CHAMPCAR/CART: Assen: Minardi Team USA Saturday notes

THE NEED FOR MORE SPEED Minardi Team USA drivers Robert Doornbos and 'Speedy' Dan Clarke will start the Bavaria Champ Car Grand Prix of Assen from mid-field, having qualified ninth and tenth respectively following this afternoon's final ...

THE NEED FOR MORE SPEED

Minardi Team USA drivers Robert Doornbos and 'Speedy' Dan Clarke will start the Bavaria Champ Car Grand Prix of Assen from mid-field, having qualified ninth and tenth respectively following this afternoon's final qualifying session. While Dan improved three positions from yesterday, Robert fell two spots, from seventh.

It is definitely not where the hometown hero would like to start tomorrow's one hour and forty-five minute race, but the young Dutchman knows as well as anyone that it is possible to come from the back in Champ Car racing to finish on the podium. He won't have quite as many cars to pass to get to the front as he did in San Jose, and there's no doubt Robert will put on an entertaining show for the thousands of fans who are sure to invade the famous Assen circuit on Sunday.

Robert Doornbos 9th 79.612 seconds

"It's shocking that we couldn't get it together for qualifying. I'm not exactly sure why, either. We have a couple of small issues to sort out, but it's not like there is one major thing we have to fix. I started at the front last weekend and finished seventh, and tomorrow I start ninth, so hopefully I can finish at the front. Anything is possible in Champ Car, and I'm sure we'll have a strong car come the race. This circuit is a great place to drive, and hopefully it will be a fun race. Once again, all of the support from the fans has been fantastic. It gives me an extra boost of confidence to be in front of my home crowd."

Much like his team mate, Dan just couldn't quite find the speed he needed today to contend for pole position. Even though a top-ten qualification is a solid starting point for tomorrow's race, the young Englishman wasn't as satisfied with his performance as he could have been.

'Speedy' Dan Clarke 10th 79.718 seconds

"After the week just gone, I feel like a new man. We qualified in the top 10, and I know there's more time in the car, so I'm feeling positive. My Minardi Team USA car often seems to go better in the race than in qualifying, so we'll get our heads down now and work on strategy for tomorrow. I'll then aim to keep my nose clean and have a strong race -- the reception from the fans here in Assen has been great, and it almost feels like a home event for me."

Paul Stoddart, Team Co-owner

"Yet again, traffic played a part in the outcome of today's qualifying session. It's clear that we don't have the pace of Sebastien so far this weekend, but as usual in Champ Car, it's not where you qualify, but where you finish that matters."

Keith Wiggins, Team Co-owner

"It's clear we're not as competitive as we should be here, and therefore have some work to do. We'll have to make it up tomorrow, which is always a little more of a challenge, especially around this circuit. As ever, though, we'll come out fighting."

-credit: minarditeamusa.com

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Paul Stoddart , Robert Doornbos , Dan Clarke