IN SEARCH OF A CLEAR LAP San Jose, CA (July 27, 2007) -- Their grid positions don't necessarily show it, but Minardi Team USA drivers Robert Doornbos and 'Speedy' Dan Clarke have re-bounded from last weekend's race in Edmonton. Robert's ...
IN SEARCH OF A CLEAR LAP
San Jose, CA (July 27, 2007) -- Their grid positions don't necessarily show it, but Minardi Team USA drivers Robert Doornbos and 'Speedy' Dan Clarke have re-bounded from last weekend's race in Edmonton. Robert's provisional starting position after the first round of qualifying at the San Jose Grand Prix is sixth, while 'Speedy' Dan is tenth.
Robert quickly got to grips with another circuit that is new to him, but also soon realized that one of the challenges at San Jose is avoiding traffic and finding clear track space on the short, 1.4-mile street course. Currently lying second in the Champ Car World Series standings, the young Dutchman is fully aware that the San Jose race is critical to his title challenge. He is four-tenths of a second off today's provisional pole time, set by current Championship leader, Sebastien Bourdais, and less than one-tenth away from Will Power, the two men who are his main rivals in this season's very close title fight.
"I'm happy to be in sunny California. This track is like a mini-Monaco to me -- it's really fun to drive. The team has done a fantastic job of bouncing back from our weekend in Edmonton, and we're quite comfortable with things today. We're getting faster and faster every time on track, and we would have been on the front row this afternoon if it hadn't been for the traffic, which I'm sure is an issue for everyone. We'll have another chance tomorrow."
'Speedy' Dan had a good session, showing some very strong split times, but had to settle for tenth today. He is just one-tenth away from teammate, Doornbos, in one of the most closely grouped fields seen so far this season. Dan's final lap would have been good enough for a top-five position, but a slight error in the last turn cost him a small amount of time. The young Briton always improves steadily with every session on track, however, and no doubt that will be the case in San Jose.
'Speedy' Dan Clarke
"Not a bad start to the weekend, but we still haven't got our handling sorted out. We made a lot of changes today, and we're getting closer. We'll go back and look at the data, and work out what direction to take. I'm confident we'll improve tomorrow, traffic allowing."
Keith Wiggins, Team Co-owner
"We're very close with both drivers in terms of lap times, but it's tough to get a clear lap here. I'm happy we're on the pace, and it will just be a question of having a good run tomorrow. That's what we're aiming for."
Paul Stoddart, Team Co-owner
"It's been a positive start to the weekend. If not for the traffic, which is always going to be an issue here, both drivers would have finished higher in the qualifying order this afternoon. That said, I think we're well on the way to front-running grid positions for Sunday's race."