The final day of Champ Car testing before next month's Surfers Paradise resumption wrapped up in hot and humid conditions at Sebring International Raceway on Tuesday, with Team Australia's Will Power coming out on top.

In the absence of day one pacesetter Sebastien Bourdais, Power lapped 0.02secs faster than PKV Racing's Tristan Gommendy to claim top spot, his 51.51secs effort taking half a second off Bourdais' time from Monday.

The performance was enough to buoy Team Australia spirits before the squad heads 'home'. Last year, Power put the green-and-yellow Aussie Vineyards Lola on pole position and nearly won the Surfers event and, backed up by fourth fastest time at Sebring from team-mate Simon Pagenaud, the team feels it gained a lot during the test.

"Our test this week was good and we learned lots of things and that is important," Pagenaud commented, "It was also good to show our strength heading into the next event because we both want to do well for Aussie Vineyards."

Gommendy was only just secure in second spot as 'supersub' Mario Dominguez made an immediate impression having been confirmed as part of the Pacific Coast Motorsport line-up for Surfers and Mexico City. The Mexican stepped right into the Panoz formerly occupied by Ryan Dalziel and turned the third fastest time of the day, just 0.02 off the PKV machine. PCM team-mate Alex Figge was also quick over the two days, running a best lap of 51.73secs ON Tuesday, good enough for fifth.

Most teams concentrated on their braking requirements as they geared up for Australia. With the tight and rough layout at Surfers, getting a handle on braking is of utmost importance, and Sebring's equally bumpy surface provided supplier Performance Friction with an ideal proving ground.

"One of the things I have struggled with most this year is braking," said 2003 champion Paul Tracy, who was keener than most to work on options as he posted the sixth fastest time of the day, "It seems we can't get the rear end settled, but I think we learned a lot of things today and I hope they translate into good things in Surfers."

Hoping to build on two straight podium finishes for Dale Coyne Racing, Bruno Junqueira was unable to replicate his Monday form - when he chased Bourdais at the head of the timesheets, but was nevertheless happy with the way the test had gone. With just a small number of laps to count on, the Brazilian continued to show improvement, edging team-mate Katherine Legge for a top ten spot by a couple of tenths.

"I am very happy for Dale Coyne Racing," Junqueira noted, "We have done a lot in the last couple of weeks and we are still going fast. The guys are working hard and I hope we can continue to get good results, especially in Australia."

Bourdais' place in the Newman/Haas/Lanigan line-up was taken by Graham Rahal, who recorded the seventh-best lap of the day, just ahead of Forsythe returnee David Martinez and PKV's Neel Jani. British newcomer James Winslow continued along his steep learning curve in twelfth spot.

Leading performances (25 September) - Sebring:

Will Power Team Australia 51.51secsTristan Gommendy PKV 51.53secsMario Dominguez Pacific Coast 51.55secsSimon Pagenaud Team Australia 51.71secsAlex Figge Pacific Coast 51.73secsPaul Tracy Forsythe 51.79secsGraham Rahal NHLR 51.82secsDavid Martinez Forsythe 51.91secsNeel Jani PKV 52.04secsBruno Junqueira Coyne 52.30secsKatherine Legge Coyne 52.58secsJames Winslow Conquest 53.65secs


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