CHAMPCAR/CART: Monterr?y: Player's Saturday qualifying report

Team Player'S Driver Alex Tagliani To Start Inside Row Two At Season Opener Monterrey, Mexico, March 9, 2002 Alex Tagliani will start third in tomorrow's CART FedEx Championship Series season opening race in Monterrey, Mexico, after rain washed...

Team Player'S Driver Alex Tagliani To Start Inside Row Two At Season Opener

Monterrey, Mexico, March 9, 2002 Alex Tagliani will start third in tomorrow's CART FedEx Championship Series season opening race in Monterrey, Mexico, after rain washed out Team Player's plan of improving on grid positions which were recorded by Tagliani and teammate Patrick Carpentier in Friday's opening qualifying period. Carpentier will line up inside Row 9 after being bumped up to the 17th starting position from 18th, by Japanese driver Shinji Nakano who had his Friday qualifying time nullified for using his back up car during today's qualifying session

Provisional polesitter Adrian Fernandez was once again fastest on the rain-soaked 2.1-mile temporary road circuit at Fundidora Park. The Mexican earned his second championship point of the weekend and guaranteed himself the pole position for tomorrow's race. Fernandez will share the front row with Scotsman Dario Franchitti who nipped past Tagliani on the scoreboard during the final seconds of qualifying on Friday. Starting beside Tagliani on Row 2 is Brazilian Christian Fittipaldi. Behind them on Row 3 is Brazilian Cristiano da Matta, who is joined by Michel Jourdain of Mexico.

Tagliani, who hoped to earn his first championship point of the season by trying to set the fastest time on the rain-drenched racetrack, ended up causing the crowd to jump to their feet when his Reynard Player's began hydroplaning into a spectacular spin inside Turn 1.

"I guess the crowd was going wild," chuckled Tagliani. "I felt like I was out karting when I spun. The track was like a skating rink and there was a lot of water accumulated in certain corners. I'm glad I kept off the walls, especially for the Team Player's guys! When I was out there on Friday I really pushed it to earn a good time and now I get to see the benefits. Starting from Row 2 is a great way to start the season."

Carpentier was disappointed by the turn of events. "Team Player's was hoping to benefit from this session to pick it up a notch, but the rain interrupted our plans," he said. "We're all in the same position after picking up information on rain set ups. Despite where I'm starting from, I have every intention of fighting my way up. It's a long race."

Drivers will return to the track tomorrow morning for the warm up with the Tecate/Telmex Grand Prix of Monterrey scheduled for 4 p.m. ET.

Racing fans can follow Team Player's progress at the Grand Prix of Monterrey throughout the weekend by logging on to the team's website at www.teamplayers.ca. They can also watch the race live on Speed Channel at 4 p.m. ET on Sunday or on tape delay on TSN Sunday morning at 1:30.

-player's-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Adrian Fernandez , Alex Tagliani , Dario Franchitti , Shinji Nakano , Cristiano da Matta , Michel Jourdain