NELSON PHILIPPE, ...
NELSON PHILIPPE, #4 CTE RACING -- HVM/FORD-COSWORTH/LOLA
Champ Car's Rising Star: Philippe ended the 2005 season on a high note, on and off the racetrack. He earned his career best finish at Mexico City and later that day, was honored by his peers with the Bosch "Most Improved Driver" award at the series banquet. At just 19 years of age, Philippe is approaching his third Champ Car season.
NELSON PHILIPPE: "I am psyched to finally be racing again. It feels like it has been a very long off season, but in that time I have prepared myself to be the best I can be in 2006. I am very happy to be driving for CTE Racing, my relationship with the team is very good and I can't wait to see how we all work together during the race weekend. I have high expectations not only for this race, but for the entire season. I am excited to meet my new boss Cedric "The Entertainer", that will be cool. We didn't do a lot of testing so it will be interesting to see how we stack up, we'll know Saturday after qualifying. That being said, the testing we did do at Sebring was very successful, so that is encouraging. I love street circuits, I find Long Beach challenging, demanding, very bumpy and fast. It will be interesting to see how turn one has changed and how the new layout will be under braking. I am stoked, that's all I can say!"
Dan Clarke, #14 CTE Racing -HVM/Lola/Ford-Cosworth
Learning the Ropes: Clarke's first visit to the beautiful, sunny California was in 2003 as he traveled with an Australian Pink Floyd tribute band. The band, which sponsored Clarke, had their first official gig at the House of Blues. While Clarke has much experience racing in Europe in British F3, this is only his second event on a street circuit. However, after this weekend he will have two of the most famous street races under his helmet; Long Beach and Macau.
DAN CLARKE: "Wow! I am so excited to be here racing in Champ Car and especially to be racing for CTE Racing- HVM. I've dreamt of racing in the Long Beach Grand Prix all my life. I've been fortunate to race on many of the world's best road courses, but this is only my second race on a street circuit in my career. So I still have some things to learn, but I feel fortunate to have some of the best people in the paddock to learn from and an experienced teammate like Nelson. My goal for the weekend is to keep my head down and focused and, ideally, to leave Long Beach as the top finishing rookie."