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Doornbos turning heads in star-studded rookie class

Graham Rahal has the pedigree. Simon Pagenaud has the résumé. Robert Doornbos? The European F1 castoff has the top rookie ranking after two podium finishes in three events, writes John Oreovicz.

Updated: April 25, 2007, 5:45 PM ET
By John Oreovicz | Special to ESPN.com

Robert Doornbos kind of got lost in the shuffle of an unusually strong group of Champ Car World Series rookies. After all, Graham Rahal is Champ Car royalty, as the son of a three-time series champion. Simon Pagenaud narrowly beat Rahal to the 2006 Atlantic Championship -- and the $2 million prize that got him into Champ Cars.

And Neel Jani lit up the timing screens in preseason testing.

So, a month ago, Doornbos looked like nothing more than another European Formula One castoff ...

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