CHAMPCAR/CART: Assen: Minardi Team USA preview

LOOKING FOR THE HOME ADVANTAGE Minardi Team USA drivers Robert Doornbos and Dan Clarke have arrived in the Netherlands for the second European race of the 2007 Champ Car World Series season. This marks a high-profile return to his native...

LOOKING FOR THE HOME ADVANTAGE

Minardi Team USA drivers Robert Doornbos and Dan Clarke have arrived in the Netherlands for the second European race of the 2007 Champ Car World Series season. This marks a high-profile return to his native Holland for Robert, who has the opportunity to showcase his talents in front of a home crowd, and draw on the undoubted energy that derives from racing in front of thousands of native fans.

Both drivers have been busy in the time between Zolder and Assen, promoting the race and making appearances with sponsors. Several of the team's important commercial partners, including the Muermans Group, Trust, Jumbo Supermarkten, HPG and MediaMall are headquartered in The Netherlands, so the Bavaria Champ Car Grand Prix is a homecoming not only for Robert, but also for the team. On Saturday at Zolder, Minardi Team USA played host to more than 100 VIP guests in the team's private hospitality unit, with catering provided by Austria's well-known Casa Del Vino organization. In a joint venture, the team and Casa del Vino also took the opportunity to launch a Minardi Team USA wine. On Tuesday, Dan and Robert took part in a boat race with fellow drivers Tristan Gommendy, Katherine Legge and race promoter, Bart Rietbergen.

Robert is geared up for an exciting weekend in Holland, where he hopes to gain back some ground on Series points leader, Sebastien Bourdais. Needless to say, it is his fervent wish that the Dutch National Anthem should be played at the victory podium on Sunday.

Dan has been cleared by Champ Car Race Director, Tony Cotman to participate in this weekend's event following a one-race suspension at Zolder last weekend. He is looking forward to getting back behind the wheel and will take what he has learned from his suspension to heart.

DSC02059 Robert Doornbos:

"I'm very glad to be racing in Holland this weekend. I've been very busy doing a lot of PR activities for weeks now, and I'm now ready to get the race weekend under way. Last weekend wasn't such a great result, but the whole team is feeling positive, and it's a big motivator to be in front of my home crowd. There were a lot of Dutch fans in Zolder, but I think this race will be a bit crazier . . . all in all, I'm looking forward to it!"

Dan Clarke:

"I'm very glad to learn that I will be racing in Assen. It was strange watching on race day in Zolder, but it ended up being kind of fun, as I had the opportunity to do some other things and help out the team. I got to work the lollipop for Mario, and spend some time in Race Control with Tony Cotman. It was nice to get support from other people in the paddock, as well as from the fans, but I'm ready to get back in the car. I believe we can have a positive weekend and I appreciate the encouragement from the team. I will do my best to get the result that they deserve."

Paul Stoddart, Team Co-owner

"As we come up to one of the most important races of the year for Minardi Team USA -- a home race for our lead driver, Robert Doornbos, and for the significant number of Dutch investors in the team -- we really hope to put the gremlins of last weekend behind us and return to our winning ways."

Keith Wiggins, Team Co-owner

"It's been an interesting and fun trip back to Europe. We are looking forward to a good race at Assen and for sure it will be a big event for the entire team, and hopefully a big success as well. I think our strategy for the remainder of the races is key to how we finish off the season."

-credit: minarditeamusa.com

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Paul Stoddart , Sébastien Bourdais , Robert Doornbos , Katherine Legge , Tristan Gommendy , Dan Clarke