'SPEEDY' DAN CLARKE MOVES CLOSER TO 2006 CHAMP CAR SEAT
Dan Clarke is expected to finalise his Champ Car deal within the next few weeks and is preparing for his move with an intensive training programme. Clarke has been courted by a number of top race teams for participation in European and British motorsport series', but is totally committed to a stateside move.
The 22 year-old racer, a BRDC Formula Ford Champion, Formula Ford Festival Winner and a rookie F3 winner, says, "It's very flattering to have such a high level of interest in my future career and everyone has an opinion on what's best for me. Champ Cars is getting my vote and with the Champ Car community showing plenty of faith in me, I'm focusing on being ready for the start of the season at Long Beach.
"This year will be my learning year, ahead of the revised Championship in 2007 with the new lightweight Panoz chassis and Cosworth engine power levels exceeding those in F1. I expect to be challenging for wins when the new package comes onboard."
Clarke was privileged to spend time with David Coulthard and Red Bull Racing in Barcelona last week, as a guest of Adrian Newey, one of Clarke's mentors, and he said of his time trackside, "I thank Adrian for inviting me to the F1 test with the Red Bull F1 team and my experience in that environment will definitely help me; it was very educational and a good opportunity for me to learn from some of the best in the business."
Newey and Clarke's close friend Johnny Herbert, Sporting Director, Midland F1 team, have both supported Clarke in his decision to join the top American single-seater racing series. Herbert wished Clarke well saying, "I understand Dan's dream to compete in Champ Car and I support him wholeheartedly. I'd have liked to have seen him test in an F1 car, but he's showing great maturity in single-mindedly focusing on his goal."
Dan is currently concentrating on his fitness programme, training in London with Nick Russell, a renowned driver trainer with a client list which has included David Coulthard, Eddie Irvine, Justin Wilson, and Christian Klein. Nick said of the regime that he's developed for Dan, "It's a two month boot camp for him. I have promised to get him as fit as DC in time for Long Beach. I will be working him very, very hard. His fitness won't be a problem".
The 2006 Bridgestone Presents the Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford kicks off in California with the blue riband event of the Championship, a street race held in downtown Long Beach from April 7 -- 9.