CHAMPCAR/CART: Surfers Paradise: Minardi Team USA Saturday notes

Surfers Paradise, Australia (October 20, 2007) - It was not the best result for Minardi Team USA drivers Robert Doornbos and 'Speedy' Dan Clarke in today's second round of qualifications at the Lexmark Indy 300 but both are looking to the race ...

Surfers Paradise, Australia (October 20, 2007) - It was not the best result for Minardi Team USA drivers Robert Doornbos and 'Speedy' Dan Clarke in today's second round of qualifications at the Lexmark Indy 300 but both are looking to the race tomorrow, in which anything can happen. Dan will start the race in tenth position, and Robert in fourteenth.

'Speedy' Dan was indeed living up to the name this morning, as he was near the top of the charts for most of the hour and fifteen minute practice. He ended the session prematurely due to a gearbox gremlin, and ended up eighth fastest. The Englishman and his crew were feeling confident for qualifying this afternoon, looking to improve on yesterday's eleventh place run, but unfortunately didn't get the result they had hoped for. Despite the starting position, Dan is happy with his car, and likes his chance for a strong finish tomorrow. With clever strategy and consistent driving, anything is possible in the race.

'Speedy' Dan Clarke 91.413 seconds

"It's frustrating because we were doing great today. The car had too much grip on the last lap and I made a couple of mistakes. I know we have a good race car, however, and all the guys did a good job in spite of the gear box issues we've been having. We know we'll be okay for tomorrow, and we'll hopefully get a good result out of it."

Dutchman Robert Doornbos has been uncharacteristically slow thus far in the weekend. Coming to grips with a new circuit, and fighting demons with the car set-up, Robert will have to battle his way through the field from the fourteenth spot on the grid in tomorrow's race. If anyone knows how to come from behind and challenge for the win, it is Robert. He came from last to capture the victory in San Jose, and with a little luck he can do it again. This talented driver has been nominated for the 2007 Autosport Award's Rookie of the Year title, which team-mate Dan Clarke was also nominated for last year. This nomination makes it two consecutive years the team has received this honor. Go to www.autosport.com to vote.

Robert Doornbos 91.969 seconds

"This is a great place to race, and a fantastic circuit, but I'm sure it would be even more fun if we were at the front. We've been chasing the car these past two events and we're definitely struggling here. We're usually quick on street courses so I'm a bit confused. It will be a long afternoon tomorrow, but hopefully the end result will be good."

Keith Wiggins, Team Co-Owner

"This track is always challenging as we know. In the early sessions today we were looking strong with Dan, and we worked toward getting both drivers up towards the front for qualifying. It just didn't come together for us today. We need to keep working and focus on the race tomorrow."

Credit: mtusa

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Robert Doornbos , Dan Clarke