MONTEREY, Ca. (August 24, 2000) - Patrick Carpentier (Player's/Indeck Ford Reynard) of Player's Forsythe Racing turned a quick lap of 69.133 sec. (116.541 mph) Thursday on the first day of a two-day CART open test at Laguna Seca Raceway.
MONTEREY, Ca. (August 24, 2000) - Patrick Carpentier (Player's/Indeck Ford Reynard) of Player's Forsythe Racing turned a quick lap of 69.133 sec. (116.541 mph) Thursday on the first day of a two-day CART open test at Laguna Seca Raceway. Carpentier's top time was set during the afternoon session on the 2.238-mile permanent road course.
"I'm very happy, although we should've been quicker," said Carpentier. "On our quick lap I had to pass a car on the inside as he was coming into the pits and that slowed the car a bit but it was still a good day. We will continue to do our best here and I'm still convinced that I will win a race this year and Laguna Seca would be a great place to do it."
Carpentier, competing in his fourth CART FedEx Championship Series season, is still searching for his first series victory.
The Marlboro Team Penske combination of Gil de Ferran and Helio Castroneves continued their recent road course success during the first day of testing. De Ferran (Marlboro Honda Reynard), who had the top time in the morning session, recorded the second-fastest lap of the day at 69.162 sec. (116.492 mph). Castroneves (Marlboro Honda Reynard) posted the third-fastest lap of 69.293 sec. (116.271 mph).
"I'm happy with today's results," said de Ferran. "We're trying different things, not specifically trying for the fastest time of the day. This is what these kinds of tests are for; they're not for fine-tuning."
Castroneves, who along with his teammate has captured two victories this season, said, "There were a lot of red flags today, but we definitely made progress. We ran on the same set of tires in both sessions today and we were still pretty competitive. Tomorrow the track conditions will have improved and we will run four sets of tires."
The test session serves as a tune-up for the 16th round of the CART FedEx Championship Series, the Honda Grand Prix of Monterey Featuring the Shell 300, at Laguna Seca on September 10.
The start of the test session was delayed by about an hour this morning as dense fog caused poor visibility. With testing scheduled to get underway at 9 a.m. PT, the course did not go green until shortly 10 a.m. PT.
Once the cars did hit the track, there were a number of minor incidents that interrupted both the morning and afternoon sessions. There were a total of 11 red flags displayed on the day, four in the morning and seven in the afternoon. There were no injuries in any of the day's incidents.
Mauricio Gugelmin (Nextel Mercedes Reynard) had the fourth-best lap of the day at 69.315 sec. (116.235 mph) while Christian Fittipaldi (Big Kmart/Route 66 Ford Lola) rounded out the top five with a quick lap of 69.395 sec. (116.101 mph).
The remainder of Thursday's practice times and speeds were as follows: Jimmy Vasser (Target Toyota Lola), 69.555 sec. (115.834 mph); Kenny Brack (Shell Ford Reynard), 69.592 sec. (115.772 mph); Cristiano da Matta (Pioneer/MCI WorldCom Toyota Reynard), 69.600 sec. (115.759 mph); Oriol Servia (Telefonica Toyota Reynard), 69.695 sec. (115.601 mph); Juan Montoya (Target Toyota Reynard), 69.749 sec. (115.511 mph); Michael Andretti (Big Kmart/Texaco/Havoline Ford Lola), 69.829 sec. (115.379 mph); Alex Tagliani (Player's Indeck Ford Reynard), 69.938 sec. (115.199 mph); Dario Franchitti (KOOL Honda Reynard), 70.024 sec. (115.058 mph); Max Papis (Mller Lite Ford Reynard), 70.151 sec. (114.849 mph); Roberto Moreno (Visteon Ford Reynard), 70.224 sec. (114.730 mph); Tony Kanaan (Hollywood Mercedes Reynard), 70.308 sec. (114.593 mph); Scott Dixon (Nextel Mercedes Reynard), 70.422 sec. (114.407 mph); Adrian Fernandez (Tecate/Quaker State Ford Reynard), 70.482 sec. (114.310 mph); Shinji Nakano (Avex Honda Reynard), 70.524 sec. (114.242 mph); Michel Jourdain Jr. (Herdez Mercedes Lola) 70.639 sec. (114.056 mph); Alex Barron (SPORTSTODAY Ford Lola), 70.878 sec. (113.671 mph); Luiz Garcia Jr. (Hollywood/Embratel/Tang/BancoSofisa Mercedes Reynard), 71.927 sec. (112.014 mph); Tarso Marques (Panasonic Ford Swift), 72.360 sec. (111.343 mph).
Another full day of activity is on tap for Friday with testing scheduled to get underway at 9 a.m. PT. After a short lunch break, the test will conclude with an afternoon session slated for 1:30-4:30 p.m. PT.