MINARDI TEAM USA REMAINS OPTIMISTIC IN TORONTO Toronto, ON -- It was not the best of days at the Steelback Grand Prix of Toronto for Minardi Team USA drivers Robert Doornbos and 'Speedy' Dan Clarke. After yesterday's practice and qualifying ...
MINARDI TEAM USA REMAINS OPTIMISTIC IN TORONTO
Toronto, ON -- It was not the best of days at the Steelback Grand Prix of Toronto for Minardi Team USA drivers Robert Doornbos and 'Speedy' Dan Clarke. After yesterday's practice and qualifying sessions, both drivers were confident of moving up the timesheets during today's second qualification. As the session played out, however, they only slightly improved their lap times, while the majority of the field found significant gains. As a result, Robert will start twelfth and Dan thirteenth.
After a mass exodus from the pits for the final round of qualifying runs in today's session, the top position on the charts, as always, was going to be a lottery. With seven minutes remaining, both Dan and Robert went out on fresh Bridgestone "option" tires, but only slightly improved on their Friday times.
As we have seen in recent Champ Car World Series races, it is possible to have a podium finish, even when starting from the back half of the field. With clever pit-stop strategy and consistent driving, Robert and Dan are more than capable of scoring a good finish in Sunday's race.
"It's fair to say that this afternoon's qualifying session was not one of the high points of our season to date. Even the best teams can have an off day, and I guess we had one of those today, but this team also has the depth of experience to take today's problems, work on them overnight, and improve the car for tomorrow's race. We're in the heat of the Championship battle and we have to remain focused on getting the best possible result tomorrow, and that's what we'll do. We have to work hard to stay competitive, but that's what it's all about."
'Speedy' Dan Clarke
"We were slow today but with the top five yesterday we know we should be faster. We proved all year that we can race well so expect an exciting race tomorrow.
Paul Stoddart, Team Co-owner
"We simply didn't find the set-up we were looking for this afternoon. Both drivers struggled to find the pace we know they've got. As ever, though, tomorrow is another day, and we'll be looking to pick up the pace in the morning practice session. It is still possible to have a strong race and finish on the podium again, and that's what we'll be aiming to do."
Keith Wiggins, Team Co-owner
"It was a very unsatisfactory session for us today. We'll have to work very hard to improve. I'm still confident, however, that we will have a good race result tomorrow and show once again that we belong at the front."