CHAMPCAR/CART: Team Player's first test with Carpentier at Firebird

Off-season testing begins for Team Player's a Patrick Carpentier runs first laps with new Lola chassis. Chandler, Arizona, January 17, 2003 Patrick Carpentier led off Team Player's off-season testing program in the Champ Car (CART) series...

Off-season testing begins for Team Player's a Patrick Carpentier runs first laps with new Lola chassis.

Chandler, Arizona, January 17, 2003 Patrick Carpentier led off Team Player's off-season testing program in the Champ Car (CART) series when he ran laps on the 1.25-mile Firebird road circuit on Friday in the first of a two-day session that will provide the team with the opportunity to work with its new Lola chassis.

Carpentier, who is coming off the best season of his six-year CART career, has previously run with the Reynard chassis, but his adjustment to the new package seems destined to be a smooth transition if his first laps of the off-season are an indication.

"It was great to get back on the track again," said Carpentier. "Today, we spent a lot of the time just doing a typical shakedown of the car. It wasn't so much a case of seeing how things went with the Lola chassis as it was seeing how the car reacted overall. It was basically a feeling-out process, and things went well on all fronts."

Carpentier, who had the track all to himself, said the surface was slippery in places, but he actually welcomed the slick conditions.

"In one way it's good to have a track like that because without the help of traction control this year, we have to rework that aspect of racing in terms of the power and engine relationship, and how that affects the handling of the car."

Carpentier's teammate, Paul Tracy, was on hand as an observer at the Firebird test session . He will turn his own first laps with Team Player's next week January 20-21 on the Sebring road circuit in Florida. Sebring is also the site of this year's CART spring training sessions, February 4-6, when all of the teams in the series there are currently 19 will run officially timed laps. Prior to spring training, the CART teams will gather at Laguna Seca, California (January 25-26) for untimed testing sessions.

-tp

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Patrick Carpentier , Paul Tracy