Detroit, Michigan, June 14, 2001 Team Player's returns to road-course events and begins the most hectic segment of the FedEx CART Championship schedule when drivers Patrick Carpentier and Alex Tagliani take to the streets of Motor City for the...
Detroit, Michigan, June 14, 2001 Team Player's returns to road-course events and begins the most hectic segment of the FedEx CART Championship schedule when drivers Patrick Carpentier and Alex Tagliani take to the streets of Motor City for the Grand Prix of Detroit on Sunday.
The Detroit race, the seventh of the season in the Championship, ushers in a grueling stretch of six races in the next seven weeks. The next four races are on road courses, a layout that the CART drivers have not competed on since Round 2 of the series, in Long Beach early in April.
It's been a while since we've had a road-course event, so it's going to be fun to have that change of pace in Detroit," said Carpentier. "You can always expect a tough, physically demanding race on the Detroit street course. It's a track with 14 turns, so you really have to be at the top of your game. They widened turns 3, 4 and 5 a few years ago, and that has opened things up for more passing."
Carpentier's best road-course performance of the season came on Detroit's Raceway at Belle Isle last season, when he drove to a fifth-place finish. This top-5 result, combined with an encouraging performance in his last race, two weeks ago in Milwaukee, provide Carpentier and Team Player's with some momentum to build on this weekend.
"We were able to finish strong in Milwaukee and during the race, we had the second fastest lap," noted Carpentier. "All our off-season testing on road courses produced some positive results, and with our next four races being on road or street circuits, we're going to have the opportunity to put the data we gathered last winter to good use."
Tagliani was equally impressive on the streets of Detroit last season, finishing right behind his teammate, in sixth. It was Tagliani's first appearance at the Grand of Detroit as a CART driver.
"Team Player's prepared two really fine cars for that street course," remarked Tagliani. "There's still room for improvement, and the goal this time is for both of us to reach the podium. It's been a few years since a Ford-engine car has won in Detroit, the home of the Ford engine, so it would be fantastic if Team Player's could produce a victory for them in their own backyard."
Tagliani said that finishing in the points for the first time this season at the Milwaukee race two weeks ago was a boost to Team Player's morale, although he added that while there was disappointment with the early-season results, the team was united in its resolve to turn things around. "We all know that we have a car that is competitive. Now, with six races in the next seven weeks, we're going to have the chance to show just how competitive we are."
Racing fans can follow the progress of Team Player's throughout the weekend by logging on to the team's web site at www.teamplayers.ca. They can also watch the race live on The Sports Network at 2 p.m. (ET) on Sunday.