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Q&A: Will Power - EXCLUSIVE.


After claiming rookie of the year honours in 2006, Australia's Will Power made a storming start to the 2007 Champ Car World Series campaign by winning on the streets of Las Vegas to sound a warning to the established frontrunners.

He told Crash.net Radio how it felt to break his duck so early in the season, as well as discussing the new Panoz and bringing Team Australia to the fore.

Q:
Will, it's been a strong start to the season for you?

Will Power:
Yeah, but it's not been unexpected though. We've been really quick in pre-season testing and, at the end of last year, the team was really strong. Over the last four races, they were right on the pace and, especially the last two you know, with pole in Australia and a podium in Mexico. Although Derrick Walker has been around for 16 years, Team Australia has only been here for three years, but it's just got stronger every year. We thought that this year was a good year to really attack it because everyone is starting with the same car - and that's what we're doing.

Q:
The new Panoz has levelled the playing field, but how much easier has it made it for a team like Team Australia to get on a par with the likes of Newman/Haas?

WP:
We had the Lola pretty sorted out at the end of last year, but we still had to work hard to get the new car running well, to be ahead of everyone else. As you can see, Newman/Haas is still really strong, mainly because they've got such good resources, so we're up against a similar thing this year. Those guys, by the third race, were once again becoming dominant. But we're working hard still. We're doing a lot of development in this break and a couple of test days, so I think we'll be strong all year.

Q:
Is it a question of finance when it comes to competing with the likes of Newman/Haas?

WP:
It is a question of finance, but it's also the amount of data collected over the years, and the continuity of people on their team. They've had the same guys for years and years and I think that's a big deal in racing. If you're working with the same engineer for, say, four or five years - as Sebastien [Bourdais] has - and have the same guys working on your car, I think everyone bonds a lot better and you just can't beat that experience.

Q:
So to come into the new season and take your first win in Champ Car, how did that feel?

WP:
That was good, a real strong start - but I didn't really celebrate or anything as it's such a long season and you've got to keep your head and be performing like that in every race. You don't want to win the first race and then slacken off. So, it's great to get it out of the way, and great to get the points, but, as soon as I was finished with that race, I was looking to Long Beach and the next race, to do the same thing. But I must say it was good for Team Australia to have won a race at the start of the season, especially for the sponsors and everything.

Q:
And presumably it raises morale all round?

WP:
Yes it does. Everyone's on it. People on the team just love working with someone who's going to win races, or has the potential to do so, and this year we have a really strong team. I have a really strong team-mate, Simon Pagenaud, and it's a really good combination.

Q:
How surprised have you been at Simon's performance, given that he's come up as Atlantic champion? He's been pretty much on the pace from the start of testing...

WP:


Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Will Power - Team Australia   [pic courtesy Champ Car World Series]
Will Power - Team Australia Panoz-Cosworth DP01   [pic courtesy Champ Car World Series]
Will Power - Team Australia [Pic credit: BAM Media]
Chevrolet sweeps the podium with winner Mike Conway (center), driver of the #20 Fuzzy`s Ultra Premium Vodka / Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrating his victory Sunday, July 20, 2014 during the second of two IndyCar Series races through the streets of Exhibition Place, in Toronto, Canada. Tony Kanaan (left), driver of the #10 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet celebrates his second-place finish. Will Power, driver of the #12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet celebrates his third-place finish. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Mike Conway, Tony Kanaan and Will Power celebrate on the podium after the second round of the Honda Indy Toronto doubleheader on Sunday July 20 2014. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Mike Conway, Tony Kanaan and Will Power pose for a selfie on the podium after the second round of the Honda Indy Toronto doubleheader on Sunday July 20 2014. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Tony Kanaan and Will Power pose for a selfie on the podium after the second round of the Honda Indy Toronto doubleheader on Sunday July 20 2014. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Will Power, driver of the #12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, races to a fourteenth-place finish Saturday, July 13, 2014 at the Iowa Speedway in Newton, Iowa. Power lost the championship points lead to teammate Helio Castroneves, driver of the #3 Hitachi Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, who finished eighth. (Photo by Dan Streck/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Juan Pablo Montoya, driver of the #2 PPG Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6,  celebrates winning pole position for the Pocono IndyCar 500 in Long Pond, Pennsylvania. Montoya won the pole and will start in the front row next to teammate Will Power, who qualified second. (Photo by Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Juan Pablo Montoya, driver of the #2 PPG Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6,  celebrates winning pole position for the Pocono IndyCar 500 in Long Pond, Pennsylvania. Montoya won the pole and will start in the front row next to teammate Will Power, who qualified second. (Photo by Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Juan Pablo Montoya, driver of the #2 PPG Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6,  celebrates winning pole position for the Pocono IndyCar 500 in Long Pond, Pennsylvania. Montoya won the pole and will start in the front row next to teammate Will Power, who qualified second. (Photo by Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Juan Pablo Montoya, driver of the #2 PPG Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6,  celebrates winning pole position for the Pocono IndyCar 500 in Long Pond, Pennsylvania. Montoya won the pole and will start in the front row next to teammate Will Power, who qualified second. (Photo by Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Juan Pablo Montoya, driver of the #2 PPG Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6,  celebrates winning pole position for the Pocono IndyCar 500 in Long Pond, Pennsylvania. Montoya won the pole and will start in the front row next to teammate Will Power, who qualified second. (Photo by Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Juan Pablo Montoya, driver of the #2 PPG Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates posting the fastest time Saturday, July 5, 2014 during qualifying for Sunday`s Pocono IndyCar 500 in Long Pond, Pennsylvania. Montoya won the pole and will start in the front row next to teammate Will Power, who qualified second. (Photo by Michael L. Levitt/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Juan Pablo Montoya, driver of the #2 PPG Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates posting the fastest time Saturday, July 5, 2014 during qualifying for Sunday`s Pocono IndyCar 500 in Long Pond, Pennsylvania. Montoya won the pole and will start in the front row next to teammate Will Power, who qualified second. (Photo by Michael L. Levitt/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Juan Pablo Montoya, driver of the #2 PPG Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, posts the fastest time Saturday, July 5, 2014 during qualifying for Sunday`s Pocono IndyCar 500 in Long Pond, Pennsylvania. Montoya won the pole and will start in the front row next to teammate Will Power, who qualified second. (Photo by Ernie Masche/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Juan Pablo Montoya, driver of the #2 PPG Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, posts the fastest time Saturday, July 5, 2014 during qualifying for Sunday`s Pocono IndyCar 500 in Long Pond, Pennsylvania. Montoya won the pole and will start in the front row next to teammate Will Power, who qualified second. (Photo by Ernie Masche/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Will Power in action at Pocono (Photo by: Bret Kelley for IndyCar Media)

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