Toronto, Ontario, July 13, 2000 The last time Team Player's driver Patrick Carpentier competed in a FedEx CART Championship race on Canadian soil he thrilled the home fans by reaching the podium with a second-place finish in Vancouver last ...
Toronto, Ontario, July 13, 2000 The last time Team Player's driver Patrick Carpentier competed in a FedEx CART Championship race on Canadian soil he thrilled the home fans by reaching the podium with a second-place finish in Vancouver last September. Carpentier is hoping that history will repeat itself at this Sunday's Molson Indy Toronto, the site of Round 10 in the Championship and the first of two Canadian stops on the series' schedule.
Carpentier's teammate Alex Tagliani will be competing in front of Canadian racing fans for the first time as a CART driver. He, too, is hoping for some deja-vu since the last time he raced in Toronto as a member of the Player's Atlantic team in 1998 he won the event.
"With only two races in Canada on the CART schedule, Team Player's definitely wants to make the most of these opportunities by putting in a strong performance for the Canadian motor-racing fans," said Carpentier.
"Sure, there's some extra pressure racing at home but it's a positive kind of pressure and a source of motivation."
Carpentier, who has gained nine positions in the span of five events, is currently 10th in the drivers' standings with 47 points. He is optimistic he will continue his surge up the standings, particularly after successful testing sessions at Sebring last weekend.
"Pretty much anything on the car that creates grip or adhesion on the track was changed or modified during the testing at Sebring," explained Carpentier. "I think the car should be much better for the race in Toronto and I'm confident we'll do well here."
Tagliani, who said his return to Toronto evokes some fond memories, also expects that he will have an improved car. The Team Player's crew recently put his Player's Reynard on the "Shaker", a dynamics simulator which, among other things, enables the team's engineering people to see how the car's suspension performs under race circumstances.
"Getting a good qualifying position has been a bit of a problem in recent races," said Tagliani. "If we can move higher on the starting grid, everything should fall into place because we've had pretty good success moving up the field during the race. I want to do well at the Molson Indy because Canadian racing fans have given me a lot of support since I started in the CART series, and I would like to repay them for their support."
Throughout the weekend, racing fans can track the progress of Carpentier's and Tagliani's Player's/Reynard by consulting the engineers' report on the web site at www.teamplayers.ca.
Racing fans can watch the 112-lap Molson Indy Toronto live on Global TV at 2:00 p.m. on Sunday.
The CART race is preceded by Round 7 in the Atlantic series, a 35-lap event where Team Player's driver Andrew Bordin, of Woodbridge, Ont., who is currently third in the drivers' standings, will be out to close the 12-point gap that separates him from leader Buddy Rice.
<pre> WEEKEND SCHEDULE
Eastern time Friday, July 14 CART practice 10:30 a.m. noon. CART qualifying 2:30 p.m. 3:00 p.m. (1st group) CART qualifying 3:15 p.m. 3:45 p.m. (2nd group)
Saturday, July 15 CART practice 10:00 a.m. 11:15 a.m. CART qualifying 1:45 p.m. 2.15 p.m. (1st group) CART qualifying 2:30 p.m. 3:00 p.m. (2nd group)
Sunday, July 16 CART warm-up 10:00 a.m. 10:30 a.m. CART race 2:00 p.m.