Most of the Champ Car paddock is enjoying the long break between the European races and their next outing in Australia – but not so Dan Clarke and the rest of Minardi Team USA.
They’ve been putting in lap after lap of testing at the notoriously draining Sebring International Raceway in Malaysia as their boss, the Aussie Paul Stoddart, lays his plans for a winning homecoming at Surfers Paradise.
By the time the other teams arrive at the circuit for their tests, Minardi plan to have already configured a car that will beat the lot of them come October 21st, and then the season’s final race in Mexico on November 11th.
“The entire team is preparing itself for an all-important final push in order to finish the season on a high note,” the team said in a press statement. “Minardi Team USA personnel are focused on achieving one very specific goal – getting their drivers on the podium again.”
Clarke and Robert Doornbos each drove about 100 laps in sweltering temperatures to test different chassis set-ups, recording similar lap times.
“Considering the heat and the lack of rubber down on the track, I feel we did very well these past two days,” Clarke said.
“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.”
Stoddart’s co-owner Keith Wiggins was satisfied with the test outcome: “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.”