CHAMPCAR/CART: Team Player's Friday Fontana notes

Fontana, California, October 27, 2000 Team Player's drivers Patrick Carpentier and Alex Tagliani took advantage of today's practice session on Fontana's 2.029-mile super oval to work on race set-ups for Sunday's running of the Marlboro 500, the ...

Fontana, California, October 27, 2000 Team Player's drivers Patrick Carpentier and Alex Tagliani took advantage of today's practice session on Fontana's 2.029-mile super oval to work on race set-ups for Sunday's running of the Marlboro 500, the final race of the FedEx CART Championship season.

"Team Player's decided to run the entire session on full race set-ups and full tanks," explained Carpentier, who posted a fast lap of 31.574 seconds (231.342 miles per hour), placing 20th overall. "We figured that teams fighting for the championship would be running with special qualifying engines because they need that all-important point for the pole."

Gil de Ferran, who currently leads the drivers' championship by five points heading into the final race, clocked the second-fastest lap of the day, in 30.537 seconds, about four-tenths of a second behind leader Juan Montoya of Colombia.

Carpentier is hoping to emulate the success he had last July in Michigan, on a super oval similar to Fontana. In that race, he produced a strong fourth-place performance.

"One of the things I found with the track today is that it was very bumpy compared to Michigan," said Carpentier. "Team Player's didn't test here this season and it shows a bit because we can't make the car run perfectly everywhere on the track. But the goal today was to find out as much as we can. The important thing is to have a strong car for the race, and there's still a practice before tomorrow's qualifying for us to come up with the proper set-up."

Tagliani, who ran basically the same set-ups as Carpentier in today's practice session, had just about the same fast-lap performance, registering a time of 31.678 seconds (230.656 mph), placing him 21st overall.

"We concentrated on getting ready for the race, but there's still a lot of work to do," remarked Tagliani. "The rear is too unstable and the car is difficult to drive in the traffic. Team Player's will make some changes in the suspension set-ups to correct the oversteer. I'm confident most of the problems will be solved for tomorrow."

Tagliani also performed well on the Michigan super oval earlier in the year. He led the race twice and was in the lead when he was forced out by contact in the latter stages of the race.

Racing fans can track the progress of Team Player's this weekend by logging on to the web site at www.teamplayers.ca. They can also watch the race live on The Sports Network, starting at 2:30 p.m. (ET) on Sunday.

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Gil de Ferran , Alex Tagliani