Doornbos sparkles in Las Vegas

Doornbos sparkles in Las Vegas

08.04.2007: Doornbos sparkles in Las Vegas

Minardi Team USA made an excellent start to its Champ Car World Series campaign today, Robert Doornbos putting together a sensational lap in the last 90 seconds of the final qualifying session for tomorrow’s Las Vegas Grand Prix.

His lap of 1 min 18.515 secs was the second fastest of the weekend so far, and as a result, he will start the race from third place on the grid, Paul Tracy’s time from the first qualifying session assuring him of a front-row starting position.

Minardi team mate, Dan Clarke, continued to get to grips with the new DP01 Champ Car chassis, and was clearly making substantial progress each time he was on track. He starts Sunday’s race from 12th place on the grid, and has high hopes for a top-10 finish.


Robert Doornbos (No 14) 3rd 1 min 18.515/111.877 mph

"The qualifying system is very exciting here. I am used to single-lap qualifying, but here you can really push the limit, and you must really have confidence. We work very well as a team, and I have a great relationship with my engineer, Mike Cannon, and the rest of the crew.

We started off gradually this morning, and then pushed hard this afternoon. It is a great start for the whole team, and I am very proud that all of my Dutch sponsors are here. Tomorrow will be the first rolling start of my entire racing career, and I am definitely looking forward to going racing."


Dan Clarke (No 4) 12th 1 min 19.814/110.056 mph

"Last season I had my first third-place podium finish from a 13th place start, so I’m going for the double and aiming to finish on the podium again tomorrow from my 12th place grid slot. As I’ve already proved, it’s certainly possible, so although I’d prefer to start higher up the grid and it’s not going to be easy, it’s not impossible.

This year’s field is very tough, so I reckon it’ll be very exciting racing, and I know we have the pace for the race, so we’ll be expecting to battle hard and bring home points from Vegas."

Paul Stoddart, Team Co-owner

"What a fantastic start to the 2007 season for Minardi Team USA. For Robert to have set the second fastest lap time of the weekend so far in his debut performance, at Las Vegas, is a credit not only to him, but also to the whole team, and we fully intend to capitalize on this strong performance.

As for Dan, I really feel for him, because as most people will by now be aware, he didn’t have one mile of pre-season testing in the new Champ Car, and despite running competitively in the previous sessions this weekend, his lack of time in the car today, together with a number of red flags, cost him dearly.

Tomorrow is another day, however, and we don’t call him ‘Speedy Dan’ for nothing. I’m sure it is going to be exciting to watch him charging through the field in tomorrow’s race. Once again, well done to the entire team for a superb performance."


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08.04.2007 / MaP

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