CHAMPCAR/CART: Portland: Minardi Team USA race report

MINARDI TEAM USA CLAIMS ANOTHER PODIUM WITH DOORNBOS AND A SIXTH PLACE FINISH WITH CLARKE Portland, OR (June 10, 2007) -- Minardi Team USA ended the weekend at Portland International Raceway with a third place finish from Robert Doornbos, and a...

MINARDI TEAM USA CLAIMS ANOTHER PODIUM WITH DOORNBOS AND A SIXTH PLACE FINISH WITH CLARKE

Portland, OR (June 10, 2007) -- Minardi Team USA ended the weekend at Portland International Raceway with a third place finish from Robert Doornbos, and a sixth place finish from Dan Clarke. The race today was the first caution free Champ Car race since Road America in 2000, and both drivers gave flawless performances after a weather-plagued weekend.

Rookie Robert Doornbos claimed his third podium in just four races, and sits third in Championship points. His third place finish today puts him just 18 points behind leader Sebastien Bourdais, and seven behind second-place Will Power. Robert started second for the race today, the first standing start in CCWS history, and got a run on Justin Wilson heading into turn one. He missed a shift in the chicane, and Wilson got around him. He sat in second place for a good portion of the race, but fell to fourth after another competitor blocked him in the pits. He passed Will Power for third in the latter stages of the race, securing the last podium position.

Robert Doornbos #14 114.183 mph

"I'm very happy for our finish today, even though it's not the podium position that I wanted. The start was how I expected it to be, everyone was making such a big fuss about it, but we all proved we can have a clean standing start. I got a better launch than Justin (Wilson) but then I got a bit too excited and missed a shift in the Festival Turns. It's great for our team, and we continue to show that we are tough, but there is still room for improvement and at Cleveland I'm sure we'll be even stronger."

'Speedy' Dan Clarke had his best finish of the season thus far, with a solid sixth place result. He started ninth on the grid, but passed two cars on the first lap. He stayed in the lead pack, running seventh, and was turning lap times faster than the cars in front of him. He had excellent pit stops and drove a hard race for the race duration. He had the fastest time on several laps, and finished just six-tenths of a second behind Tagliani.

'Speedy' Dan Clarke #4 113.704 mph

"I am very pleased with our finish today, we finally had a clean race without any bad luck, and I'm really glad for the whole team. We played to our strengths today; pit stops, and race strategy, and we got a good result out of it. The most important thing is that we scored good points, and we're not even at our strongest yet. The team morale is much higher after today, and we have to keep up the momentum."

Keith Wiggins, Team Co-Owner

"It was a good team result for both Robert and Dan. It's good to continue to build on our points earned, but as always, you want more. We have to focus on trying to get race wins now, but still, the best way to win a Championship is to win points, and I'm pleased with our progress so far."

-credit: mtusa

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Justin Wilson , Sébastien Bourdais , Robert Doornbos , Will Power , Dan Clarke