wheel racing as a whole.
"I am very pleased that Will Power, Aussie Vineyards and Team Australia will be a part of this first race in the unified IndyCar Series and look forward to the season ahead."