CHAMPCAR/CART: Team Player's Sebring Spring Training notes 2003-02-05

Sebring, Florida, February 5, 2003 Patrick Carpentier and Paul Tracy both improved their fast laps around the 1.669-mile Sebring road course on the second day of the CART series' spring-training session Wednesday, but both Team Player's drivers...

Sebring, Florida, February 5, 2003 Patrick Carpentier and Paul Tracy both improved their fast laps around the 1.669-mile Sebring road course on the second day of the CART series' spring-training session Wednesday, but both Team Player's drivers admit there is still considerable work to be done.

Carpentier coaxed an additional eight-tenths from his Champ car over his Tuesday performance, turning in a lap of 51.724 seconds (116.163 miles per hour), which was eighth-best overall. The solving of a braking problem that plagued Carpentier on the opening day of spring training, contributed to a smoother run.

Tracy, whose lap of 51.737 seconds (116.134 miles per hour) was almost a tenth better than the previous day, putting him ninth fastest on the leader board, said one of the positive developments in today's session was gearbox selection. "We struggled with gearbox selection yesterday, but things were much better today.

"All things considered, though, the car was better yesterday. We made some changes overnight but the changes didn't bring about any major improvement today, and that's a bit disappointing. You always want to go forward, but that's what spring training is all about testing and trying things out. Team Player's will analyze the data and come up with a better set-up."

Carpentier noted that rule changes, such as the elimination of traction control, require some adjustments by the drivers, and he has been devoting a lot of attention to that thus far in spring training.

"Without traction control, the way to put the power down is very different than what we were doing before," he explained. "You have to be gentle when you're coming out of the corners. It changes the way we drive and that's a major adjustment that you have to make. Plus, we're working with new differentials, new shocks. We're trying a lot of combinations, but we just haven't found the right mix yet."

The final spring-training testing sessions will take place on Thursday, with the opening race of the CART season ready to roll on February 23 through the streets of St. Petersburg, Florida, a new venue for the series.

-tp-

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Patrick Carpentier , Paul Tracy