CHAMPCAR/CART: Player's Portland qualifying

Portland, Oregon, June 23, 2001 Patrick Carpentier will start from the outside of Row 5 for Sunday's Round 8 of the FedEx CART Championship after the Team Player's driver clocked a fast lap of 58.231 seconds (121.729 mph) on the 1.969-mile ...

Portland, Oregon, June 23, 2001 Patrick Carpentier will start from the outside of Row 5 for Sunday's Round 8 of the FedEx CART Championship after the Team Player's driver clocked a fast lap of 58.231 seconds (121.729 mph) on the 1.969-mile permanent road course at the Portland International Raceway. It was the fifth time this season that Carpentier has qualified in the top 10.

Carpentier's teammate, Alex Tagliani, who was as high as third in the first group of qualifiers before having to sit out an eight-minute penalty assessed last week in Detroit, will start from the outside of Row 10 on the grid. The pole-sitter for the 98-lap race is Italy's Max Papis, who earned his first pole since 1999 when his lap of 57.785 seconds (122.669 mph), registered in the first group of qualifiers, held up through the second session. Brazil's Cristiano da Matta will share the front row with Papis.

"We lost side grip and the car was sliding in the corners, so it made it difficult to attack there," Carpentier said of his qualifying session, where track conditions changed from the morning run. "I like this track, and it's always been good to me and Team Player's, but you have to adjust so quickly to the changes in such a short time."

Rising temperatures also came into play in the two afternoon sessions, as the sun came out while the second group was competing, heating up the track and, consequently, making it a bit slower.

Carpentier, who has finished in the top 10 in the Portland race in each of the last three years, expressed optimism about his chances this time. "Getting 10th position in qualifying is good, because this is such a competitive series," he remarked. "From this position, there's a very good chance for a podium finish. I know that you have to be careful in the Festival Curve off the start, but I've never had a problem at the start here, and I'm going to make every effort to make sure that trend continues tomorrow."

Tagliani said the eight minutes he sat out at the end of this afternoon's session (following a red flag in the Detroit qualifying last week) cost him dearly, particularly since the Team Player's car had performed well to that point in the session, in which he was third fastest.

"Chances were good that I would have been able to keep my position or maybe improve on it," stated Tagliani. "The track was dirty when we started the session, and when I came into the pits, conditions had improved, but all I could do was watch six drivers pass me on the leader board. Usually, there aren't many full-course yellows during the race here, so Team Player's will work on a strong race strategy. It's not going to be an easy ride, but we have to stay out of trouble and be there at the end."

-Player's

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Patrick Carpentier , Alex Tagliani , Cristiano da Matta