Dan Clarke ready to roll the dice in Vegas Champ Car race

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  Dan Clarke ready to roll the dice in Vegas Champ Car race

Dan Clarke ready to roll the dice in Vegas Champ Car race

08.04.2007: Dan Clarke ready to roll the dice in Vegas Champ Car race

Dan Clarke, Champ Car returnee, driving with Minardi Team USA, continued to prepare for tomorrow’s Las Vegas Grand Prix, the first round of the 2007 Champ Car World Series. Morning practice gave the young driver more experience of the new Panoz DP01 Champ Car, with Clarke having only had his first chance to drive the racer yesterday. With less than two hours of running he has already shown his determination and expertise in this Series.

In morning practice the session was littered with red flag stoppages which interrupted runs and made it difficult for drivers to achieve a rhythm. Despite this, Clarke improved on each of his runs, finally finishing 12th fastest by the end of practice.

Basking in temperatures of 30°C for the afternoon’s final practice and qualifying, and with track temperatures hitting 38°C, Clarke was aiming to turn up the heat in his preparations for tomorrow’s race. With 15 laps available, Clarke waited until the first wave of cars had taken to the track before starting his first run with a plan of seven laps, to bring the tyres up to temperature in the first few then put the power down.

He had posted 14th quickest lap at this stage, but had to wait for his second run after a red flag stoppage period limited the remaining track time. With only eight minutes of the session of green flag running the field all took to the track to improve on their provisional grid positions. The Brit was among them and after a busy few laps had put in a time that will give him 12th place on the grid for the opening round of this year’s Champ Car World Series.

Clarke said after final qualifying, “”Last season I had my first third placed podium finish from a 13th place start, so I’m going for the double and aiming to finish on the podium again 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. The start could be a dice roll, 17 cars powering into a fast first corner, it’s going to be fast and furious racing.”

The Las Vegas Grand Prix takes place tomorrow, 8 April with the field of 17 cars expected to create a huge stir in the self-proclaimed gambling capital of the world.. Race day starts with a half hour morning warm up, the final opportunity for teams to fine tune the cars for the long, hard race.

The two hour spectacle will provide spectator and television viewers with close wheel-to-wheel racing and excitement from start to finish. The race starts at 1.00pm local time, 9.00pm in the UK, and can be seen live on Eurosport in Europe.

 

– Alison Hill-
photos copyright CCWS – ChampCar World Series

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08.04.2007 / MaP

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