CHAMPCAR/CART: Road America: Minardi Team USA Saturday notes

DOORNBOS SECOND QUICKEST IN QUALIFYING 2 WHILE 'DARK HORSE' CLARKE ENDS UP EIGHTH Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin (August 11, 2007) -- Minardi Team USA drivers Robert Doornbos and 'Speedy' Dan Clarke completed their second qualification for the Champ...

DOORNBOS SECOND QUICKEST IN QUALIFYING 2 WHILE 'DARK HORSE' CLARKE ENDS UP EIGHTH

Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin (August 11, 2007) -- Minardi Team USA drivers Robert Doornbos and 'Speedy' Dan Clarke completed their second qualification for the Champ Car Generac Grand Prix at Road America today. An unpredictable session left the Dutchman in third place for tomorrow's race while Briton 'Speedy' will start eighth.

Robert Doornbos picked up half a second from yesterday's time, and while most teams were switching to the softer red Bridgestone "Option" tires, something told Robert to stick with blacks. This turned out to be the right decision. There was an issue with the timing beacon, so Robert relied on the engineers to relay his lap times to him. As always, his engineers and crew provided the necessary information for Robert to improve on his time from yesterday.

Robert Doornbos 143.134 seconds 141.300 mph

"I sort of got a little voice in my head that said, No, no, no, I need the blacks. I changed the tires because the reds yesterday were a bit of a struggle for me. I had no idea what lap times I was doing. I had to communicate with the team. But on the main straight here with the engine revs quite high, they were shouting the lap time, and it was very hard to understand. We made it though, and I have to say it was a good team effort. I think we did quite a good job to be where we are now, and hopefully we can continue tomorrow."

For 'Speedy' Dan, the tires caught him off guard as well. All was looking good today, as he was quick in both practices, and the team thought they had a solid chance at a front row position. But, as Robert and many others soon found out, it didn't appear that the red "Option" Bridgestones were the way to go this afternoon. Dan struggled to find grip in the much warmer conditions compared to yesterday's qualifying session. He will start eighth for the race tomorrow, and this 'dark horse' will be sporting a flat black helmet to reiterate his position that he is not to be underestimated.

'Speedy' Dan Clarke 143.439 seconds 140.883 mph

"We just couldn't get the red tires to work for us today. I couldn't find the speed that we had in practice, but fortunately yesterday's time held up for seventh. It's not the optimal starting position, but we've had worse, and obviously Robert has shown that you can come from the back to win races, and I'm looking forward to tomorrow."

Keith Wiggins, Team Co-Owner

"I think at the end of the day, although we expected a bit more from both cars, we aren't in a bad position to start the race tomorrow. As we all know, you can win a race from a lot further back. I'm happy that we have two fast cars and with good strategies we can be confident for tomorrow."

-credit: mtusa

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Robert Doornbos , Daniel Clarke