Homestead, Florida, February 9, 2001 - Exactly one month prior to the first race weekend on the FedEx CART Championship schedule, Team Player's driver Alex Tagliani today completed his final off-season testing session on an oval configuration, ...
Homestead, Florida, February 9, 2001 - Exactly one month prior to the first race weekend on the FedEx CART Championship schedule, Team Player's driver Alex Tagliani today completed his final off-season testing session on an oval configuration, putting the 2001 Player's Reynard through its paces on the 1.5-mile Homestead track.
"We had a productive two days on the Homestead oval," said Tagliani, who shared the track with five other drivers in the CART series. "We were able to accomplish what we set out to do - things like working on the front suspension and trying out a different wheel base. Now that we've finished our off-season testing on ovals, we can concentrate on the road courses and focus specifically on the opening race of the year, which is a road-course event in Monterrey (Mexico).
"At this point of our off-season testing, I think we're right where we want to be," added Tagliani, who is entering his sophomore season in the CART series after a rookie campaign that was filled with promise. "I had the opportunity to work with (Team Player's technical advisor) Tony Cicale the last two days and we've developed a strong rapport. I think it's great to be able to draw on the expertise of a guy like Tony. It can only make me a better driver."
Tagliani and the Team Player's crew had to cope with windy conditions on both days of the testing sessions. They also took some time out of today's run to make some gear-box adjustments.
"The wind affected the car differently, depending on which end was receiving the brunt of it," said Tagliani. "Sometimes, it was quicker on one side and we were fighting the wind on the other. That made the car a bit tricky to handle at times but we worked with it and everything turned out well."
Team Player's has another off-season testing session scheduled for Sunday, when Tagliani will run the car on a straightaway at the Naples, Florida track. This session will give Team Player's the opportunity to work on aerodynamics.
Team Player's driver Patrick Carpentier's next testing session will be at Laguna Seca, California, February 14th and 15th.