CHAMPCAR/CART: Team Player's Gold Coast preview

Patrick Carpentier And Alex Tagliani Discover The Australian Outback With The Winners Of A Team Player'S Contest Surfers Paradise, Australia, October 23, 2001 Australia is renowned for its natural splendor and warm hospitality, and Team...

Patrick Carpentier And Alex Tagliani Discover The Australian Outback With The Winners Of A Team Player'S Contest

Surfers Paradise, Australia, October 23, 2001 Australia is renowned for its natural splendor and warm hospitality, and Team Player's drivers Patrick Carpentier and Alex Tagliani, along with the winners of the team's "Off-Track in the Outback" contest, are discovering these "Down Under" charms this week. It's all part of a 12-day adventure trip capped by the Team Player's drivers competing in the 19th race of the FedEx CART Championship season at Surfers Paradise.

Through the auspices of Team Player's, the seven contest winners and their guests are in for memorable experience, and the drivers will have the opportunity to spend some time with the entourage and accompany them for certain activities, such as scaling the famed Sydney Bridge and a special day at Bondi Beach, site of the Sydney Olympics volleyball tournament last year.

"This is my fifth trip to Australia and the winners have been asking me questions as though I was their tour guide, but I'm discovering things just like they are because we're going to exclusive places that I never had the chance to see before," explained Carpentier, who is currently in ninth place in the CART drivers' standings with 86 points.

Tagliani, who celebrated his 29th birthday last Thursday (October 18), is making his second trip to kangaroo country. He raced at Surfers Paradise as a CART rookie last year and was leading the race on lap 36 when his car ran out of fuel.

"Having the support of such a select group of Canadian racing fans when we're competing internationally is really something special to us, and I hope they'll bring us luck, although it could be costly for Team Player's if we win because they'll want to go to every race," quipped Tagliani, who is 17th in the drivers' standings with 51 points and two races left on the 2001 schedule.

With 18 races completed in the championship, defending champion Gil de Ferran has a 26-point lead over Sweden's Kenny Brack, while Helio Castroneves, de Ferran's teammate and fellow countryman, is in third place with 141 points.

The Honda Indy 300, a 65-lap race, begins on Sunday afternoon in Australia, however, because of the time difference, it will be at the stroke of midnight in the Eastern time zone. Racing fans can watch the event live on The Sports Network beginning at midnight.

Internet users will be able to follow the progress of Team Player's in practice sessions, qualifying and the race itself by logging on to the web site at www.teamplayers.ca. They will also be able to find out how the contest winners are doing in their adventures through daily reports featuring photos and video footage.

-Player's-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Gil de Ferran , Patrick Carpentier , Alex Tagliani , Kenny Brack