Britain’s Champ Car drivers will be heading for Elkhart Lake this Sunday hoping for better luck than they experienced at San Jose in the last race.
For Minardi USA’s “Speedy” Dan Clarke the trip to Road America is a return to the scene of his first Champ Car pole position – but it’s also an opportunity to make amends for blunders in the previous race that wrecked the event for fellow Brits Justin Wilson and Katherine Legge.
Wilson started San Jose on pole but soon found himself in the pits after being hit by Clarke. By the time he emerged he had lost so many laps on the leaders that he could finish no better then 13th. Legge hit the wall early in the race when a tyre failed after it had been cut by an impact with Clarke.
Wilson will drive with a ‘stay back’ sticker on his rear wing this weekend in recognition of his incident, but for Legge the focus is on her first return to Elkhart Lake following her horrific crash last year.
Wilson is a fan of the track and is hoping for at least a podium: “It’s one of the best road courses we race on in this series. It has fast corners, long straights that are good for passing and it’s challenging because it’s the longest course that we run on.
“We’ve demonstrated in the last three events that we have a car that belongs on the front row and on the podium. We had a decent test in June at Road America, so we know exactly what the new Champ Car DP01 wants on this particular track.”
Clarke, too, is hoping for the best: “Achieving my first Champ Car pole position here last year makes this a special place for me, but it’s also very similar to a lot of fast tracks back home in Europe.
“Last year, we had a strong race, and so far in 2007, we’ve threatened to do really well, so I hope this weekend is a success.”
His boss Paul Stoddard, whose Minardi F1 team gave Wilson his first Formula One race drives and Legge her first F1 test drive, added: “Dan has continued to demonstrate strong pace in recent rounds but, thus far, has not been able to turn it into a solid result, so we’ll all be hoping he’s able to do just that this coming weekend.”
Pacific Coast Motorsports’ Ryan Dalziel missed the San Jose Grand Prix with a broken collarbone suffered during a training cycle ride. He will definitely be back for the European races but was waiting for medical clearance to find out whether he could race at Road America.