CHAMPCAR/CART: Cleveland: Minardi Team USA preview

DOORNBOS AND CLARKE LOOKING FOR RUNWAY SUCCESS AT CLEVELAND Minardi Team USA drivers Robert Doornbos and Dan Clarke are "suited and booted", ready for the Grand Prix of Cleveland Presented by LaSalle Bank this weekend, June 22-24. This marks...

DOORNBOS AND CLARKE LOOKING FOR RUNWAY SUCCESS AT CLEVELAND

Minardi Team USA drivers Robert Doornbos and Dan Clarke are "suited and booted", ready for the Grand Prix of Cleveland Presented by LaSalle Bank this weekend, June 22-24. This marks the first of three races in a row, and predictably enough, both drivers are looking to produce strong performances on the 2.1-mile Burke Lakefront Airport course.

Robert is coming off another successful event, this one at Portland International Raceway, where he captured his third podium finish in just four races. He is currently third in the Championship standings, but closing the gap to second-placed Will Power. Robert spent last weekend in Indianapolis, where he attended the U.S. Grand Prix in his role as Red Bull Racing test and reserve driver. He then travelled to Road America, for his first glimpse of the famed "four miles of black lightning," as Minardi Team USA continues its test and development program with the Champ Car DP01 chassis before the busiest part of the season kicks off, at Cleveland.

Robert Doornbos #14

"Once again, Cleveland is a circuit that I have never been to before, but I don't mind the challenge. It will be exciting to race at an airport, I have never done such a thing--I hope they close the runways! But in all seriousness, I hope it will be a good weekend, I have heard from some of the other drivers that the track is very fast and a lot of fun. I saw video of turn one on the first lap- it was very strange to see eighteen cars all going in side-by-side. I'm sure that will be different with the standing start his year, but exciting still the same. It's always important to survive the first turn and get on with the race, and I'm looking forward to it."

'Speedy' Dan had his best race result of the season thus far at Portland, where he drove to a sixth-place finish. Dan, like Robert, has been busy between these two races, and was interested to receive media-delivered "thank you" notes soon after the Portland race from Champ Car rookie drivers, who apparently didn't take kindly to the fact he finished ahead of them! It's all been quite tiring for 'Speedy,' but he is now well rested and looking forward to racing at Cleveland.

'Speedy' Dan Clarke #4

"Portland was a good weekend for us. We had a solid result, and it changed the momentum for me in a positive direction. As far as the Cleveland race is concerned, I'm looking forward to it. I think we will be fast there, and I really like the circuit. We had a strong race at Cleveland last year, but now I want the result. As a team, we've improved a lot in a relatively short space of time, and I'm sure this trend will continue as the season progresses."

Paul Stoddart, Team Co-owner

"There is what I tend to think of as a 'wheel of success' in motorsport, which initially involves achieving results. That then leads to increased confidence within the team, which builds momentum and results in increased publicity, which interests potential sponsors, which leads to improved funding for the team, which contributes to technical progress, which leads to further results, and so it goes. The results are the 'fuel', if you like, to get the wheel moving, and I very much have the sense with Minardi Team USA that the wheel is moving and picking up speed. The challenge is to keep that momentum going, particularly as we are about to enter the real core of the 2007 season, with five races in six weeks. I believe we can do it, and with the Australian-based airline, OzJet, being one of Minardi Team USA's commercial partners, we should feel right at home on the airport circuit in Cleveland. We'll therefore be looking for Robert and Dan to have another strong weekend."

Keith Wiggins, Team Co-owner

"I always enjoy the Cleveland race and atmosphere, and the team has been very competitive there on and off over the years. I believe our drivers and cars will feature strongly this year and I am hopeful we may get our first win of 2007 there."

-credit: mtusa

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