"You could feel the adrenaline going through your body, from head to toe!" Patrick Carpentier on descending from the CF-18 Bagotville, Quebec, June 9, 2000 Patrick Carpentier and Alex Tagliani were at a loss for...
"You could feel the adrenaline going through your body, from head to toe!"
Patrick Carpentier on descending from the CF-18
Bagotville, Quebec, June 9, 2000 Patrick Carpentier and Alex Tagliani were at a loss for words to describe the overwhelming feeling they experienced during a 30-minute training flight aboard a Canadian Air Force CF-18 fighter plane that took place this morning from the Bagotville base in the Saguenay.
While one might have expected the two Team Player's drivers were used to reaching such speed, both of them said that the manoeuvres they went through while in the air were not the same as driving a Champ Car in the CART series.
"I sure would like to have that kind of power when I'm trying to pass another car on the track," remarked Carpentier, who added that he was extremely impressed by the CF-18's "handling".
"You could actually feel the adrenaline going through your body, from head to toe, and my hat is off to the fighter pilots who have to go through such rigorous training, both physically and mentally."
Carpentier's teammate Alex Tagliani was also awed by the dexterity and precision required to pilot the Hornet CF-18.
"I thought I had a lot of control buttons on my car in the CART series, but that was before I saw the dashboard of the CF-18," explained Tagliani, who much prefers keeping his two feet on the ground but still thoroughly enjoyed the ride aboard the highly sophisticated aircraft. "You have a hard time admiring the scenery at that speed but I can say it was quite a rush and I gained a lot of respect for these ace pilots."
The two Canadian drivers underwent a medical examination prior to donning their anti-G suits and taking part in the debriefing session that precedes every training flight. They also received instructions on how the aircraft's ejection seat works.
This afternoon, the two drivers helped Team Player's engineers fine-tune the car set-ups for the speed showdown against the CF-18. The test of speed, which will take place around 12:10 p.m. on Saturday, marks the official opening of Ville de La Baie's International Air Show.
Spectators will have an opportunity to met Patrick Carpentier and Alex Tagliani on Saturday morning when the two drivers will conduct an autograph session alongside the Team Player's transporter.