CHAMPCAR/CART: Portland: Player's Friday qualifying report

Team Player'S drivers Tagliani and Carpentier looking to get better grip on Portland road course. Canadian drivers sit 10th and 13th respectively after first day of qualifying. Portland, Oregon, June 14, 2002 High temperatures in the ...

Team Player'S drivers Tagliani and Carpentier looking to get better grip on Portland road course. Canadian drivers sit 10th and 13th respectively after first day of qualifying.

Portland, Oregon, June 14, 2002 High temperatures in the Pacific Northwest did not translate into the hot laps Team Player's drivers were hoping for on the first day of qualifying, but Alex Tagliani and Patrick Carpentier believe they can still put the heat on the leaders for top spot on the grid for Sunday's G.I. Joe's 200 at Portland International Raceway.

With less than a second between the pole sitter and the 15th-place driver, there was again little room for error and Alex Tagliani found himself battling the car as much as his competitors to crack the top-10 with a lap time of 59.604 seconds for an average speed of 191.386 km/h on the 1.969-mile road course.

"It's a little disappointing because we found ourselves with the same problem as last weekend with a malfunction in the traction control system, but we're still only half a second from the pole, so that gives us confidence going into final qualifying," said Tagliani, who also suffered with an erratic gearbox with gears jumping out of sequence several times during his 13-lap session.

Championship leader and last weekend's race winner Cristiano da Matta added another point to his total by capturing the provisional pole with a time of 59.083 seconds (193.074 km/h), ahead of Kenny Brack (59.168 seconds) and Christian Fittipaldi (59.215 seconds).

"We probably had the fastest car on the straights, but we can't seem to find the right balance in the corners and that's the main thing we will work on with the engineers because we're certainly not lacking speed," said Carpentier, who clocked the 13th-fastest time of the session with a time of 59.785 seconds for an average speed of 190.807 km/h.

The final one-hour qualifying session will take place Saturday at 4:45 p.m. ET and racing fans can follow Team Player's progress at the Grand Prix of Monterey throughout the weekend by logging on to the team's website at www.teamplayers.ca. They can also watch the race on tape delay on The Sports Network starting at 8:00 p.m. ET on Sunday.

-player's-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Alex Tagliani , Christian Fittipaldi , Kenny Brack , Cristiano da Matta