CLOSE, BUT NO DICE--MINARDI TEAM USA QUALIFYING ...
CLOSE, BUT NO DICE--MINARDI TEAM USA QUALIFYING #1 REPORT
Mont-Tremblant, Quebec -- Minardi Team USA drivers Robert Doornbos and 'Speedy' Dan Clarke had high hopes for their first qualifying session today at the beautiful course at Mont-Tremblant, but both drivers felt less than satisfied with their runs. Despite this, both drivers are still in the top ten. Robert ended the day in fifth, missing the pole by eight-hundredths-of-a-second and 'Speedy' Dan finds himself tenth.
Robert was fast all day, and he carried the momentum that he and his crew found when they tested here in May into today's qualification. He was on his last run of the session, when he was blocked by another competitor on his final lap. This cost him the pole position. As always with Robert, he goes into tomorrow with confidence in himself and his team. It's another day, and he will try again.
"I don't think we deserve to be in fifth place today. We were very competitive and the pole was in our reach, but I was blocked on my last lap, and that was that. We had a fuel issue early on, which cost us some track time, but the crew did a great job getting the issue resolved and we didn't lose out too much. We should be in good shape tomorrow and we'll give it another shot at the pole."
'Speedy' Dan was having a bit of difficulty finding a good set-up with his car today. He worked with his engineering staff, trying to find a balance with the car that was also fast, but ran out of time in today's session. Dan was also quick here when the team tested in May and both he and the engineers will crunch some numbers tonight and have another go at it tomorrow.
'Speedy' Dan Clarke
"It's difficult to know what to say. We're somewhat confused by the problems we've been experiencing here today, but we've just been plugging away at improving the car as much as we can. It's on the limit as far as the current set-up is concerned, so we'll take the car apart this evening and try to work out how to make it quicker. We know from the test here that we can go a lot faster, so that's the goal for tomorrow."
Keith Wiggins, Team Co-Owner
"We felt we had a good shot at the pole today. It's a shame that Robert was blocked on the last run by another driver. Clearly both of our drivers have the speed, but didn't have the chance to show their full potential. I fully expect Dan to move up tomorrow, and I anticipate both drivers to secure solid starting positions for the race."