Team Australia

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For other uses, see Team Australia (disambiguation).
A Team Australia-run Panoz DP01 Champ Car chassis in 2007.

Team Australia was an auto racing team competing in the V8 Supercars and Champ Car World Series. It was created in early 2005 when two Australian businessmen bought into Derrick Walker's Walker Racing operation. After the 2007 the operation was scaled back to just Will Power who joined KV Racing, before ending entirely a year later.

Origins[edit]

After sponsoring young Australian driver Josh Hunt in the Toyota Atlantic Championship, Australian millionaire Craig Gore began to investigate fielding a Champ Car team. His empire already included a V8 Supercar team competing in Australia, and at the 2004 Surfers Paradise round of the CCWS, on the Gold Coast, Australia, Gore's V8 driver David Besnard made his debut with a WPS sponsored Walker Racing Champ Car. He finished a creditable 7th place, and the seeds were sewn for Gore's assault on the Champ Car series.

In late 2004 and early 2005 Gore, his associate John Fish and long time Champ Car World Series team owner Derrick Walker, created the Team Australia race program. Obsolete Reynard chassis were replaced with bespoke Lola units, and the team signed Canadian Champ Car veteran Alex Tagliani and Australian Formula 3 driver Marcus Marshall for the 2005 season.

A learning year[edit]

With a new chassis to learn, Team Australia was hardly going to upset the establishment in 2005. However, Tagliani's consistent, solid drives took the team to many top-ten finishes and several podiums through the year. Tagliani finished the season in seventh place, equaling his career best finish. Marshall, by contrast, was unspectacular, struggling to break the top ten. By Team Australia's homecoming at the 2005 Surfer's Paradise race, they had announced that a third car would be run for Australian international driver Will Power. Power outpaced both teammates before a collision with Tagliani took him out of the race. Amongst some controversy it was announced that Marshall's contract had been cut, and he was to leave the team. His attempt to appeal this in court was unsuccessful, and he was dropped in favour of Power, who signed a three year contract. The team ran their third car again in the season finale at Mexico, where newly crowned Atlantics champion Dutchman Charles Zwolsman made his debut.

2006[edit]

Rumours that Ryan Briscoe would be taking the #15 car were crushed when Tagliani re-signed prior to Long Beach. In 2006, Team Australia's commitment extended not only to two Champ Cars, but a two-car Atlantic squad, all aimed at fostering young talent. The team showed fantastic pace at the opening round at Long Beach, with Tagliani and Power running third and fourth respectively before a forced error dropped him down the order. He then suffered from brake problems but finished a competitive 9th, while Tagliani took a podium.

The team had consistent top-ten finishes, never really achieving more until Will Power took a pole position at his home race at Surfer's Paradise. He led the race comfortably until Sébastien Bourdais made a move on Power which damaged both cars. Power finished well down the order, but made up for it with a podium at the season finale in Mexico. He also won the Roshfrans Rookie of the Year title, as well as the Bridgestone Passion for Excellence award, the first driver other than Bourdais to win it.

NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series[edit]

Team Australia expanded its stable of global motorsport interests with a partnership with Wood Brothers/JTG Racing that included the naming-rights sponsorship of Marcos Ambrose's entry in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series in 2006.

The sponsorship was weaved into a nation-wide marketing campaign designed to promote quality Australian and Australian-themed products and Australia as a tourism destination. The new green and gold Ford F-150 truck carried Team Australia, Aussie Vineyards and R. M. Williams signage.

Driving the #20 Aussie Vineyards Ford F-150, Ambrose had best finishes of 3rd in Kansas and Nashville and took the pole position in Kentucky.

Atlantics series[edit]

In their first year of Atlantics, the team won their first title, with young French driver Simon Pagenaud. He was partnered by James Davison initially, until the underperforming Australian was dropped in favour of countrymate Michael Patrizi.

Team details[edit]

The team gained most of its sponsorship from the businesses of Gore and Fish. Gore's financial company, Wright Patton Shakespeare, features on the sides and nosecone of the cars, Fish Liquor are sponsors and their wine business Aussie Vineyards was the title sponsor. The team was also sponsored by the Queensland State Government, Visa credit cards, R. M. Williams, and Qantas. The relationship ended in early 2008 and Gore, Fish and Walker are no longer directly involved, with Walker announcing that Walker Racing will not contest the unified 2008 IRL season.[1] Gore has taken driver Will Power and the Team Australia name to KV Racing.

Drivers who have driven for Team Australia[edit]

IndyCar (2008) (KV Racing)
Champ Car (2005–2007) (Walker Racing)
V8 Supercars (2004–2007) (WPS Racing)
Champ Car Atlantics (2006–2007) (Walker Racing)
NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series (2006) (Wood Brothers/JTG Racing)
NASCAR Busch Series (2007) (Wood Brothers/JTG Racing)

Complete motorsport results[edit]

V8 Supercar[edit]

to be completed (key)

  • Bold indicates Pole Position.
Year Drivers 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 Pos Pts
2004 Australia
ADL
Australia
ECR
New Zealand
PUK
Australia
HDV
Australia
BAR
Australia
QUE
Australia
WIN
Australia
ORP
Australia
SAN
Australia
BAT
Australia
SUR
Australia
SYP
Australia
ECR
Australia Besnard 13 17 25 29 30 19 32 31 16 Ret 12 13 30th 790
Australia Noske 28 20 20 21 30 35th 304
Australia O'Brien 16 60th 132
New Zealand McIntyre 21 Ret 18 46th 199
Malaysia Yoong 21 15 28 36th 278
Australia McFadyen 15 43rd 226
Australia Kelly 21 33 44th 214
2005 Australia
ADL
New Zealand
PUK
Australia
BAR
Australia
ECR
China
SHA
Australia
HDV
Australia
QUE
Australia
ORP
Australia
SAN
Australia
BAT
Australia
SUR
Australia
SYP
Australia
PHI
Australia Besnard 23 32 16 29 32 32 13 16 19 8 21 29 27 25th 904
New Zealand Baird 28 28 19 15 20 23 16 33 19 8 14 23 31 23rd 980
Canada Tagliani 22 13 54th 144
Australia Marshall 22 13 53rd 144
2006 Australia
ADL
New Zealand
PUK
Australia
BAR
Australia
WIN
Australia
HDV
Australia
QUE
Australia
ORP
Australia
SAN
Australia
BAT
Australia
SUR
Australia
SYP
Bahrain
BAH
Australia
PHI
Brazil Wilson 9 22 23 10 17 12 29 11 14 17 13 16 17 15th 2038
Australia Bargwanna 25 14 17 24 10 26 7 7 10 8 15 22 10 14th 2053
Australia Besnard 11 14 45th 220
New Zealand Baird 7 10 38th 287
2007 Australia
ADL
Australia
BAR
New Zealand
PUK
Australia
WIN
Australia
ECR
Australia
HDV
Australia
QUE
Australia
ORP
Australia
SAN
Australia
BAT
Australia
SUR
Bahrain
BAH
Australia
SYP
Australia
PHI
Brazil Wilson 26 18 15 18 23 13 19 13 Ret 7 10 25 24 19 17th 110
Australia Bargwanna 19 25 30 20 15 18 22 21 Ret 7 11 10 29 21 18th 109
Australia Caruso Ret 15 49th* 6
Australia Denyer Ret 15 50th 6

Champ Car Atlantic[edit]

(key)

  • Bold indicates Pole Position.
Year Drivers 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 Pos Pts
2006 United States
LGB
United States
HST
Mexico
MTY
United States
POR
United States
CLE 1
United States
CLE 2
Canada
TOR
Canada
EDM
United States
SNJ
United States
DEN
Canada
MTL
United States
ROA
France Pagenaud (R) 4 2 2 Ret 2 5 4 1 9 3 2 Ret 1st 258
Australia Davison (R) 13 10 21 Ret 13 13 12 13 7 Ret 17th 69
Australia Patrizi (R) 8 Ret 25th 21
2007 United States
LVG
United States
LGB
United States
HOU
United States
POR1
United States
POR2
United States
CLE
Canada
MOT
Canada
TOR
Canada
EDM1
Canada
EDM2
United States
SAN
United States
ROA
United Kingdom Lewis DNP Ret Ret 3 5 Ret 13 5 12th* 75*
Switzerland De Silvestro (R) Ret Ret 15 16 16 11 7 Ret 18th* 50*

Champ Car[edit]

(key)

  • Bold indicates Pole Position.
Year Drivers 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 Pos Pts
2004 United States
LGB
Mexico
MOT
United States
MIL
United States
POR
United States
CLE
Canada
TOR
Canada
VAN
United States
ROA
United States
DEN
Canada
MON
United States
LAG
United States
LVG
Australia
SUR
Mexico
MEX
Australia Besnard (R) 7 20th 18
2005 United States
LGB
Mexico
MTY
United States
MIL
United States
POR
United States
CLE
Canada
TOR
Canada
EDM
United States
SNJ
United States
DEN
Canada
MON
United States
LVG
Australia
SUR
Mexico
MEX
Canada Tagliani 15 3 10 Ret 4 3 7 9 Ret 5 7 4 8 7th 207
Australia Marshall (R) 14 Ret 13 14 12 Ret 8 Ret 12 16 9 11 16th 104
Australia Power (R) Ret 10 22nd 17
Netherlands Zwolsman (R) 13 27th 8
2006 United States
LGB
United States
HST
Mexico
MTY
United States
MIL
United States
POR
United States
CLE
Canada
TOR
Canada
EDM
United States
SNJ
United States
DEN
Canada
MTL
United States
ROA
Australia
SUR
Mexico
MEX
Australia Power (R) 9 7 11 Ret 18 9 7 6 6 4 5 13 12 3 6th 213
Canada Tagliani 3 Ret 5 DNS 11 4 6 Ret Ret Ret 7 11 3 5 8th 205
2007 United States
LVG
United States
LGB
United States
HST
United States
POR
United States
CLE
Canada
MTT
Canada
TOR
Canada
EDM
United States
SAN
United States
ROA
Belgium
ZOL
Netherlands
ASS
Australia
SUR
Mexico
MEX
Australia Power 1 3 11 4 10 3 1 Ret 4 Ret 4 14 Ret 2 4th 262
France Pagenaud (R) Ret 14 5 8 5 4 4 4 10 11 12 6 5 6 8th 232

NASCAR[edit]

(key) (Bold - Pole position awarded by qualifying time. Italics - Pole position earned by points standings or practice time. * – Most laps led.)

Craftsman Truck Series[edit]

Busch Series[edit]

Overall stats[edit]

Series Seasons Races Poles Wins Podiums
(Non-win)
Point Finishes
(Non-podium)
Total Points Championships Best Finish
(Championship)
Champ Car 4 69 3 2 7 47 1,054 0 6th (2006)
Champ Car Atlantic 2 35 1 1 5 17 473 1 1st (2006)
NASCAR Truck 1 22 1 0 2 18 2,228 0 21st (2006)
NASCAR Busch 1 20 0 0 0 17 1,939 0 N/A

References[edit]

  1. ^ Walker Racing won't be making switch from Champ Car to IndyCar Series, Associated Press, 9 March 2008

External links[edit]