Philippe Salvages a Top Ten Result in Final Qualifying, Clarke Improves to 13th Denver, CO. (August 12, 2006): Despite a massive effort by the entire CTE Racing HVM team, the struggles and frustrations continue in Denver. Nelson Philippe ( ...
Philippe Salvages a Top Ten Result in Final Qualifying, Clarke Improves to 13th
Denver, CO. (August 12, 2006): Despite a massive effort by the entire CTE Racing HVM team, the struggles and frustrations continue in Denver.
Nelson Philippe (#4 CTE Racing HVM/Ford-Cosworth/Lola) earned his seventh top-ten qualifying result of the season today when he turned the 10th quickest time of the field as he took the checkered flag, completing his 15th lap with a time of 60.333 seconds at 98.871 mph. As the series approaches the final four races of the season, the championship point's standings sit firmly on Philippe's mind. He is currently ranked ninth, but just seven points out of the top-five. While he is disappointed to be starting tomorrows race from row five in the 10th position, Philippe will concentrate on maximizing the points opportunities while taking care of his equipment.
"We changed the car dramatically after the morning session and we are definitely closer. Unfortunately, we are chasing to catch up as we are a bit behind after struggling all day yesterday and again this morning. We now have the best car we've had all weekend and it is a long race tomorrow. I know the guys will give me great pitstops and I'll give it 110% out there, but it's not going to be easy. I will be pleased with a top-six."
Rookie Dan Clarke (#14 CTE Racing HVM/Ford-Cosworth/Lola) gave it his best shot today with a substantially different car than he drove on Friday. Despite the changes, Clarke continues to search for grip on the1.465-mile street circuit. Clarke and his crew will strive to better the car and strategize in tonight's briefing, in preparation for tomorrow's race. The rookie's battle will be one to watch as they are lined up from 11th through 16th on tomorrow's grid. Clarke's time was just 0.4 off the top rookie's time. Starting out of the top-ten has not deterred Clarke On three occasions this season he has started 11th or worse but finished ninth or better.
"It is continuing to be a challenging weekend. We know that as a team we are much quicker than where we qualified. It has been one of those character building weekends so far, where we just keep picking ourselves up off of the floor to get where we belong."
CTE-HVM team co-owner Keith Wiggins comments:
"Clearly it's been a competitive track for us in the past and now that we've proved to be competitive everywhere else, we've lost something here. So we'll have to keep working until the end of the weekend to get it sorted out."