CHAMPCAR/CART: Portland: Minardi Team USA Saturday report

SINGING IN THE RAIN Portland, OR (June 9, 2007) -- It was a soggy day in Portland, but Minardi Team USA weathered the storm and were quickest in this afternoon's qualifying session with a beautifully controlled performance from driver Robert ...

SINGING IN THE RAIN

Portland, OR (June 9, 2007) -- It was a soggy day in Portland, but Minardi Team USA weathered the storm and were quickest in this afternoon's qualifying session with a beautifully controlled performance from driver Robert Doornbos. 'Speedy' Dan was eighth in today's session, but will still start tomorrow's race in ninth place.

Robert protected his second place starting position that he earned yesterday, by capturing the pole in today's rainy session. The abysmal conditions didn't seem to bother the young Dutchman, and he quickly adapted to the wet track. He will start on the outside front row for the race tomorrow next to Justin Wilson for the first standing start in Champ Car World Series history.

Robert Doornbos #14 71.629 seconds 98.709 mph

"It felt like I was home in Holland today, with all of the rain. It was really wet out there. I had a lot of fun driving, it's a challenge that I enjoy. It's great motivation for my team and for myself that we were quickest today. I'm glad that I am starting on the front row, so I will have a clear view in case it rains again tomorrow. It will be an exciting race and hopefully we can get our first win. I'm really glad to be racing in this Championship and the whole team is so positive. So we'll go into tomorrow with high hopes and continue on with the season."

Dan had a strong qualifying session and worked with his engineers to sort- out a good race car for tomorrow. He had a solid top-ten run, and his time was just 0.698 seconds off Robert's pole time. Dan will start on the inside fifth row, and looks to move up through the field for tomorrow's race.

'Speedy' Dan Clarke #4 72.327 seconds 97.756 mph

"I'm delighted for Robert and the team that they were quickest today, and it's really good for Minardi Team USA. I know we are capable of producing similar results. This hasn't been the best weekend so far for me, but I'm trying to stay positive and look to tomorrow's race. I know that we are quick enough to be higher up on the grid, and tomorrow is what really matters. I think the weather is going to play a large factor; and the start as well. It's going to be a long race, but we always seem to have a good car come race day. There are a lot of factors that we will see playing out."

Keith Wiggins, Team Co-Owner

"I'm very happy for the whole team and continue to be impressed with Robert's capabilities. He and his engineers kept on top today and we have been quick in both the wet and the dry all weekend, so that puts us in a good situation for tomorrow. There will be the usual circumstances that are out of our control of course, but other than that, I expect a good race. Optimally, Dan will also show a strong performance in the race so he can start demonstrating his positive progress."

-credit: mtusa

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Justin Wilson , Robert Doornbos , Dan Clarke