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minardi usa drivers

Stoddart wants Verstappen, Doornbos

By David Malsher Monday, December 18th 2006, 17:26 GMT

Paul Stoddart has admitted that there could be major Dutch interest in Minardi Team USA in 2007, and that it may involve Jos Verstappen becoming one of their drivers.

Stoddart, together with Keith Wiggins and Champ Car President Steve Johnson, held a press conference today following the announcement that the Australian has bought a controlling interest in CTE Racing-HVM.

Stoddart confirmed that Dutch businessman Harry Muermans, who backed Jan Heylen at Dale Coyne Racing this season and Stoddart's Minardi team in Formula One, will also have an association with the team.

Stoddart declared: "Harry Muermans is not just a business partner but also a friend of mine, and he will have some involvement in the team. The exact nature of this has not yet been finalised.

"Regarding drivers, Jos [Verstappen] and I go back a long way, and I think he'd be an asset to the team and to the series. We're also talking to Robert Doornbos, who I think is a very talented driver."

To a Dutch journalist, Stoddart remarked: "Expect an exciting announcement in the New Year."

Where this leaves the team's 2006 drivers Nelson Philippe and Dan Clarke is unclear. Stoddart stated today that "Running four cars is probably a bit too much for 2007; three is the aim.

"We are currently seriously talking to four drivers including Nelson and Dan. There are also others beyond that, with whom we're at an earlier stage of negotiations."

Stoddart added that Katherine Legge could be part of the team's new line-up, and that nothing will be confirmed before the new year.

Both he and Wiggins stated their desire to have the drivers finalised by the time of the first test with the new Panoz DP01 on January 23rd


  • come back kid jos? again?
  • They should keep at least one of the existing guys, Philippe has gone from wanker to winner and they might be hard pressed to keep him. Clarke is fast, young and dumb. That can be reined in but the natural speed can't be taught and with a year and track knowledge he should progress nicely.

    Add Jos or Doornbos to those 2 and I think the team will win again next year.
  • Looking at that Q&A fluff, the one thing that stands out is the chance to rumour that Ron Dennis will buy a Champ Car team.
  • From autosport:
    Q: And your thoughts on another Dutchman, Robert Doornbos?

    Stoddart: "Robert, another ex-Minardi driver, a driver I've worked with and a driver I thought did incredibly well in the second half of '05, and obviously had another chance to do the last three races of the Formula One 2006 season.

    "Again, Robert is someone we are talking to. I think as you guys - particularly the Holland media -know, I myself personally and indeed through Minardi have had a tremendous relationship with Holland over the years and long may it continue. So expect some exciting announcements in the new year."
    According to Harry Muermans Doornbos is not talking with Stoddart. They continue to concentrate on Formula1.

    [bewerken aan 20-12-0606 door vuurmuur]
  • The balmy army do add some colour to these events.

    So long as they don't clog up the grid!

    Heard about a few drivers slipping off the throttle or brake at the wrong moment. Were they wearing clogs?

    Q: how does a dutchie change gear?

    A: swaps clogs!

  • Grandprix.com is again suggesting that Doornbos might drive for STR in F1!!!
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