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Highlights from Las Vegas Minardi unveiling
On Wednesday in Las Vegas the Minardi Team USA Champ Car team unveiled their 2007 livery to the media. Below we provide you with the highlights of what was said as well as some photos from the event:

Robert Doornbos

  • Is still under contract with F1 and will travel back to Europe for testing duties when the Champ Car schedule allows.
  • Says the Panoz is a big improvement over the Lola. He says one of the biggest improvements is the paddle shifter which he says shaves time of the lap times.
  • Biggest difference between his F-1 car and the Champ Car is the weight. He says due to the weight the car does not turn as fast and brake as quickly. He says the power in the Champ Car is just as good.
  • He says he feels very comfortable in the car, but still has to learn all the new tracks. He said when he was in Europe he would use Playstation to learn new tracks but cannot find the Champ Car track so he will have to learn on the go.
  • He is looking forward to going to Zolder and has many friends, family and fans there. He says it will be a big event.

Dan Clarke

  • Has been staying close to the team in the off season and has attended all the test sessions.
  • He feels that he will use this weekend as a test session to feel out the car and will not be that aggressive.
  • He wants to finish more races this year and learned a lot in his rookie season. He will be more patient this year with an eye toward finishing more races.
  • He feels that Robert can use his knowledge to learn the new tracks and Dan will use Roberts’s knowledge of the new car.
  • His car will carry Muermans Group & Jumbo Supermarkets also. His other sponsors will be announced soon. His color scheme will be opposite to Doornbos
  • He is looking forward to challenging new drivers such as Jani and Rahal and feels the quality of the field has improved over last year. His focus however will remain on his driving and learning the new car and bringing home the car more often.

Paul Stoddart & Keith Wiggins

  • Loves the relaxed atmosphere of the Champ Car world and stated that open access events such as today are unheard of in F1.
  • He states that when he was in F1 they would never have a working, racing car at these events due to the secrecy and only present a show car.
  • He says that Robert Doornbos is more relaxed than when he was at F1 and is having more fun.
  • He believes his team can challenge the big boys (Newman/Haas/Lanigan, Forsythe) from day one and has the drivers to do it.
  • He and Keith Wiggins are concerned about the lack of spare parts for the cars and the teams will have to be careful not to tear up the cars during practice and qualifying.
  • They are also not sure how reliable the cars will be during race conditions with temps expected in the mid 90’s on Sunday.

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