IRL: Richmond: Patrick Carpentier Friday report

CARPENTIER QUALIFIES FOR FOURTH PLACE AT RICHMOND Montreal, Friday, June 24, 2005 - In a dramatic turn of events, Canadian driver Patrick Carpentier qualified his Red Bull Dallara-Toyota for fourth place on Friday at the Richmond...

CARPENTIER QUALIFIES FOR FOURTH PLACE AT RICHMOND

Montreal, Friday, June 24, 2005 - In a dramatic turn of events, Canadian driver Patrick Carpentier qualified his Red Bull Dallara-Toyota for fourth place on Friday at the Richmond International Raceway in Richmond, Virginia. Carpentier drove around the three-quarter-mile D-shaped oval track in 15.5372 seconds, only two tenths of a second off the pace set by Sam Hornish Jr. of Team Penske.

Hornish Jr. will share the front row with his teammate, Helio Castroneves. As for Carpentier, he will start Round 7 of the Indy Racing League on the outside of row two next to rookie Ryan Briscoe of Sydney, Australia. The top four cars on the grid are all powered by Toyota, which is a first this season. Last week, Toyota invited all of its teams for a test day at the Richmond track. Although no times were released by the engine manufacturer, Red Bull Cheever Racing's engineers, working with their Mecachrome counterparts, were able to work on the suspension package to improve the car's balance. It paid off today.

''Our testing session last week went really well, and I learned a trick or two about this track,'' said an overjoyed Carpentier whose only Richmond experience prior to last week was in a rental car during a cancelled test day earlier in the month. ''Toyota's test session proved beneficial as they worked closely with us to improve the engine. This result is quite a relief for the whole team. After all we went through since the start of the year, I never expected that this would happen. This is the shortest track on the schedule, and the race should be exciting. I know we have a chance, if not to win, to at least have a podium finish.''

Last week, Carpentier signed a personal sponsorship deal with Komatsu Federal Equipment, a heavy machinery manufacturer. Following the Texas race on June 11, the Canadian driver spent some time in Quebec to work on sponsorship deals and other related business.

The green flag for the Round 7, 250-lap SunTrust Indy Challenge at the Richmond International Speedway will be given at 7:30 p.m. Saturday night. Race fans can watch all the action live on TSN.

-patrick carpentier news bureau

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Patrick Carpentier , Ryan Briscoe , Sam Hornish Jr.
Teams Team Penske