IRL: Homestead: Patrick Carpentier Friday report

TOUGH DAY FOR CARPENTIER AT HOMESTEAD-MIAMI Homestead, Florida, Friday, March 4, 2005 - Patrick Carpentier found the going pretty rough on his first day in the Indy Racing League IndyCar® Series. Carpentier finished 19th ...

TOUGH DAY FOR CARPENTIER AT HOMESTEAD-MIAMI

Homestead, Florida, Friday, March 4, 2005 - Patrick Carpentier found the going pretty rough on his first day in the Indy Racing League IndyCar® Series. Carpentier finished 19th overall after the first two practice sessions for this weekend's Toyota Indy 300, which were held Friday at Homestead-Miami Speedway. The day started out badly when morning sessions were canceled due to inclement weather. It would turn out to be early afternoon before the 22 drivers registered for the opening round of the 2005 season were able to get on the track. Following the cancellation of morning practice, race officials decided to add an extra late afternoon session, however the added track time did nothing to improve Carpentier's situation.

The day's results did not meet the Canadian driver expectations. Eighteenth overall following his first practice session, Carpentier dropped two spots on the final tally sheet, even though he posted his best time in the late afternoon session. He drove his Dallara Toyota around the 1.5-mile (2.414-km) oval track in 25.5669 seconds for an average speed of 336.510 km/h. He finished the day a little more than half a second behind the Panoz Honda driven by American driver Buddy Rice who was quickest on the day with a lap time of 25.0382 seconds for an average speed of 343.617 km/h. Californian Alex Barron, Carpentier's teammate at Cheever Racing, finished the day 18th overall, posting his best lap of 25.4070 seconds.

''I guess that's what they call a learning process,'' Carpentier said. ''Obviously I'm disappointed to find myself at the back of the pack, but I'm learning how things work with a new car and a new team. Unfortunately, I was unable to draft a fast car and the results show that. We don't have the quickest car in the field, but it's not the worse either. I know I can do better with this car. At this point, all we can do is hope that we have a better day tomorrow.''

Second quickest behind Buddy Rice, was his fellow American Bryan Herta driving the Andretti-Green Panoz Honda. He posted his best lap in the first session, circling the track in 25.0812 seconds (343.0277 km/h). He elected not to go out during the second session, dropping from first to second. Third place went to the Panther Racing Dallara Chevrolet of South African Tomas Scheckter (25.0957 seconds), followed by the Panoz Honda of Brazilian Vitor Meira (25.1539 s). British driver Dan Wheldon rounds out the top five.

Drivers will return to the track on Saturday morning at 9:45 for the third practice session of the weekend. The only qualifying session for Sunday's race will begin at noon on Saturday.

The IRL IndyCar Series opens its 10th season of competition with the Toyota Indy 300 at 2:00 p.m. (EST) on March 6, 2005 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. The race will be televised live on TSN.

-mdo-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Tomas Scheckter , Patrick Carpentier , Bryan Herta , Alex Barron , Dan Wheldon , Buddy Rice , Vitor Meira
Teams Panther Racing