MINARDI TEAM USA HEADS TO ROAD AMERICA WITH HIGH HOPES Minardi Team USA is still relishing its victory in San Jose more than a week ago, but team personnel are now also looking forward to tackling another challenging circuit, which is a ...
MINARDI TEAM USA HEADS TO ROAD AMERICA WITH HIGH HOPES
Minardi Team USA is still relishing its victory in San Jose more than a week ago, but team personnel are now also looking forward to tackling another challenging circuit, which is a favorite of drivers Robert Doornbos and 'Speedy' Dan Clarke.
Robert captured his second win of the season at San Jose, and in his rookie season, has been on the podium an impressive six times in nine events. He drove in controlled fashion with a great team strategy to take the win in San Jose, coming from last to first after his car suffered nose and front wing damage early on in the race.
Robert and Minardi Team USA tested at Road America in June, where he got to grips with the permanent, four-mile course very quickly, registering the fourth quickest time of the 11 drivers present. Although Robert won his last race on a street circuit, the Dutchman still expresses a preference for the natural road courses on which he was accustomed to competing in Europe before arriving on the Champ Car scene.
"Road America is a high-speed track, more what I'm used to in Europe. You sort of have to shift your mindset, just as you'd change the setup on your car after racing on a street course. For one thing, there is so much more speed around the turns compared with the street circuits that you have to be much more delicate and precise with the car. We did well at the test earlier this year, and I can't wait to get back there. I think Road America is probably one of my favorite circuits, of the ones I have driven on this season; like Mt-Tremblant. I'm looking forward to another good race, and helping the team fight its way back into the Championship lead."
Road America is also an important place for 'Speedy' Dan, as this is where he captured his pole position last year. Dan showed his speed last weekend at San Jose, qualifying an impressive second on day two, but unfortunately, didn't finish the race. Speedy is optimistic that Road America will be good to him once again, and his clear aim is to improve on last year's sixth-place finish.
'Speedy' Dan Clarke
"Achieving my first Champ Car pole position here last year makes this a special place for me, but it's also very similar to a lot of fast tracks back home in Europe. People always expect the European drivers to be fast here, but no one should be underestimated in Champ Car. Last year, we had a strong race, and so far in 2007, we've threatened to do really well, so I hope this weekend is a success!"
Paul Stoddart, Team Co-owner
"There's no doubt Robert's recent win at San Jose provided a real boost and I know all team members will be heading to Road America with a real desire to keep the momentum going. He tested well on his first acquaintance with the track a couple of months ago, and there is no reason to suppose he won't race strongly there as well. It's also worth bearing in mind that Robert's first Champ Car victory was scored at Mt-Tremblant, which, like Road America, is a permanent circuit. Dan has continued to demonstrate strong pace in recent rounds, but thus far, has not been able to turn it into a solid result, so we'll all be hoping he's able to do just that this coming weekend. As ever, the aim will be to try and get both drivers on the podium."
Keith Wiggins, Team Co-owner
"Elkhart Lake is a great race-track and it is pretty clear that the Europeans like it. However, all the drivers are good there, so our focus will be on strong qualifying and then good results to assist our Championship goals."