Minardi team completes 2-day Sebring test Minardi Team USA drivers Robert Doornbos and ‘Speedy’ Dan Clarke wrapped up their second day of testing at Sebring International Raceway today, completing the squad’s final test of the 2007 season.
While most of the other Champ Car teams are opting to visit Sebring later in the month, taking some time off after the two European races, Minardi Team USA isn’t resting. With only the Australian and Mexican rounds remaining, the entire team is preparing itself for an all-important final push in order to finish the season on a high note.
Robert and Dan were the only drivers on track Thursday and Friday, and each completed approximately 100 laps. The purpose of the test was to experiment with various chassis set-ups and evaluate the car’s behavior on a bumpy circuit that provides conditions similar to those encountered at many of the street courses on which the Champ Cars compete. Heading to Surfers Paradise, in team owner Paul Stoddart’s home country of Australia, Minardi Team USA personnel will be focused on achieving one very specific goal - getting their drivers on the podium again.
Both drivers turned similar lap times at the famous, central Florida, track, in sweltering conditions (the air temperature both days reached 103 deg F) and were very much up to speed. With no other cars against which to compare times, the focus has been on the individual performances of the drivers and on fine-tuning the handling of the DP01 chassis. Team owner, Keith Wiggins, is satisfied with what has been accomplished.
Keith Wiggins, Team Co-owner “After two days of evaluation work, we are getting close to being ready for Surfers Paradise and Mexico. As this is the last test of the season, we’ve gone through a number of different things and tried various set-ups on both cars. We did what we needed to do here, and I’m confident our hard work will pay off later this season.”
‘Speedy’ Dan Clarke “Considering the heat and the lack of rubber down on the track, I feel we did very well these past two days. The engineers went through a lot of different changes and since we were the only cars out there, we had plenty of room and track time to get done what we wanted. I’m happy with how things went and I think we should be good for Surfers.”
Robert Doornbos “The past couple of days here at Sebring were very productive for us and the whole team. It gave me an opportunity to really see how my hot-weather training has paid off since it was so stifling and humid here. I think we have improved our street course set-up significantly by testing here and I’m really looking forward to the race in Australia. It’s been very busy since the last race in Assen, but hopefully it will all be worth it when we arrive ‘down under.’”
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