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Champ Car World Series: Belgian Champ Car Grand Prix

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Open Wheel Racing Topics:  Belgian Champ Car Grand Prix

Champ Car World Series: Belgian Champ Car Grand Prix

Robert Doornbos
Will Power
August 25, 2007


HEUSDEN-ZOLDER, BELGIUM

THE MODERATOR: We'll start with our third place qualifier Robert Doornbos. After not being able to turn a lap yesterday due to an engine failure, it must feel good to go out there and qualify third.
ROBERT DOORNBOS: Yeah, thank you all for coming. I think Sebastien will start from back in the grid now because I'm there alone (laughter). Yeah, it's great obviously to be here.
Yesterday I was confident that we had a good car. In both practice sessions we were third and last practice we were fastest, so just waiting for qualifying, and then we had an unfortunate engine blowup. So then you just have to stay professional and focus on the next day.
And that went really well. We worked this morning, changed some bits. It's an amazing circuit to drive actually with these Champ Cars. Turn 1 and 2, they just get faster and faster and jumping the curbs a bit. Feeling comfortable around the circuit, and then the afternoon qualifying ran red tires for the first time, felt that the car was quick, and yeah, I produced good lap time, good enough for second today, and unfortunately because yesterday -- thanks for joining, Will.
Yeah, we have to start third now, but still, yeah, I'm very happy that the fans all came out here, the promoter, it's always good to have a Dutch guy up front for the races. Maybe it's because of my special boots.
I hope I have a better start or better finish to the race than last week when I also started third; it was basically the same grid. So yeah, I want to thank the team and the fans for coming out. I'm looking forward to a good race.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you, Robert. Starting second based on his qualifying time from yesterday is Will Power. Will, the start up front here has got to mean a lot to you.
WILL POWER: Yeah, that's exactly how we thought it would play out. We used reds yesterday so it could guarantee us a front row, and then we decided we're not using reds today, we're going to save a new set for the race, and I think the time we did on blacks was pretty good, running three tenths off, so I'm sure we wouldn't have had a problem on reds.
But we're thinking of tomorrow. We need to win a race. Yeah, played out just the way we wanted, no problem.
THE MODERATOR: And now we'll open it up to questions from the media.

Q. When you're going over the crest at over 150, can you actually feel the car (inaudible)?
WILL POWER: Yeah, it gets a little light. It definitely gets a little light. But it's only in the corner so it's not an issue -- if you had to avoid someone at the right moment, yeah, it could be pretty bad. You just don't even want to stop -- just as they go over the hill because in the World Series someone did that and someone's leg was broken.
ROBERT DOORNBOS: I wasn't sure if you were talking about the chicane or -- because in the chicane taking the curve, you also see -- the crest is fine.

Q. What speed are you hitting at the end of the straights in miles per hour?
WILL POWER: 170, 180 (laughter).

Q. After the problems yesterday, are you quite confident that you can go back with the Cup or does that dampen your expectations?
ROBERT DOORNBOS: The thing is in the past I would have been really upset and the weekend would have been a disaster already. You're more professional, have more experience, and have the confidence that you're good enough and the team is good enough. Yeah, if it would have been last year qualifying, I would think, okay, this is a disaster. But I knew the car was reasonably good. It can always get better, but yeah, we proved it today, so I feel quite comfortable.

Q. Can both of you talk about how the track is today versus yesterday because it seems like everyone picked up a lot more speed.
WILL POWER: Yeah, I think it's a lot quicker because there's so much more rubber down, plus you get yourself a little bit better, and everyone used reds, as well, except us. So we're obviously a lot better than everyone else, right (laughter)?
ROBERT DOORNBOS: The asphalt is actually really good. They did a good job with that because the rubber gets in really quick and the grip just gets better and better.

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