TEAM Australia's Will Power (right) and 2006 Indy 300 winner Nelson Philippe, feeding an emu at Currumbin Sanctuary.
TEAM Australia's Will Power (right) and 2006 Indy 300 winner Nelson Philippe, feeding an emu at Currumbin Sanctuary.

Wild drivers - Power hoping for local support

WILL Power is hoping "hometown support" will give him the edge over his rivals this weekend's Lexmark Indy 300. Power, 26, grabbed national headlines at last year's Indy by securing his debut pole position, on the streets of the Gold Coast. It was the first time an Australian had scored a Champ Car pole position since Geoff Brabham in 1981. This weekend the Australian will again carry the weight of the nation on his shoulders as he attempts to push his 750 horsepower machine to the limit around the challenging streets of Surfers Paradise and win Sunday's 59-lap race. "It'd be nice to get pole again," Power said yesterday while visiting Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary with his Team Australia teammate, Simon Pagenaud and reigning Lexmark Indy 300 winner, Frenchman Nelson Philippe. "We've been quick at most tracks this year," Power said. "At certain places we've been really quick but, in some instances mechanical failure has cost us. "The best thing I can do is qualify up the front as far as I can, then go from there. "The support I get in Surfers and across the Gold Coast will be a big help to me. "I'm hoping the Team Australia team gets support all over the place on the weekend." Power, who will contest his third Gold Coast Indy 300, wants to bounce back from the disappointment of last year's race, when he was nudged out by the man they all have to catch this year again, Champ Car series leader Sebastien Bourdais. The Toowoomba-born Power looked a real chance of a win after leading Bourdais in the Team Australia Lola-Cosworth until the first round of pit stops, on lap 14 when he sustained damage from the incident with Bourdais and was forced out. It would be Nelson Phillipe who was crowned the 16th victor of the 2006 race. It was a great day for France as Sebastien Bourdais went from villain to hero by wrapping up his third Champ Car World Series crown on the Surfers Paradise circuit. "I can't really worry about last yearor what happened," Power said. "That sort of thing happens. "You can have the best car but lots of things can happen in a race. "I'm ready for this. "I'm pretty determined to go one better during this year's race... of course I want to win it."



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