Vancouver, British Columbia, August 30, 2000 Drivers Patrick Carpentier and Alex Tagliani both had some outstanding moments at last year's Molson Indy Vancouver but they are determined to make the 2000 edition of the FedEx CART Championship event...
Vancouver, British Columbia, August 30, 2000 Drivers Patrick Carpentier and Alex Tagliani both had some outstanding moments at last year's Molson Indy Vancouver but they are determined to make the 2000 edition of the FedEx CART Championship event even more memorable for Team Player's.
No Canadian driver has ever won the Molson Indy Vancouver, which will be run for the 11th time next Sunday, but Carpentier came the closest to achieving that feat in 1999 with a brilliant second-place finish. He is looking to take that next step on the podium with a victory at the Canadian event that has seen Al Unser Jr. and Michael Andretti win four and three times respectively.
Tagliani made headlines in Vancouver in 1999 when he won the pole in the Atlantic series event that was part of Molson Indy Vancouver weekend. This year, Tagliani will compete on the 1.781-mile Vancouver street course for the first time as a driver in the CART series.
"We only have two races in Canada each year, so you really want to try to make the most of them and do well in front of the Canadian racing fans," said Carpentier. "Fortunately, I was able to do that last year. I couldn't have picked a better time to have my best finish of the season, with a second place, after starting 11th on the grid. Vancouver is the type of street course where you really have to be tenacious and ready to jump at every opportunity that's presented to you."
Tagliani will be in the fast group of qualifiers for the Molson Indy Vancouver, on the strength of his third-fastest qualifying lap at Road America two weeks ago. Tagliani also had a strong race, leading for 23 of the first 37 laps, until a mechanical problem developed and snuffed out his chances for a stirring victory.
"Although it was extremely disappointing to run into some misfortune just when it looked like we had a great chance to win at Road America, that race was a big confidence booster because it showed we have the car to compete for a spot on the podium," remarked Tagliani. "The car was fast all weekend, and Team Player's was able to make tremendous progress from a qualifying standpoint. That should carry over into Vancouver, and if it does, we'll be able to make things exciting for the Canadian racing fans."
Team Player's has some added incentive for the Vancouver race.
"It's going to be an emotional time for a lot of us in the CART series, since this was Greg's home race," explained Carpentier. "I've been thinking about Greg and the Moore family throughout the season, but the Vancouver race is certainly going to bring back a lot of memories of Greg and what he achieved. I know that he's going to be with us in spirit and that's a motivating factor for everyone at Team Player's. It would be nice to win one in his memory."
Racing fans can track the progress of Team Player's all weekend by logging on to the team's web site at www.teamplayers.ca. They can also watch the 90-lap Molson Indy Vancouver live on The Global Network at 4:00 p.m. on Sunday.