CHAMPCAR/CART: Team Player''s Testing on Homestead Oval

Homestead, Florida, March 3, 2000 With three weeks to go before the first race in the 2000 FedEx CART Championship series, Player's drivers Patrick Carpentier and Alex Tagliani today completed a productive testing session on the 1.5-mile...

Homestead, Florida, March 3, 2000 With three weeks to go before the first race in the 2000 FedEx CART Championship series, Player's drivers Patrick Carpentier and Alex Tagliani today completed a productive testing session on the 1.5-mile Homestead oval they will be racing on at the March 26 season opener.

The Friday session capped a busy week for Team Player's that began with Carpentier testing the short-oval wing package on the track in Phoenix last Monday before putting in laps on the Homestead road course on Thursday a day after Tagliani had conducted testing on the same configuration.

"We're extremely pleased with the progress we were able to make this week," said Team Player's manager Phil LePan. "I think it puts us right where we want to be heading into the season. Both the crew and the drivers have worked hard during our off-season testing program and it has produced some very positive results."

LePan said today's testing session simulated race conditions, complete with pit stops and running under full-course yellows. The Player's drivers shared the track with several other CART drivers, including Jimmy Vasser, Juan Montoya, Roberto Moreno and Richie Hearn.

Tagliani, whose time of 26.4 seconds was one of the fastest laps of the day, said the sessions this week have been most beneficial as he prepares to embark on his rookie season in the CART series.

"I think it was extremely important to have the opportunity to fully simulate race conditions," explained Tagliani who put in 150 laps. "Until today, I wasn't really sure how I would feel after putting in a long stretch like that, but at the end of it, I felt really great. Now, I can't wait to be able to go out there and do it under competitive conditions."

Carpentier, who had his session on the Homestead road course cut short earlier in the week because of a broken fuel pump, made the most of a full day's session on Thursday.

"We were able to make a lot of progress on the Homestead road configuration, especially on the fast corners," stated Carpentier. "It shares similarities with the track at Portland, and the work we did here should help us with our set-up for that race. I thoroughly enjoyed working with my new engineer (Canadian Michael Cannon). I think the chemistry on our team is outstanding."

LePan, who was impressed by the team's Reynard/Ford Cosworth package and the way the Champ Car handled, said there is a possibility Team Player's will be able to squeeze in another day of testing prior to the season opener.

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Jimmy Vasser , Roberto Moreno , Alex Tagliani , Richie Hearn