Completion of testing sessions on the Homestead, Florida road course
ALEX TAGLIANI PASSES FIRST TEST ABOARD HIS PLAYER'S REYNARD WITH FLYING COLOURS
Homestead, Florida, December 9, 1999 - On the Homestead road course, rookie driver Alexandre Tagliani of the Player's CART Team today completed his four-day testing sessions at the wheel of his 1999 Player's Reynard, powered by the Ford-Cosworth engine.
After putting in more than 100 laps on the Sebring road circuit at the start of the week, Tagliani headed to Homestead on Wednesday for a new testing session on the 1.5-mile road course. As a rookie in the FedEx CART Championship, Tagliani is entitled to four extra testing days, and the Lachenaie, Que., driver took full advantage of them to get accustomed to his car, as well as his new racing environment.
"I'm quite pleased by the amount of work we were able to accomplish over the last four days," remarked Tagliani, who won six races in his Atlantic career, including two this season (at Long Beach and Montreal). "I put in some good times and I was especially able to use these tests to expand my knowledge of the Player's Champ car. We ran on a wet track this morning and that enabled me to adapt to a new situation. Overall, I developed better points of reference in regard to the technical aspects and to the downforce of the car."
Asked for an assessment of Tagliani's performance during this week of testing, Canadian Phil LePan said he was enthused by Tagliani's progress. "These were really intensive tests for Alex, who put in almost 300 laps with his Player's Reynard," noted LePan. "We were impressed by his physical conditioning and his stamina. We weren't concerned about the times that he clocked because the important thing was to get him some track time. Right from the start, there were great communications between Alex and the engineers, and that's a very promising development."
Added Tagliani: "I'm really looking forward to the next testing sessions and having the chance to work alongside my teammate Patrick (Carpentier), so that I can add to my learning experience by drawing on his advice and experience. In the meantime, I'm going to go back to California and continue with my intensive training program."
The 27-year-old Tagliani will have his wish fulfilled a few days before the Christmas holidays when he joins Carpentier for a two-day testing session at Sebring. At that time, the Player's team expects to have the 2000 package, which includes the new Reynard chassis and the Ford-Cosworth XF engine.