CHAMPCAR/CART: Team Players wraps-up pre-season testing

Team Player's is "Race-Season Ready" after Drivers Carpentier and Tagliani Run Final Test Laps Prior to Cart Season-Opener Homestead, Florida, February 26, 2002 In a final tune-up prior to the CART season-opener, Team Player's drivers Patrick...

Team Player's is "Race-Season Ready" after Drivers Carpentier and Tagliani Run Final Test Laps Prior to Cart Season-Opener

Homestead, Florida, February 26, 2002 In a final tune-up prior to the CART season-opener, Team Player's drivers Patrick Carpentier and Alex Tagliani completed a two-hour, 180-mile test session on Tuesday by running identical fast laps of 67.2 seconds on the 2.18-mile Homestead road course. The testing simulated road courses in Monterrey, Mexico and Long Beach, California, the site of the first two CART races of the 2002 season.

"We also had the opportunity to run laps for the first time with the traction control system," said Team Player's Technical Director Bruce Ashmore. "We've done all the testing that we need to do. Overall, we're extremely satisfied with our off-season testing. We're ready for the season."

Patrick Carpentier and Alex Tagliani.
Photo by Gridwork.

It was the first time in the Team Player's off-season testing program that Carpentier and Tagliani were together for a session. Oriol Servia and Scott Dixon of PacWest, Bruno Junqueira (Ganassi) and Townsend Bell (Patrick) were the other CART drivers who shared the track for the testing sessions.

"I enjoyed it," remarked Carpentier. "It was an opportunity to try out the traction control system and work on a few last details before the start of the season. It was also good to get into that competitive spirit again and mentally hone yourself for the start of the season. Our race-day simulation included three pit stops. I even added an extra pit stop after sliding off the track during the session and had to go into the pits with a damaged front wing. I was very impressed with the fast work of the Team Player's crew, changing it on the fly. They're in season-opening form, too!"

Tagliani said he expects the introduction by the CART series of traction control an engine electronic device that senses and controls wheel spin - will make the cars easier to drive. "You should see fewer cars spinning out on road and street courses this season," explained Tagliani. "It should result in fewer red flags and that will lead to a better racing flow."

After completing its final off-season session on Tuesday, Team Player's returned to its Indianapolis headquarters, where the crew of mechanics will inspect the cars and make any adjustments that are needed prior to the trip to Monterrey, Mexico for the first race weekend of the 2002 season, March 8-9-10.

-players-

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