Carpentier named first-team AARWBA All-American

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: James Hyneman PATRICK CARPENTIER COLLARS FIRST-TEAM AARWBA ALL-AMERICAN HONORS HIGHLAND PARK,...

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: James Hyneman

PATRICK CARPENTIER COLLARS FIRST-TEAM AARWBA ALL-AMERICAN HONORS

HIGHLAND PARK, ILL. (Dec. 9)  1996 Player's/Toyota Atlantic Champion Patrick Carpentier, of Joliette, Que., has once again etched his name in Atlantic history by being named a First Team member of the 1996 All-America Auto Racing Team selected by the American Auto Racing Writers & Broadcasters Association (AARWBA).

Carpentier, by virtue of topping all 1996 nominees in accumulated votes within the At Large category, became the first Atlantic driver in the 23-year history of the series to be honored as a First-Team All-American.

Previous Atlantic drivers who were named to the AARWBA All-American Second Team include former Atlantic champions Richie Hearn (1995), David Empringham (1994), Chris Smith (1992), Mark Dismore (1990), Tom Gloy (1980), and Howdy Holmes (1978).

Five other drivers have received Honorable Mention All-American honors including reigning PPG Indy Car World Series Champion and 1996 First Team All-American recipient Jimmy Vasser (1991), Claude Bourbonnais (1990), Jocko Cunningham (1989), Hiro Matsushita (1989), Dean Hall (1988), and R.K. Smith (1987). In all, 21 Atlantic drivers have received All-American nominations since 1978.

Carpentier's outstanding year in the Player's/Toyota Atlantic Championship was significant because the Atlantic records he broke were held, in part, by the legendary Formula One driver Gilles Villeneuve - records that had remained unchallenged for 20 years. Carpentier's nine victories in 12 races tied Villeneuve's record for the most wins in a single season.

Carpentier set new records by winning eight consecutive races and pole positions, scoring the most points in a single season with 239 (the previous record of 208 was set by Tom Gloy in 1979), and earning the most prize money in a single season ($226,500).

The 25-year-old Atlantic ace was the only driver to complete every race lap (467) and every race mile (770.924 miles) run in 1996, and set fastest race laps in seven different races (Nazareth, Milwaukee, Montreal, Trois-Rivieres I & II, Vancouver, and Laguna Seca). Carpentier dominated in laps led (302) and miles led (560.080 miles) with his next closest challenger only able to find 47 laps ahead of Carpentier.

Carpentier's season was made complete when he was selected on November 5 to become the lead driver for the established Indy Car racing team of Bettenhausen Motorsports in the Team Alumax Reynard for the 1997 PPG Indy Car World Series.

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Series Atlantic
Drivers Mark Dismore , Jimmy Vasser , Patrick Carpentier , Richie Hearn , Gilles Villeneuve , Tom Gloy , Howdy Holmes , Claude Bourbonnais , Chris Smith