Thanks to CART Online

CART Online (October 30) -- The Team Alumax Reynard Mercedes-Benz will have a new driver for the 1998 CART season after the team announced today that Rookie of the Year Patrick Carpentier has been released from his contract to pursue a ride with another CART team.

The announcement was made this morning by Tony Bettenhausen, owner of Bettenhausen Motorsports which campaigned the Team Alumax entry driven by Carpentier in 1997.

"We had an exciting season with Patrick," Bettenhausen said. "But I think everyone is in agreement that it (the season) did not come up to our expectations or Patrickdown and discussed whether or not a change might be the best thing for everyone concerned.

"We came to the conclusion that releasing Patrick would be in order and he was in agreement. This is an amicable parting. We appreciate the effort he gave us in 1997 both on and off the track. We are proud that he won the Rookie of the Year Although neither Team Alumax nor Carpentier have announced plans for 1998, unofficial reports in the paddock in the second half of this past PPG Cup season had the talented Canadian linked to a second Player's/Forsythe Racing entry alongside the team's primary driver, Greg Moore. Player's/Forsythe, however, has made no announcements about a second race car for next season.

"I want to thank Tony and all of the people at Bettenhausen Motorsports and Alumax who made my first season in CART possible," said Carpentier. "It was an honor to be able to win the Rookie of the Year "They are a terrific team and I wish them well in the future."

Carpentier, who won the Player His best result came in the Motorola 300 near St. Louis, where he finished a close second to fellow Canadian Paul Tracy after leading 25 laps. He scored points-paying finishes in four other races and led 13 laps in the U.S. 500 before retiring with mechanical problems. He also qualified in the top 10 on four occasions, including Nazareth, where he started third to equal a team record for best starting position. Carpentier finished 17th in the PPG Cup standings with 27 points, enabling him to win the aforementioned Rookie of the Year award.