CHAMPCAR/CART: Player's drivers upbeat after first day at Detroit

Detroit, Michigan, June 16, 2000 Team Player's drivers Patrick Carpentier and Alex Tagliani had some rough moments on the Grand Prix of Detroit's temporary course in provisional FedEX CART Championship qualifying today but both emerged from the...

Detroit, Michigan, June 16, 2000 Team Player's drivers Patrick Carpentier and Alex Tagliani had some rough moments on the Grand Prix of Detroit's temporary course in provisional FedEX CART Championship qualifying today but both emerged from the session feeling upbeat about their chances of earning a spot near the front of the grid.

The Canadian drivers respectively posted the 13th- and 14th-fastest times on the 2.346-mile temporary street course, the site of Round 7 in the series, on Sunday. Italy's Max Papis took the provisional pole with a time of 1 minute, 13.903 seconds (114.280 miles per hour), almost a half-second ahead of Brazil's Helio Castroneves and rookie Kenny Brack of Sweden. Carpentier, who garnered his first podium of the CART season with a third-place finish in Milwaukee two weeks ago, shaved two-tenths of a second off his morning run after the Player's crew made some minor adjustments to the suspension system. However, just as Carpentier was poised to put in some quick laps in the afternoon, he experienced a power failure with the car and had to resort to the backup.

"By the time I got back on the track with the backup car, there was little time left, although we did knock two-tenths off our time," remarked Carpentier, whose fast lap around the track was done in 1:15.823. "On the last lap, I was slowed down by a driver on a cool-down lap. He never got out of the way, so that was it for our chances to improve our time. But the way the Player's car is performing, I just know that we can cut our lap time by almost a second in tomorrow's qualifying."

Tagliani, the Team Player's rookie who is competing in Detroit for the first time in his racing career, went through a learning process today as he dealt with what he described as a "technical course where you can't afford to be off with your set-ups." Added Tagliani, who posted a fast lap of 1:15.844: "I would say 25% of driving on this track is knowing the track, so I was in the process of getting used to it. The Player's team changed the set-ups for qualifying because they were too stiff this morning. That helped us to improve our time by a second and a half, but we can still do better. The car has some understeer and in some places the wings are effective but in other places, they're not. We'll go back to the data and find a solution for tomorrow."

The final qualifying session to set the grid for Sunday's race takes place on Saturday afternoon. The Player's team will be seeking its second win in Detroit. The first came when Greg Moore was victorious there in 1997. Racing fans can watch the 84-lap Grand Prix of Detroit on a tape delay on The Sports Network at 8:30 p.m. (ET) on Sunday.

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Helio Castroneves , Max Papis , Patrick Carpentier , Alex Tagliani , Kenny Brack , Greg Moore