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Q&A: Will Power - EXCLUSIVE.

He's been really quick and strong, but I expected that, having raced against him in World Series by Renault in 2005. He was really quick then, and he won the Atlantic title last year. And he's run on all the tracks we run on, so it was sort of expected of him to be pretty quick. Of course, starting with a new car helps, and being in a team with a really good car helps too, in as far as being able to get in and learn what you have to learn. Last year, when I was a rookie, we were having to sort the Lola out in the early part of the season. That was pretty tough, not really knowing the car or knowing what it needed to go quick.

Q:
How much extra pressure did starting the season with three races in three weeks put on Team Australia?

WP:
It was tough because you had a brand new car, which no-one has really done a full race distance on before, and they had the refuelling rig problem, although that was pretty much fixed for Long Beach. My biggest worry was reliability, but our guys did a really good job of going through absolutely every aspect of the car before the races, working out what was going to break and getting on top of it before it did. That was the biggest concern of everyone, and also that you only had a week between races so, if you had a major problem, you couldn't really do much about it. For us, the reliability was really good - we finished all three races with no problem.

Q:
You're going from three street courses to the first of the road courses, in Portland, for the next race, but where does your preference lie? Are you slowly becoming converted to the street courses that Champ Car runs?

WP:
I'm enjoying it all, I must say. I'm really taking a liking to street courses now that I've learned how to be quick around them. But having raced in England, in British F3, and then in the World Series by Renault in Europe, I think I'm really strong on road circuits, and the next few circuits we're doing are very much more like European circuits which suit me and my driving style - and should suit the car as well. This new car is really good on smooth, fast circuits.

Q:
The first three rounds have been pretty much about you and Sebastien Bourdais. How much to do you read into this rivalry that is being made out between the two of you, and do you see yourself as Paul Tracy's successor as Sebastien's nemesis?

WP:
It's going to be interesting! We haven't had a fair fight yet - not even at Surfers' last year, where we made it to the first pit-stop and I came out in the lead only for him to knock me off before we could have any real battle. Then, at Long Beach, I got stuck behind Alex Tagliani when it was another race where we could have had a pretty good fight. In Houston, I just had a bad race, so I'm looking forward to a race where it's just him and I, where we both have good cars and can go for it. I think it'll be a good race, but we haven't had that yet.

Q:
Champ Car has been established in Australia for quite some time, but do you think your performance - particularly if you have a good season this year - will encourage more Australians to look towards Champ Car as an alternative?

WP:
To be honest, in Australia, I think it is tough to crack into any open-wheel racing because of V8 Supercars. Just about every young guy in Formula Ford, or the other junior categories, is looking towards V8s. You've probably only got one good young guy going overseas this year - John Martin, who's doing British F3 - so there's not many of them looking at open-wheelers. I think the success that we've had early this year and late last year has sparked a lot interest in Australia as far as the fans and the media go, and that has really helped the race that we have on the Gold Coast.


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]
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)
Will Power in action at Pocono (Photo by: Bret Kelley for IndyCar Media)
Will Power follows Charlie Kimball through the turn. (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Will Power prepares to go out in Practice 1. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Will Power on track in Practice 1. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Will Power wins the pole for the Firestone 600 at Texas Motor Speedway (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)

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January 22, 2010 7:58 PM

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