Vancouver, B.C., September 3, 1999 - Canadian drivers Lee Bentham, Alexandre Tagliani and David Empringham will take part in testing sessions this month to decide who will replace Greg Moore on the Player's CART team for the 2000 season, the ...
Vancouver, B.C., September 3, 1999 - Canadian drivers Lee Bentham, Alexandre Tagliani and David Empringham will take part in testing sessions this month to decide who will replace Greg Moore on the Player's CART team for the 2000 season, the management of the Player's Racing program announced today.
"We have identified three candidates who have all the attributes to make the jump to the CART series and who have been successful in the Player's Racing program," explained Mark Thorne, Marketing Communication Manager, for Player's. "The Player's Racing program is the training ground for Canadian motorsport talent and one of these three drivers will have the opportunity to follow in the footsteps of Jacques Villeneuve, Greg Moore and Patrick Carpentier."
Teammates on the Player's Atlantic team for the last two seasons, Bentham, of Newmarket, Ont., and Tagliani, of Lachenaie, Que., have compiled an impressive record in the development series. Bentham won the drivers' title last year, while Tagliani has six wins to his credit since his Atlantic debut. Empringham, of Toronto, was a two-time Atlantic series' champion prior to capturing the Indy Lights' crown in 1996, when he was a teammate of Bentham.
Each driver will be allotted two days of testing on the Sebring, Florida road course, a 3.7-mile layout that provides an interesting contrast of fast curves and slow corners. Three separate testing sessions are scheduled - Sept.16-17 (for Tagliani), Sept. 19-20 (for Bentham) and Sept. 30-Oct. 1 (for Empringham).
"The drivers are aware that this isn't a contest to find out who does the fastest lap," stated Neil Micklewright, Vice-President of Operations for the Player's/Forsythe team. "The drivers will be evaluated on such aspects as the consistency of their lap times, their ability to adapt to certain situations (entering/leaving the pit area, driving in a fuel-saving mode, bringing tires to temperature, etc.), as well as their communication with the engineers. Our game plan is that the drivers can get accustomed to the car on the first day, while the second day will be used to check on what kind of feedback we get from the drivers about how the car handles."
A final decision on Moore's replacement on the Player's CART team for the 2000 season will be made following the tests.