CHAMPCAR/CART: Lausitz: Team Players qualifying report

Lausitz, Germany, May 10, 2003 Qualifying for Sunday's German 500 in the Champ Car World Series turned out to be a drag or more precisely produced too much drag for Team Player's drivers Paul Tracy and Patrick Carpentier on Saturday. Hampered...

Lausitz, Germany, May 10, 2003 Qualifying for Sunday's German 500 in the Champ Car World Series turned out to be a drag or more precisely produced too much drag for Team Player's drivers Paul Tracy and Patrick Carpentier on Saturday. Hampered by an aerodynamics configuration that produced an excess of downforce and consequently too much drag, the Team Player's drivers qualified 15th and 16th respectively for the 154-lap race on the 2.023-mile EuroSpeedway.

"Paul and I will work together as a team to try to work our way up the field during the race," said Carpentier. "Combining our efforts is the best way for us to be competitive when you're starting in the back part of the grid."

The front row of that grid belongs to teammates Sebastien Bourdais, the French rookie who won in Brands Hatch, England, last Monday, and Brazil's Bruno Junqueira, Tracy's closest pursuer in the drivers' standings, which Tracy currently leads by 11 points. Canadian Alex Tagliani has the ninth spot on the grid.

Because of the short turnaround time between races in England and Germany, Champ Car regulations required teams to run with the same aerodynamics package on the Brands Hatch road course and the superspeedway in Lausitz.

"Team Player's opted for the bigger wings for this two-week European swing, but on this track it turns out that it produces too much drag with the downforce that we're running, and that's what caused our slower times," explained Carpentier. "We tested this aerodynamics package at Homestead (Florida) prior to this trip, but the temperature when we tested was hotter than it was here today, and that produced more downforce. Now we have too much drag in traffic, and it makes the car like a parachute."

Tracy said he did not expect the aerodynamics to be as big a factor in the race as it was during Saturday's qualifying session, but as he was running his qualifying laps he realized that it was going to be a tough day.

"I was running flat out all the way around and I didn't even have to steer," he noted. "I gave it everything I had, but the car just wasn't responding. At one point, I asked the team if we could take the seat out of the car for qualifying so that I could sit lower in the car to improve the aerodynamics, but they told me it was illegal."

Despite the disappointing session, Tracy remained upbeat about Team Player's race-day chances. "It's like every race that we're in anything can happen and usually does. We'll just do the best we can and work on finishing in the top five."

Racing fans can follow Team Player's progress at the German 500 by logging on to the team's website at www.teamplayers.ca. They can also watch a tape delay of the race on the The Sports Network at 3:30 p.m. (ET) on Sunday.

-tp-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Bruno Junqueira , Patrick Carpentier , Alex Tagliani , Paul Tracy , Sébastien Bourdais