CHAMPCAR/CART: Carpentier impressive at Laguna Seca test

Laguna Seca, California, February 16, 2001 With less than a month to go before the first race on the 2001 FedEx CART Championship schedule, Team Player's continues to build momentum - as the latest testing session by driver Patrick Carpentier...

Laguna Seca, California, February 16, 2001 With less than a month to go before the first race on the 2001 FedEx CART Championship schedule, Team Player's continues to build momentum - as the latest testing session by driver Patrick Carpentier demonstrates.

Driving on the 2.238-mile Laguna Seca road course on February 14-15, Carpentier was consistently among the top two in unofficial timing during the sessions that most of the CART teams attended. Carpentier put in about 300 miles over the two-day period, which the Team Player's driver described as productive and flawless from a technical standpoint.

"What really pleases me about our off-season testing is that everything has functioned so smoothly," said Carpentier. "I think the big difference is that after each of our testing sessions, we've been able to go back to the race shop and build on what we've learned from that session.

"(Team Player's technical director) Bruce Ashmore is just brilliant. He's been working with (chief engineer) Michael Cannon and (development engineer) Alex Timmermans and together they have developed a great relationship. You can see the improvement from session to session because they've been able to take what they've learned and make the necessary changes that have led to improvements each time out."

At Laguna Seca, Carpentier tested two cars, both of which are updated versions of the 2000 Player's Reynard. The team conducted extensive testing on the suspension system and worked with a new and improved Ford engine. A significant amount of time was also devoted to working on differential changes in the gearbox.

"There's still a fair amount of work we can do on road-course set-ups, but we're trying out new things every day," remarked Phil LePan, the Canadian native who is the Team Player's manager. "There is more engine development to come, and that will occur next week (February 21-22) when (Carpentier's teammate) Alex Tagliani tests at Sebring."

Carpentier said the sessions at Laguna Seca, combined with two days of testing he has scheduled on Phoenix's Firebird road course on February 26-27, should have him well prepared for the start of the season. The first two races are road-course events in Monterrey, Mexico on March 11 and in Long Beach, California on April 8.

-TP-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Patrick Carpentier , Alex Tagliani , Bruce Ashmore , Alex T