CHAMPCAR/CART: Laguna Seca Player's Racing Friday Notes

Monterey, California, September 10, 1999 - Greg Moore was fast on the track and his Player's CART Team crew worked swiftly and smoothly in making some last-minute changes to his car, enabling the Maple Ridge, B.C. driver to register the ...

Monterey, California, September 10, 1999 - Greg Moore was fast on the track and his Player's CART Team crew worked swiftly and smoothly in making some last-minute changes to his car, enabling the Maple Ridge, B.C. driver to register the fourth-fastest time in provisional qualifying today for Sunday's Grand Prix of Monterey.

Moore's teammate Patrick Carpentier, of Joliette, Que., in his first appearance since his superb second-place finish in Vancouver last weekend, was 15th in the session, where American Bryan Herta duplicated his performance of last year by earning the provisional pole on the 2.238-mile Laguna Seca road course. Herta's time was 1 minute, 8.334 seconds, while Moore put in a fast lap of 1:09.050 and Carpentier clocked 1:09.472.

The session was on the verge of starting inauspiciously for Moore and the Player's team, when a problem arose with the cooling system and the engine had to be changed before Moore could head out onto the track.

"The Player's team did a super job of delivering the car on time," said Moore enthusiastically. "In fact, they had the engine ready only six minutes before the start of the session. Going into the session, the engine hadn't run, so it was really quite a feat to put in the fourth-fastest time. This team can do it fast and it can do right."

Moore, who expects the valuable information the Player's team gathered today will help to make the car even faster in the second qualifying session, said the results in the provisional run were particularly satisfying because the team had not tested at Laguna Seca this season.

Carpentier, who is looking to maintain the momentum of last weekend's podium finish, was among the fastest in the early part of today's session, but had to visit the pits briefly and lost some crucial track time.

"After a series of changes, the car was getting faster and faster," he explained. "But that occurred near the end of the session, and then traffic prevented us from showing what the car can really do."

Racing fans can watch the 83-lap race live on The Sports Network starting at 3 p.m. (ET) on Sunday.

Tagliani is second-fastest in Atlantic provisional qualifying

Player's driver Alexandre Tagliani, of Lachenaie, Que., who is seeking his third win of the KOOL/Toyota Atlantic Championship, had an encouraging provisional qualifying session today, clocking the second-fastest lap in1 minute, 20.554 seconds, less than a tenth of a second behind leader Anthony Lazzaro.

Tagliani's teammate Lee Bentham, of Newmarket, Ont., who is going after his second win this season, turned in the 10th-fastest time (1:22.132), while Andrew Bordin, a Player's-funded driver from Woodbridge, Ont., was third, an eyelash behind Tagliani.

"We're quite happy with the second-place finish," said Tagliani. "The Player's team led most of the session but we got caught up in traffic on the last lap, when Tony put in the fastest time. But overall, we're pleased with the car, and (Tagliani's engineer) Kelly Loewen came up with the right adjustments. With the car we have now, we should be right up there tomorrow."

Traffic congestion also hampered Bentham, who noted that the car showed significant improvement, particularly in the handling, from the morning practice run.

"We backed ourselves up for track space for the last lap but we still got caught up in traffic," he related. "It's unfortunate because the Player's car is much better than the results show."

Following a second early-afternoon qualifying session , the 30-lap race begins at 6:30 p.m. (ET) on Saturday.

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Patrick Carpentier , Bryan Herta , Anthony Lazzaro , Andrew Bordin , Greg Moore , Lee Bentham