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Official: Doornbos to race for Minardi Team USA

NEWS STORY
28/03/2007

Minardi Team USA has officially confirmed its line up for the 2007 Champ Car World Series, with former Minardi and Red Bull F1 driver Robert Doornbos joining Dan Clarke.

In January, Doornbos was named as test driver for the Red Bull F1 team, along with Michael Ammermuller. The Dutchman, though committed to the full Champ Car series, will continue with his F1 testing commitments when possible.

"I'm really pleased to be racing with Paul Stoddart, Keith Wiggins and Minardi Team USA," said Doornbos. "It's obviously a different Minardi team from the one I last drove for, in F1, but there is still the same, close-knit, family feeling about it that I like.

"In addition, the engineering staff is strong, and we've made some solid progress developing the new DP01 Champ Car during the pre-season tests," he continued. " I'm sure that will stand us in good stead once we arrive in Las Vegas, for the first race of the new season. I'm very excited at the prospect of being able to race in a full championship and, hopefully, be in a position to win races and challenge for the title."

"It's excellent news that we have been able to sign the exciting driver pairing of Robert Doornbos and Dan Clarke for its first assault on the Champ Car World Series," said Paul Stoddart. "The team will aim to hit the ground running at next weekend's season-opening race, in Las Vegas, and will be looking to improve on its strong fourth-place finish in last year's final Championship standings."

"I am very happy with the driver line-up we have for 2007," added Keith Wiggins. "As we all know, it is a key ingredient to have good quality drivers in your cars to be successful, especially as equipment continues to be more equal among all the teams. This is not always possible in the motor sport business, but we, as a team, have always strived to get the best package we can for performance, and have not lost sight of this, even through a rough year.

"Therefore, I am especially happy that we have been able to get these two in our team, with the added bonus of a quality reserve driver in Zsolt Baumgartner. Both Robert and Dan have talent, and both have experience of different kinds, which will help the team progress to the next step, following a positive 2006 season."

Clarke drove for the team in 2006, finishing second in rookie-of-the-year standings after claiming one pole position and a third-place finish during the season. Dan joined CTE Racing-HVM from the prestigious British Formula 3 International Series, where he earned seven podiums and one victory in 2005, his rookie season. While competing in Formula Ford in 2004, Clarke won the famous Formula Ford Festival.

"I've been waiting and hoping for this news for a few weeks now," admitted the Englishman, "and I'm relieved it has finally been confirmed. Although I haven't been in the new car yet, I've kept in close contact with the team and attended the tests, while also concentrating on maintaining peak fitness, so I'm as prepared as I can be at this stage without having driven the DP01.

I would like to thank Paul and Keith, for putting their faith in me, and I look forward to building on my debut season and bringing the team strong results."

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