Detroit, Michigan, June 17, 2000 Team Player's driver Patrick Carpentier put in a determined effort in today's final qualifying session for the FedEx CART Championship's Grand Prix of Detroit, advancing four positions on the starting grid...
Detroit, Michigan, June 17, 2000 Team Player's driver Patrick Carpentier put in a determined effort in today's final qualifying session for the FedEx CART Championship's Grand Prix of Detroit, advancing four positions on the starting grid by posting the ninth-fastest lap on the 2.346-mile course through the streets of Motor City.
Carpentier, who has qualified in the top 10 in the last three races in which he has competed, clocked the fastest time among drivers in the first group of qualifiers in this afternoon's session. His overall time put him in third position before drivers in Group 2 put in their fast laps. During that session, Colombia's Juan Montoya won the pole, clocking a lap in 1 minute, 13.056 seconds. Scotland's Dario Franchitti registered an identical time, but under CART rules when there is a tie for the pole position, the driver clocking the faster second-best time is declared the pole-sitter.
"Under the circumstances, ninth isn't a bad position to be in," remarked Carpentier, who is coming off a third-place finish at Milwaukee two weeks ago. "When the first group went out for the start of today's session there wasn't much rubber on the track. The longer the session went, the more the times started coming down, because there was so much more grip."
Carpentier, who recorded a fast lap of 1:14.323 seconds, will be trying to give Team Player's its second career CART win in Detroit. Greg Moore took the checkered flag here in 1997.
In today's morning practice session, Carpentier experienced some discomfort with the left wrist that he fractured earlier in the season, but he persevered. "My wrist started to bother me because the steering on the car was stiff, and that put a strain on the wrist," explained Carpentier. "The Player's team made some changes in the steering arm and it made the car easier to drive. They also adjusted the suspension and the wing set-up."
Assessing his chances to contend in Sunday's race, Carpentier said: "With the possibility of rain, anything can happen. But if the track stays dry, I'll drive as hard as I can and rely on the Player's crew during pit stops."
Carpentier's teammate Alex Tagliani, with a fresh set of tires, set out to improve on his fast lap of 1:14.842 in the closing minutes of today's session. But he got tied up behind a back marker, ending his chances to move up from his position on the inside of Row 8.
"Obviously, it's very disappointing because I had a car that could have put me in the top 10," he remarked. "But I plan to go out there tomorrow and give it all I have to provide the Player's team with a good result and pick up some much-needed points in the rookie standings."
Racing fans can watch the 84-lap Grand Prix of Detroit on a tape delay on The Sports Network at 8:30 p.m. (ET) on Sunday.