Monterey, California, February 9, 2002 Five hours of testing at the CART series Sneak Preview event produced some impressive results for Team Players and its drivers Patrick Carpentier and Alex Tagliani on the 2.238-mile Laguna Seca road course...
Monterey, California, February 9, 2002 Five hours of testing at the CART series Sneak Preview event produced some impressive results for Team Players and its drivers Patrick Carpentier and Alex Tagliani on the 2.238-mile Laguna Seca road course on Saturday. Not only was the team able to successfully conduct extensive testing, the two drivers respectively recorded the second and third fastest times of the afternoon session.
"The primary goal heading into today's session was to treat it like we would an ordinary testing session," explained Carpentier. "Team Player's tried out a lot of new stuff and basically made a concerted effort to keep working on the off-season program we've established. The fact we were both in the top 3 in the second session is a bonus. I'm really happy about it."
Twenty drivers were on the track for the day-long testing sessions, and Carpentier and Tagliani were two of six drivers to be in the one minute, 9-second range with their fast lap. Tagliani registered his fastest lap of 1:09.545 on his next-to-last lap of the day, while his teammate, who was third best in the morning, placed third in session 2 with a clocking of 1:09.687 on his last lap. Brazilian Cristiano da Matta topped the chart in both sessions, including the day's fastest lap at 1:09.500 in session 2.
"We spent the day following the game plan that we mapped out and everything went very well," remarked Tagliani. "At the end of the second session, my engineer asked me to push it a bit to see how the car would perform and we were able to put in a good lap to finish off strong. It showed that we're right up there."
Carpentier missed about 90 minutes of the second session because of a glitch in the electronics system. When he returned to the track, he did so with a different wing configuration, an adjustment that helped to improve his lap times.
Tagliani, ninth fastest in session 1, also had some down time before making his way onto the track for the second session, as the Team Player's crew completed their work on a new suspension for his car. Tagliani eventually put in 28 laps, after completing 34 in the opening session. Carpentier ran 28 and 39 laps respectively during the two sessions.
The first day of the Sneak Preview on-track activities was run in ideal weather conditions, with the track temperature gradually warming up to 76º F by mid-afternoon, a temperature rise that contributed to improved times by the drivers. Another two Sneak Preview testing sessions of 2½ hours each are scheduled for Sunday.