CTE Racing HVM Experiences Highs and Lows at Road America Road America, WI - Sunday's 51-lap race featured mixed emotions for the CTE Racing HVM team as the team experienced the highs and lows of Racing at Road America. Dan Clarke and Nelson ...
CTE Racing HVM Experiences Highs and Lows at Road America
Road America, WI - Sunday's 51-lap race featured mixed emotions for the CTE Racing HVM team as the team experienced the highs and lows of Racing at Road America. Dan Clarke and Nelson Philippe finished the Champ Car Grand Prix sixth and 14th despite leading the pack.
Rookie Dan Clarke had the bird's eye view Sunday when he started the Champ Car Grand Prix at Road America after earning the first pole position of his Champ Car career. It was a perfect start to the weekend, Clarke mastered the wet track on slick tires Friday, securing the provisional pole position, winning a championship point, which pushed him in to the top-ten in the championship standings and secured a front row start. Saturday, the weather played into his hands as the skies opened as final qualifying began an his Friday time held by six seconds, awarding Clarke his first pole position.
Clarke led the field to a perfect start when he took the green flag on Sunday. He battled with Sebastien Bourdais and Charles Zwolsman, exchanging the top-three positions lap after lap. The #14 crew gave Clarke great stops, assisted by guest pit crewmember Curt Dousset of the Discovery Channel. Clarke remained in top ten throughout the race and finished sixth, securing his position in the top ten in the championship standings, he gained 13 points on Rookie of the Year leader Will Power, Clarke now sits just seven points out of the lead.
Nelson Philippe drove a fantastic race and his #4 crew had a podium worthy strategy. Philippe charged hard to finish in the top five and looked set for second. The #4 crew gave him two perfect stops, but the third stop was unlucky. He came in to the pits second but just after exiting the pits, Philippe's left rear tire came loose and he limbed through the 4-mile circuit with just three tires. Philippe re-entered the race in 16th position and with the race nearly finished, there was not enough time to work his way through the field for a second time, he finished 14th.
Dan Clarke: "It was a tough, long race and another new experience for me, leading the parade lap and making sure I got the start right, which thankfully I did for the first one. We had a good car today and were able to run comfortably up the front, with second fastest lap by the end of the first stint, but it was yellow flags that played a part in the outcome for us today, we deserved a podium but didn't make it. But we did get more points than our rookie of the year rival, so we've narrowed the gap in that chase."
Nelson Philippe: "It's unfortunate what happened, we had a strategy that played in our hands today but it didn't work out, and that's the way it goes sometimes in racing. But, we're prepared to for Australia and we won't be satisfied with anything less than a top-five."
-credit: cte racing hvm