Houston, Texas, October 5, 2001 Team Player^Ã’s drivers Patrick Carpentier and Alex Tagliani had a chance to run practice laps under all sorts of weather conditions on the 1.527-mile street circuit on Friday in preparation for Sunday^Ã’s Grand...
Houston, Texas, October 5, 2001 Team Player^Òs drivers Patrick Carpentier and Alex Tagliani had a chance to run practice laps under all sorts of weather conditions on the 1.527-mile street circuit on Friday in preparation for Sunday^Òs Grand Prix of Houston and Round 18 in the FedEx CART Championship. Both drivers put in their fastest laps of the day in the afternoon tour of the city streets on a circuit dampened by rain a contrast to the morning session, when the track was dry.
^ÓWe basically went with the same set-up we used in Vancouver, but it didn^Òt work as well on the road surface here in Houston, which is bumpier,^Ô said Tagliani, whose combined time of 1 minute, 1.964 seconds (88.716 miles per hour) was 13th fastest on Friday. ^ÓWe weren^Òt getting enough front grip as we made our way around the track, and in Patrick^Òs case, he said he wasn^Òt getting enough back grip with his car. Our engineers are going to get together on Friday night to see what^Òs going on and come up with a solution to the problem.^Ô
The day wasn^Òt without positive developments for Tagliani, who went to the Team Player^Òs backup car for the afternoon session after encountering some problems with the primary car on Friday morning. His fast lap of 1:13.199 was the sixth quickest in the afternoon testing session. ^ÓIt was good to be able to run these practice laps in both wet and dry weather because the forecast for Saturday^Òs qualifying is a 50-50 chance of rain, so today we managed to get a feel for the circuit in wet conditions.^Ô
Carpentier, whose combined practice session time of 1:02.603 (87.810 mph) placed him 23rd for the day, said his car was loose in the back, especially when he tried to put some power down as he came into some of the turns. The lack of traction made it tough to have a smooth exit.
^ÓWe^Òve got to find something for Saturday^Òs qualifying so that the car has better balance,^Ô said Carpentier, who is within nine points of fifth place in the drivers^Ò standings. ^ÓWith one of the cars having a problem with understeer and the other with oversteer, the engineers will be sitting down to figure out how we can get a better balance and we^Òll use that for both cars.
^ÓI want to finish the race on Sunday in the points because in the three years I^Òve been racing on the Houston street circuit, it^Òs been a really tough course for me,^Ô added Carpentier, who has one podium finish on a road course this season a third-place effort at Mid-Ohio.
Racing fans can follow the progress of Team Player^Òs throughout the weekend by logging on to the team^Òs web site at www.teamplayers.ca. They can also watch the 100-lap race live on The Sports Network starting at 2:00 p.m. (ET) on Sunday.