CHAMPCAR/CART: Cleveland: Minardi Team USA Friday report

WORK TO BE DONE Cleveland, OH (June 22, 2007) -- Minardi Team USA drivers 'Speedy' Dan Clarke and Robert Doornbos completed their first qualifying session today for the Grand Prix of Cleveland Presented by LaSalle Bank with some room for ...

WORK TO BE DONE

Cleveland, OH (June 22, 2007) -- Minardi Team USA drivers 'Speedy' Dan Clarke and Robert Doornbos completed their first qualifying session today for the Grand Prix of Cleveland Presented by LaSalle Bank with some room for improvement. Robert ended the session in ninth and 'Speedy' Dan in twelfth.

Robert and Dan both struggled slightly today while attempting to find a suitable chassis balance for the Burke Lakefront Airport course, but both are confident of improving their lap times during tomorrow afternoon's second qualifying session. For Robert, this is his first experience of the wide, sweeping turns for which Cleveland is known, and he spent much of Friday's practice sessions acclimatizing to the slightly bumpy course. Dan produced some very fast sector times during the day, but found he was losing time in one particular area of the track. Minardi Team USA engineering staff will now analyze the data accumulated with a view to helping Robert and Dan improve their on-track performance in tomorrow's final qualifying session

Robert Doornbos 57.748 seconds 131.294 mph

"It was a very hard day, to be honest, but it is a long weekend. Normally, we are quite competitive right from the start, but we struggled today to get a decent flow. The car was a bit nervous, but we'll work hard tonight and hopefully improve tomorrow."

'Speedy' Dan Clarke 57.855 seconds 131.045 mph

There's not a lot to say, really. We tried some things and lost out in one particular corner, which then had a knock-on effect on the overall lap time. It's only Friday, though, so I'm sure we'll improve tomorrow. We know we have a good car and one that can be inside the top 10.

Paul Stoddart, Team co-owner

"It's been an interesting start to this weekend's Grand Prix of Cleveland. Both drivers gave their all today, as usual, but generally struggled a little to find their ideal set-ups. Robert drove the wheels off his car to set his time, while Dan is in a very tight group time-wise, and lost out as he struggled with balance issues. With a bit of work tonight, though, I'm sure we'll see an improvement tomorrow."

Keith Wiggins, Team co-owner

"Clearly, we are not where we would like to be. We have a lot of work to do, but as always, I am confident that we will move up significantly tomorrow. Sometimes it just takes a little longer to get it together."

-credit: mtusa

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Paul Stoddart , Robert Doornbos , Daniel Clarke