Cleveland, Ohio, July 2, 2000 Team Player's driver Patrick Carpentier came from well back in the field to finish fifth at today's Grand Prix of Cleveland, his fourth top-5 result of the FedEx CART Championship season. Brazilian Roberto Moreno...
Cleveland, Ohio, July 2, 2000 Team Player's driver Patrick Carpentier came from well back in the field to finish fifth at today's Grand Prix of Cleveland, his fourth top-5 result of the FedEx CART Championship season.
Brazilian Roberto Moreno won the 100-lap event on the Burke Lakefront Airport road course, his first career win in the CART series. Moreno is the eighth different driver to record a victory in nine races this season. He finished just ahead of rookie Kenny Brack of Sweden and fellow Brazilian Cristiano da Matta. Thirteen drivers in the 25-driver field were unable to finish the race, including Team Player's rookie Alex Tagliani, who retired on lap 78 when his gearbox gave out.
Carpentier moved up 14 positions from his spot on the starting grid through a combination of his racing savvy, some superb passing maneuvers and driver attrition. Some of the attrition occurred in the first corner of the first lap, when separate incidents resulted in four retirements.
"It was quite a ride from 19th on the grid to another top-5 finish," remarked Carpentier. "The Team Player's crew put a lot of time and effort into coming up with a solution to the problems we had been experiencing most of the weekend. Alex's team found a good set-up during the morning warm-up and we used it for the race. The car was running great. We had finally found the grip we were looking for all weekend long and we made no mistakes during the race."
Carpentier, who has finished in the top-10 in all but one of the six races in which he has competed this season, collected 10 points for today's fifth-place finish, boosting him into 10th place in the drivers' standings. He is within 12 points of fifth place.
Tagliani, who put in a gritty performance, also made considerable gains from his 18th position on the starting grid. With 35 laps remaining, he had climbed into sixth place and was looking at a top-5 finish when the gearbox went without any warning.
"It's too bad because I think we had the car for at least a top-5, maybe even a podium," said Tagliani, who is third in the CART rookie standings with 26 points. "Overall, Team Player's had a pretty good day after struggling with set-ups this weekend. The car was fast enough during the race and I was able to keep up with the leaders."
Following a break in the CART schedule next weekend, the Team Player's drivers will be performing in front of their home fans as the series makes its first Canadian stop of the season at the Molson Indy Toronto on July 16.
In the Atlantic series today, Player's-supported driver Andrew Bordin of Woodbridge, Ontario, had difficulties with his front right tire and finished 10th in the race that was won by American Buddy Rice. Rice moved into the lead in the drivers' standings with 82 points, 12 ahead of the third-place Bordin.