CHAMPCAR/CART: Toronto: Team Player's Friday qualifying report

Team Player'S intent on improvement after Carpentier and Tagliani clock 9th- and 11th-fastest times in Molson Indy Toronto provisional qualifying. Toronto, Ontario, July 5, 2002 The first day of qualifying at Molson Indy Toronto was largely a...

Team Player'S intent on improvement after Carpentier and Tagliani clock 9th- and 11th-fastest times in Molson Indy Toronto provisional qualifying.

Toronto, Ontario, July 5, 2002 The first day of qualifying at Molson Indy Toronto was largely a learning process for Team Player's as drivers Patrick Carpentier and Alex Tagliani turned in fast laps on the 1.755-mile Exhibition Place street circuit that placed them 9th and 11th respectively on the provisional grid.

Competing in front of a home crowd on the first of three Canadian stops on the FedEx CART Championship schedule, Carpentier clocked his best time 59.359 seconds (106.437 mph/171.293 km/h) on his seventh lap of the session, while Tagliani's top clocking of 59.390 seconds (106.383 mph/171.205 km/h) came on his eighth lap.

"I wish the result would have been better, and I'm convinced it will be as the weekend progresses," said Carpentier. "After I had done my best lap on old tires, we went in for a set of new ones, and at the same time we took a bit out of the front wing. But once we got back out there for some hot laps near the end of the session, it turned out the front wing was too light. At least now we know what the proper set-up is, so that should help us for the last qualifying session on Saturday."

Tagliani, who came out of the pits on a second set of tires for the final few laps of his allotment of 15, got caught in some heavy traffic as much of the field went out simultaneously with about five minutes left in the session. As a result, Tagliani didn't have a clean lap and that scuttled any chance to improve his position on the provisional grid.

"It's disappointing because the car that we had today is better than the result," remarked Tagliani, who thrilled the overflow crowd at last year's Molson Indy Toronto by finishing second and earning his first career podium in the CART series. "Right now, we have a car for at least fifth place on the grid. There's still some left in the car, and we'll have to do our best tomorrow to get the maximum out of it."

Brazil's Cristiano da Matta added a point to his lead in the CART drivers' standings by posting the fastest time in Friday's qualifying session. He toured the circuit in 58.487 seconds (108.024 mph), more than two-tenths of a second faster than fellow Brazilian Bruno Junqueira and just under five-tenths ahead of Canadian Paul Tracy.

"It was a challenge out there today trying to play catch-up with Cristiano," said Tagliani. "His car seems to be running so well right now. We have to work all the harder. Basically, it would be a big help if we could do some testing but there isn't any testing allowed at this stage of the season. What we have to do instead is refine our adjustments to find more speed and that's what we'll be aiming to do the rest of the weekend."

Racing fans can follow Team Player's progress at Molson Indy Toronto throughout the weekend by logging on to the team's website at www.teamplayers.ca. They can also watch the race live on the Global network starting at 1:30 p.m. ET on Sunday.

-player's

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Bruno Junqueira , Patrick Carpentier , Alex Tagliani , Paul Tracy , Cristiano da Matta