CHAMPCAR/CART: Houston Player's Race Review

Houston, Texas, September 26, 1999 - After running in contention in the early segment of today's FedEx CART Championship race through the streets of Houston, Player's drivers Greg Moore and Patrick Carpentier both encountered some misfortune that...

Houston, Texas, September 26, 1999 - After running in contention in the early segment of today's FedEx CART Championship race through the streets of Houston, Player's drivers Greg Moore and Patrick Carpentier both encountered some misfortune that resulted in a 17th-place finish for Moore and prevented Carpentier from finishing the race.

The 18th event on the 20-race CART schedule was won by Canada's Paul Tracy, ahead of his teammate, Scotsman Dario Franchitti, and American Michael Andretti.

Adeptly making their way through traffic, Moore, of Maple Ridge, B.C., and Carpentier, of Joliette, Que., had moved into 7th- and 9th-place respectively, from 13th and 14th on the starting grid. But as the race neared its midway point, Moore began to fall back.

"At the start of the race, the car was running fairly well," he explained. "But after we came out of the pits on our second set of tires, the engine lacked power and I couldn't mount any challenge. What happened today is unfortunate, but I'm gearing up for strong finishes in the last two races of the season because the Player's team really deserves it."

A series of problems befell Carpentier as the race approached the half-way mark. By that time he had moved into 8th place and was setting his sights on making further gains.

"First, there was a fire in the compression chamber that caused the engine to keep cutting out," related Carpentier. "Then the throttle was sticking wide open. This caused the brakes to overheat and the brake fluid to boil, so I lost my brakes. The Player's team did a great job fixing this problem and I was back on the track."

"Then, with less than 10 laps to go, the engine just died and that was the end of my day's efforts. We just have to put this one behind us and go all out in Australia in the next race and, hopefully, produce some better results so we can finish high in the points and move into a better position in the drivers' championship."

Carpentier is currently 13th in the drivers' standings with 61 points but within 11 points of Tony Kanaan and Bryan Herta, who are tied for 11th spot. Moore remains 9th with 97 points, only 10 points back of sixth-place Christian Fittipaldi. Juan Montoya, the championship leader, failed to finish today and saw his margin over Dario Franchitti sliced to 13 points.

Round 19 of the series will be held on the street course of Surfers Paradise in Queensland, Australia, on October 17.

Player's-funded driver Andrew Bordin wins Atlantic finale

In the season-finale of the KOOL/Toyota Atlantic Championship, Andrew Bordin, a Player's-funded driver, passed his teammate Anthony Lazzaro, who had already clinched the drivers' title, on the final lap of the 43-lap race to record his second win of the season.

Player's driver Alexandre Tagliani picked up points for the ninth time in 12 races with a fifth-place finish, while his teammate Lee Bentham just missed being among the point-getters, crossing the finish line in 13th position.

Tagliani, of Lachenaie, Que., started sixth on the grid and managed to move up to fourth as the race progressed, before falling back to fifth.

"This was a very tough race," said Tagliani. "Passing here is extremely difficult and I was blocked for quite a while. I had a fast race car but it had a little too much wing. This was good in the turns, but it made me lose speed on the straightaways."

Bentham, of Newmarket, Ont., was running strongly early in the race, but slipped back from 10th position after his car hit a bump at the end of the main straight on lap 12, causing the car to lift.

"I missed the braking zone and had to use the run-off, so that cost me some positions," he explained. "A few laps later, I lost my second gear, which is the one that is used all over the track here in Houston. I toughed it out to the end of the race but I wasn't competitive enough to challenge the leaders."

Tagliani, whose 10 points boosted his season total to 118, finished fourth in the drivers' standings, while Bentham was sixth.

"I would have liked to end the season on the podium for my Player's teammates, but now I'll concentrate on the CART testing this week.

Tagliani, Bentham and Toronto's David Empringham are the three drivers who have been invited to Sebring, Fla., for testing sessions to select a replacement for Greg Moore on the Player's CART team for the 2000 season. Each driver will be on the track for two days of testing, with Tagliani the first to do so, on Sept. 29-30, followed by Bentham on Oct. 1-2 and Empringham on Oct. 3-4.

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About this article
Series Atlantic , IndyCar
Drivers Michael Andretti , Patrick Carpentier , Christian Fittipaldi , Dario Franchitti , Tony Kanaan , Bryan Herta , Anthony Lazzaro , David Empringham , Andrew Bordin , Greg Moore , Lee Bentham