The first weekend of the new year found Team Player's hard at work on the 1.24-mile Firebird East road course, as driver Patrick Carpentier put in about 170 laps in two days of testing, his first such session of the current off-season. In ...
The first weekend of the new year found Team Player's hard at work on the 1.24-mile Firebird East road course, as driver Patrick Carpentier put in about 170 laps in two days of testing, his first such session of the current off-season.
In addition to providing Carpentier and his crew with the opportunity to begin the information-gathering process for the 2001 FedEx CART Championship, the sessions enabled Carpentier to test the strength of the left wrist he fractured several months ago. Carpentier recently had surgery to remove the metal plate that was inserted to stabilize the wrist.
"I had absolutely no trouble with the wrist during the testing sessions," said Carpentier. "There was no pain or soreness. I was a bit rusty on the first day of testing, but that was to be expected. We were scheduled for a second testing session on Saturday morning, but it rained and was pushed back to Sunday. That was probably a good thing because it gave us the chance to see how the wrist would react after a day's layoff, and everything was fine.
"From the team aspect, I found that everyone is very motivated and already looking forward to the start of the new season," added Carpentier. "We got a lot of good information during the weekend and we're going back to the shop in Indianapolis with plenty of solid data to work with."
The testing sessions marked the first occasion for recently named team technical director Bruce Ashmore to work with Carpentier and his crew, which also has a new crew chief in the person of Dave Brzozowski.
"The weekend sessions were a great opportunity to get the entire crew working together and building team chemistry and unity," remarked Canadian-born Phil LePan, the Team Player's manager. "We were the only ones on the track throughout the weekend of testing, and despite the rain that postponed the Saturday session, everything worked out well because it gave us some time to analyze things between the two sessions."
Making the most of off-season testing is even more vital this year, since new regulations adopted by the CART series limit the number of testing days per driver to 10 during the off-season. The next testing session for Team Player's is January 10-11, with Patrick Carpentier running on the road course in Sebring, Florida, where his teammate Alex Tagliani tested last month.