Fort Worth, Texas, April 27, 2001 - Team Player's driver Patrick Carpentier got the go-ahead from FedEx CART Championship medical personnel Friday and immediately put his left wrist to the test in a pair of practice sessions on the 1.5-mile oval...
Fort Worth, Texas, April 27, 2001 - Team Player's driver Patrick Carpentier got the go-ahead from FedEx CART Championship medical personnel Friday and immediately put his left wrist to the test in a pair of practice sessions on the 1.5-mile oval that is the site of Sunday's Texas 600.
Carpentier, who sustained a chip fracture of the wrist in the previous race in Long Beach, had no difficulty putting in laps on the steeply banked (24 degrees) track. At the end of the day's session, he expressed satisfaction with his progress, both medically and racing-wise. "The surgery performed by (CART's Chief Orthopedic Consultant) Dr. Terry Trammell helped to speed along the healing process," said Carpentier who injured the wrist three weeks ago and has undergone hyperbaric-chamber sessions to advance his recovery.
"Based on what happened in the sessions today, it should go OK," said Carpentier, whose fast lap of 23.289 seconds (229.087 miles per hour) was 17th best of the day. "This is a 600-kilometre race and that's longer than normal. Plus, the track here is very fast. Even though it's a 1.5-mile oval, it drives like a tri-oval because you keep turning. So, in that sense, it's very demanding."
Carpentier said his lap times were insignificant because the Team Player's crew spent much of the day working on finding proper set-ups. The car went through three sets of tires on the bumpy track, which made it difficult to find stability.
"Saturday morning we're going to do full-tank tests," explained Carpentier. "We definitely want to make sure we come up with the right set-up. At this stage, that's more important than a fast lap. Qualifying doesn't matter that much if you don't have the proper set-up for the race, so we'll focus our attention on that."
The strategy of Carpentier's teammate, Alex Tagliani, is a bit different. He is looking to put in a strong fast lap in tomorrow's morning session, and with the drivers split into two groups, Tagliani believes it will make things easier to do so. "The car was running real well this morning, but it was running a bit rich and that led to a slight electronic problem, " said Tagliani, whose quick lap of 23.323 seconds (228.753 mph) put him in 19th position. "We decided to change the suspension for the afternoon session, but the car was oversteering. Tomorrow morning, Team Player's is going to go back to the suspension that we had in today's morning session, and I think we'll be able to have a good qualifying run."
Sweden's Kenny Brack, who is one of the few drivers with previous experience racing on the Texas Speedway oval, which is playing host to its first CART race, recorded the quickest lap today. He covered the 1.5 miles in 22.821 seconds (233.785 mph), 0.024 seconds faster than Brazil's Tony Kanaan.
Racing fans can follow Team Player's progress at the Texas 600 throughout the weekend by logging on to the team's website at www.teamplayers.ca. They can also watch the race live on The Sports Network at 3 p.m. ET on Sunday.