Nelson Philippe Earns His First Podium Finish with A Dominant Drive at the Milwaukee Mile, Rookie Dan Clarke Finishes Eighth In Oval Debut West Allis, WI (June 4, 2006) Frenchman, Nelson Philippe brought home his first podium third place...
Nelson Philippe Earns His First Podium Finish with A Dominant Drive at the Milwaukee Mile, Rookie Dan Clarke Finishes Eighth In Oval Debut
West Allis, WI (June 4, 2006) Frenchman, Nelson Philippe brought home his first podium third place finish for CTE Racing-HVM at The Milwaukee Mile this afternoon. Teammate Dan Clarke also earned his best top Champ Car finish, eighth, during today's Time Warner Cable Road Runner 225.
Nelson Philippe (#4 CTE Racing-HVM/Ford-Cosworth/Lola), who started ninth on the grid, charged through the crowded field bringing home his career best finish in his third season in the Champ Car World Series. The crowd roared as Philippe challenged two-time Champ Car Champion Sebastian Bourdais and Justin Wilson., especially during his relentless battle for second place with Wilson. Philippe was the youngest driver to start a Champ Car race in 2004 and still at only 19 years of age, proves that he has the competition and drive to see more podium finishes throughout the season.
Rookie Dan Clarke had a fantastic run at The Mile. The rookie enjoyed an incident free debut on the oval en route to his impressive eighth place finish, his best Champ Car finish.
Nelson Philippe, #4 CTE Racing HVM/Ford-Cosworth/Lola
"The season ended well for me last year and when I was able to join CTE Racing I was thrilled because I felt very motivated and confident going into the 2006 season. My relationship with the team blossomed immediately and each time we roll the car out, I know I have the tools to do a great job. We gained a lot of momentum with our fourth place result in Houston and I have been looking to this race because historically the team has an exceptional car at The Mile. This year was no different, my engineer Will (Phillips) presented me with the best oval car I have ever had. The accident on Friday set us back a bit, as we had to go to our spare car. The crew did a great job as always and we rebounded well. I am just so happy to have this podium, I knew it was coming and I couldn't be happier. We gave the fans a great performance today, especially during my battles with Sebastian and Justin, I had a blast."
Dan Clarke, #14 CTE Racing HVM/Ford-Cosworth/Lola
"I am disappointed that I was caught up by the pack by closing in on the back marker at the beginning of the race, and had the air taken away from me. It made the race really hard because when you get the air taken away from you like that, and go into a spin, it really destroys your confidence. What you need here is confidence to race so close to the other cars because the turns aren't banked and the track is so short that you're always going to be around a car. As soon as you get five car lengths behind another car, you start feeling the air going away and it can really screw you up. It took me a while to get my confidence back up. Luckily we had a few yellows and they reorganized the pack and I was two laps down at that point, but was able to catch some other cars and another rookie was on the same lap as me. With 12 laps to go I used most of my push-to-pass, and I managed to use my last four seconds of extra throttle to pass Zwolsman and finish eighth and second best rookie. I am happy with my results, as the weekend could have gone so much worse. An oval is new to me and it is very hard to come here and go straight into a race like this with so many other experienced drivers. I am also happy for Nelson having his career best here and finishing third."
Keith Wiggins, CTE Racing HVM Co-Owner
"I am happy with Nelson. He was confident and had a good car. Nelson's confidence was back up after Saturday. I knew once he was back in the car for a period that he would get his confidence back so we made up for Friday and Saturday. He was quick and at the end, I was pretty confident that we could have gotten second, but third is good to come away from here. I think Dan learned at huge amount of skill on an oval and has come a lot wiser. At the end on his final run, he was starting to put in good times, so I am happy for Dan as well. He now has one to put under his belt!"
CTE-HVM's next stop on the Champ Car World Series circuit calendar is Portland, OR, for Father's Day weekend (Jun 16-18) on the 1.9-mile permanent road course at the Portland International Speedway. Catch all the excitement at the Pacific Northwest live on CBS at 3:30p.m ET.