Sebring, Florida, February 4, 2003 Spring training is a time for making adjustments and developing team cohesion, and that is what Team Player's drivers Paul Tracy and Patrick Carpentier spent a fair amount of time doing Tuesday, on the first day...
Sebring, Florida, February 4, 2003 Spring training is a time for making adjustments and developing team cohesion, and that is what Team Player's drivers Paul Tracy and Patrick Carpentier spent a fair amount of time doing Tuesday, on the first day of the CART series pre-season sessions.
"It was important that we use this first day to try out a lot of things, especially with this being a new team for me and the team working with a new (Lola) chassis," said Tracy, who clocked his best lap in 51.784 seconds (116.028 miles per hour), fourth fastest overall. "We're learning to work together, but the progress that we are making is excellent."
Tracy's teammate Patrick Carpentier, who is entering his sixth season with Team Player's, also used the opportunity of this first of three spring-training days to frequently bring his Champ car into the pits so that his crew could work on set-ups and other tweaks.
"We're not looking to break any track records out there we might try to push it for a fast lap on the final day," said Carpentier, who put in only 45 laps and ran the entire day on old tires. A trip to the pits because of fuel-pump and brake problems further limited Carpentier's track time. Carpentier clocked the 13th-fastest time of the day, making his way around the 1.4-mile Sebring road course in 52.526 seconds (114.389 mph).
Rookie Sebastien Bordais, of France, topped the charts on the opening day of spring training, registering a lap in 50.953 seconds (117.920 mph), four-tenths of a second faster than Mexico's Michel Jourdain Jr. Canadian Alex Tagliani turned in the 10th-best lap (52.274 seconds).
"It was great to be out on the track with all of the other teams," said Tracy. "I'm extremely satisfied with the way things went. The team is starting to jell really well. What we were working on today is geared toward the first race of the year in terms of finding the right car balance, and things like that."
The spring-training sessions continue on Wednesday and Thursday, with the opening race of the CART season ready to roll on February 23 through the streets of St. Petersburg, Florida, a new venue for the series.