DAVID EMPRINGHAM HOPES HE WAS ABLE TO BE THE TRUMP CARD IN DRIVER SELECTION PROCESS Sebring, Florida, October 4, 1999</bold> - Toronto's David Empringham, the last of three drivers to go through testing sessions on the track at Sebring in...
DAVID EMPRINGHAM HOPES HE WAS ABLE TO BE THE TRUMP CARD IN DRIVER SELECTION PROCESS
Sebring, Florida, October 4, 1999</bold> - Toronto's David Empringham, the last of three drivers to go through testing sessions on the track at Sebring in a bid to succeed Greg Moore on the Player's CART Team, is convinced that his performance at the two-day tryouts will make the Player's management's decision even tougher.
"I hope that I was able to be the trump card in this selection process," said Empringham, 34, who is a two-time Atlantic champion and a former Indy Lights' championship winner. "It's really a big thrill to put the pedal to the metal and I know that the times I registered compare favourably to the other candidates. Overall, I'm pleased with my performance and I'm just happy that I'm not the person who has to decide who's going to be the next driver."
Neil Micklewright, Vice-President, Operations, for the Player's CART Team, is one of those who must make the ultimate decision, and Empringham's performance only re-affirmed what Micklewright knew heading into the tryouts.
"I knew full well that the three drivers - Alexandre Tagliani, of Lachenaie, Que., and Lee Bentham, of Newmarket, Ont., are the two others - would seize the opportunity to put in a fine performance, and David was no exception," remarked Micklewright, who oversaw the testing sessions. "He showed a lot of poise and I can say that he hasn't lost any of his skills behind the wheel. He put in a fast lap of 53.2 seconds."
As for those who contend that Empringham might not be as "hungry" to succeed as the other two candidates, the Toronto driver was absolutely beaming after logging about 225 miles in the Player's Champ car.
"I have never trained so hard as I did in the last few weeks so I could get into top shape for these tests, and I think I may have surprised quite a few people by my physical ability," stated Empringham, who will now get a well-deserved rest before the identity of Moore's successor is announced. That announcement is expected by the final race of the 1999 CART season, in Fontana, Calif., on October 31.