Motegi, Japan, Friday, May 18, 2001 - Team Player's drivers Patrick Carpentier and Alex Tagliani respectively qualified 10th and 19th today at the Twin Ring Motegi oval track in Japan following problems during their single-car runs. Third...
Motegi, Japan, Friday, May 18, 2001 - Team Player's drivers Patrick Carpentier and Alex Tagliani respectively qualified 10th and 19th today at the Twin Ring Motegi oval track in Japan following problems during their single-car runs.
Third overall following the morning practice, Carpentier was confident he would get a good starting position prior to the start of the qualification. "On the first lap, I knew I was in trouble because the car was much slower," said Carpentier. "Just as I crossed the finish line on the second lap, the engine blew. But the weekend is not over yet. Even with our engine problem, we still managed to qualify on the fifth row. The Player's Team gave me a really fast car. We are looking to finish the race in the points." Carpentier best lap was run in 26.147 seconds, less than three tenths of a second from the leader.
His teammate Tagliani only ran one qualifying lap, in 26.530 seconds, before his engine expired, spilling oil on the track. "It's frustrating because Team Player's worked so hard to improve the car following each session," explained Tagliani . This isn't a reflection on the team's work. We haven't had a chance to prove ourselves but I know our efforts will be rewarded. Tomorrow, I'm going to be aggressive during the race and you be you'll see me do a lot of passing."
Helio Castroneves captured his second pole of the season, his sixth career pole. The Brazilian turned in the quickest lap of the session with a time of 25.849 seconds for an average speed of 346.950 km-h. He will share the front row with Dario Franchitti of Scotland who posted his fastest time in 25.991 seconds. The second row will be shared by Brazilians Gil de Ferran and Tony Kanaan.
The stage is set for the Firestone Firehawk 500 which racing fans can watch live on The Sports Network (TSN) at 11:30 p.m. ET on Friday. Fans can also follow Team Player's by logging on to the team's website at www.teamplayers.ca.
<pre> WEEKEND SCHEDULE
Japan Time Eastern Time (-13) Sat. May 19 CART Warm Up 9:00 a.m. - 9:30 a.m. 8:00 p.m. - 8:30p.m. (Fri) CART Race (201 laps) 12:30 p.m. - 11:30 p.m. -(Fri)