CHAMPCAR/CART: Patrick Carpentier Among Fastest at Phoenix

Phoenix, Arizona, January 27, 2000 Two days of testing on the 1-mile oval at the Phoenix International Raceway has demonstrated that Player's Team driver Patrick Carpentier is poised to be a strong factor in the 2000 FedEx CART Championship ...

Phoenix, Arizona, January 27, 2000 Two days of testing on the 1-mile oval at the Phoenix International Raceway has demonstrated that Player's Team driver Patrick Carpentier is poised to be a strong factor in the 2000 FedEx CART Championship season.

Sharing the track with his Player's CART teammate Alex Tagliani and more than a dozen other drivers in the series, Carpentier put in more than150 laps in the two-day sessions that ended today, and recorded the fastest time of the day on Wednesday, clocking a lap of 20.35 seconds. He improved on that time, with 20.31 seconds in today's session, where he was again among the fastest drivers.

"I'm very encouraged by the results we've had in our off-season testings," remarked Carpentier. "The entire Player's crew has really spared no efforts in developing the car, and I think the times we've been able to record are a reflection of that. With what we have been to accomplish in testing thus far, I'm convinced that all the components are there for us to have an extremely productive season."

Tagliani, who put in a series of laps comparable to his teammate, said he continues to be more and more comfortable behind the wheel of his Champ car and is taking full advantage of each testing session to hone his skills.

"I really wanted to get out on the track when there were several other drivers, and I think I handled the challenge quite well," remarked Tagliani, who registered a fast lap of 20.68 seconds. "My times are comparable to the other drivers and it shows me that I'm progressing well with my driving. Being able to hold my own with that type of success is a source of motivation for me, and I can't wait for spring training, which is coming up soon."

Canadian Phil LePan, the manager of the Player's Team who is on hand to oversee the testing sessions, said the work put in by the two drivers produced conclusive results.

"This was our one and only chance to test with the new short-oval wing package," he explained. "Undoubtedly, the information we have been able to compile will be extremely important in the preparations by the Player's Team for its first race on this type of track, especially the one in Nazareth."

The next testing sessions for the Player's CART Team will be held on February 5-6 in Sebring, Florida. Then it is on to Homestead for CART's annual spring-training session.

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Patrick Carpentier , Alex Tagliani