Long Beach, California, April 8, 2001 The Grand Prix of Long Beach was not kind to Team Player's today as Patrick Carpentier sustained a bone-chip fracture of the left wrist following an incident on lap 54 and Alex Tagliani's car was struck from...
Long Beach, California, April 8, 2001 The Grand Prix of Long Beach was not kind to Team Player's today as Patrick Carpentier sustained a bone-chip fracture of the left wrist following an incident on lap 54 and Alex Tagliani's car was struck from behind on the opening lap.
Tagliani was a lap down following the contact and despite a determined effort to overcome the adversity, he finished 18th in this second race of the FedEx CART Championship season through the streets of Long Beach. The race produced an all-Brazilian podium as Helio Castroneves earned his fourth career win, while Cristiano da Matta and Gil de Ferran were second and third respectively.
Carpentier, who flew to Indianapolis immediately after the race, will be examined on Monday by Dr. Terry Trammell, Chief Orthopedic Consultant for CART. Carpentier broke his left wrist in an off-track accident last year, causing him to miss three races early in the season. The injury he incurred today, however, is not to the same bone and is not as severe as the fracture last year.
"It appears to be much less serious than last year's fracture," stated Dr. Steve Olvey, the Director of Medical Affairs for CART. "Following further examinations, Dr. Trammell will determine if any surgery is required to help heal the fracture faster. He will then decide if Patrick is in a position to race at the next event (in Texas on April 29)."
The incident involving Carpentier occurred as Max Papis emerged from a pit stop. "I was convinced that he was in some kind of trouble, so I went to pass him on the inside," related Carpentier. "That's when he cut me off. I tried to avoid him but I hit the speed bump and that launched me into the air and into the back of Max's car. I caught my hand on the steering wheel on contact, and when the car landed, the wheel spun around. I'm not at all happy with what Max did. Actually, I'm very upset about it."
Tagliani was equally frustrated by the circumstances that had a major impact on the outcome of his race.
"Team Player's gave me a great car but, unfortunately, I was unable to show my stuff because Paul (Tracy) hit me from behind on the first lap and it launched my car into the air," explained Tagliani, who had a season-best fourth-place finish in Long Beach as a CART rookie last year. "As a result, I had to come into the pits to change a punctured tire. That incident put me down a lap and I gave it everything I had to make that lap back but it just didn't happen. There's no way Paul could have passed me at the Fountain Turn (between Turn 2 and 3), so I really don't know what he was trying to do. After the race, he came to see me to say he was sorry and that he lost his brakes, but I just don't buy that."
Team Player's and the rest of the CART series competitors have a three-week respite before Round 3, which is the inaugural Texas 600, an event on the steeply banked Texas Motor Speedway oval.