MINARDI TEAM USA FOURTH AND SEVENTH IN QUALIFYING ...
MINARDI TEAM USA FOURTH AND SEVENTH IN QUALIFYING #1
Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin (August 10, 2007) -- Minardi Team USA drivers 'Speedy' Dan Clarke and Robert Doornbos completed the first of two qualifications for the Champ Car Generac Grand Prix at Road America today, with 'Speedy' ending up fourth, and Robert seventh.
For 'Speedy' Dan, Road America is an important circuit. It is where he captured a pole position last year, and he is intent on earning himself and the team another one. He spun into the gravel in the second practice this afternoon, but after giving the car a solid wipe-down, the Minardi Team USA crew sent him out for qualifying with a strong racecar. He was third after the first stint, and just narrowly fell to fourth during the second qualification runs this evening.
'Speedy' Dan Clarke 103.439 seconds 140.439 mph
"We would have been P3 today, but I made a mistake in the carousel on the last lap. I am, however, quite satisfied with this session today, quite happy with that. We took it easy this morning, but we knew we had the pace. The car kept getting better and better during qualifying, and we just ticked away at it until the end. I'm a bit bummed not to go to the press conference, but it's only Friday; tomorrow is when it counts. The guys did a good job getting all the gravel out of the car in time for my first stint, and I think today's result is a good pick-me-up for tonight."
Robert Doornbos had a good run today, and although the results today are not optimal for the Championship contender, the young Dutchman is confident he will improve on his seventh place outcome from today. Robert and his team made a gamble with the set-up considering the late time of the session this evening, but it didn't pay off as they expected.
Robert Doornbos 103.619 seconds 140.639 mph
"With the schedule being different this weekend, and our qualifying session much later than usual, we thought it would be cooler this evening, and we could run less downforce. This plan back-fired on us though, and it was really tricky out there. I was driving the car on the limit, but not getting the optimal lap times. Tomorrow is what counts, though, and I'm sure we'll have it sorted for then."
Keith Wiggins, Team Co-Owner
"That was reasonable- but we still need to improve with both cars. Tomorrow is another day, and we are confident we can get both Robert and Dan in the top three, however, the challenge will be to get the pole from Bourdais."