BACK IN THE USA San Jose, CA (July 25, 2007) -- Minardi Team USA drivers 'Speedy' Dan Clarke and Robert Doornbos are back in the U.S. after a three-race stint in Canada and looking forward to hitting...
BACK IN THE USA
San Jose, CA (July 25, 2007) -- Minardi Team USA drivers 'Speedy' Dan Clarke and Robert Doornbos are back in the U.S. after a three-race stint in Canada and looking forward to hitting the streets of downtown San Jose.
After what can only be described as a "challenging" race in Edmonton last weekend, both drivers head into San Jose with high hopes. The 1.44-mile circuit will once again be new to Robert, but is certainly familiar to 'Speedy' Dan, who ran second here last year until his car suffered a mechanical failure at the very end of the race.
Robert is currently second in the Championship standings, but still the top Rookie, and with only six races remaining in the 2007 season, he knows that every point counts. Although Robert won his first Champ Car race on a road course -- Le Circuit Mont-Tremblant, in Quebec - the young Dutchman is also very comfortable on street circuits. He was second at Las Vegas, had a mechanical issue at Long Beach after running a strong race, finished third at Houston, and again second at Cleveland. Even though Robert wasn't quite on the pace in Edmonton, rivals certainly shouldn't expect him to "fall off the horse" and drop down the Championship table.
"Unfortunately, Edmonton didn't go so well for us. Now it is as important as ever to be on top form and keep ourselves in the Championship hunt. I'm looking forward to the street course in San Jose, and hopefully we'll perform better there."
Even though 'Speedy' Dan would undoubtedly have liked to celebrate a podium finish in Edmonton, a top-ten was a victory of sorts after a crash in Friday's practice set him back somewhat for the remainder of the weekend. He drove a clean race, turning some very competitive lap times in the process, and heads to San Jose in a new, more relaxed frame of mind, and with high hopes of improving on last weekend's result.
'Speedy' Dan Clarke
"I feel confident going into this weekend at San Jose. We ran really well here last year -- in second, until a gearbox failure ended my race. We had a tough weekend at Edmonton, but finished the race and made the best of things. I think we can run well here again and carry with us what we have learned over the past few days."
Paul Stoddart, Team Co-owner
"Motor racing is about taking the rough with the smooth, while keeping your equilibrium and focus. As we all know, the team had a tough time in Edmonton last weekend, but that is now filed under 'completed business' and 'lessons learned', and everyone is 100 per cent focused on the challenge posed by the San Jose track. This is a tight, bumpy and very challenging street course, but Robert and Dan have already shown they can run strongly on such circuits, and there's no reason to think they won't be able to do the same here. Our mission this weekend has to be to get both drivers on the podium and put our Championship challenge back on course."