RIDING THE BUMPS Houston, Texas (April 20, 2007) -- Minardi Team USA drivers Robert Doornbos and Dan Clarke took to the 1.7 mile street course in Houston's Reliant Park today for the first qualifying session of the Houston Grand Prix ...
RIDING THE BUMPS
Houston, Texas (April 20, 2007) -- Minardi Team USA drivers Robert Doornbos and Dan Clarke took to the 1.7 mile street course in Houston's Reliant Park today for the first qualifying session of the Houston Grand Prix weekend.
The bumps and changes in the racing surface proved to be a challenge for both drivers, and developing a chassis set-up that provides a stable yet fast car, proved to be more challenging than expected. The track was very green this morning, and despite the best efforts of the Champ Car Safety Team, was still dirty for qualifying. This track is very demanding, and drivers' fitness will play an important role in this Sunday's race.
# 14 Robert Doornbos 59.940 seconds 101.081 mph
"We still have some work to do with the car, as it's not great yet. I went out on the Red "Option" tires for the last run, but I made a small mistake in turn 8 and stalled the car. Because I brought out a red flag, my fastest time was taken away, but rules are rules. We'll work hard for tomorrow and go out and attack in the second qualifying session."
#4 'Speedy' Dan Clarke 60.365 seconds 100.365 mph
"We were obviously struggling a bit today. I couldn't seem to get a clear lap, as there was a lot of traffic out there towards the end of the session. On my last lap there was a yellow in the last turn, which definitely cost me some time. We're learning about the behavior of the car here every session, and we'll just have to do better tomorrow."
Keith Wiggins, Team Co-owner
"Like everyone on this track, it's a question of finding a good, drivable car over the bumps here. I think we managed that, and Robert looked good in his first qualifying run, but then made a mistake and, as a result, couldn't make his second run. I still think he's in reasonable shape for tomorrow, though. We seem to be struggling to find a good balance with Dan's car, but we still have another day to fix it. I'm confident we'll do just that."