CHAMPCAR/CART: Team Players looks for points at Detroit

Detroit, Michigan, June 15, 2000 After streaking to victory in his Champ car last weekend in a speed showdown against a CF-18 fighter plane at a Bagotville, Quebec air show, Team Player's driver Patrick Carpentier returns to FedEX CART...

Detroit, Michigan, June 15, 2000 After streaking to victory in his Champ car last weekend in a speed showdown against a CF-18 fighter plane at a Bagotville, Quebec air show, Team Player's driver Patrick Carpentier returns to FedEX CART Championship competition this weekend when he and teammate Alex Tagliani hit the streets of Detroit.

The upcoming Grand Prix of Detroit race weekend signals the start of the heaviest portion of the CART schedule, with six races in the next seven weeks for the Team Player's drivers. It also marks the beginning of a stretch of four straight street- and road-course events.

Only one non-oval event has been staged in the series thus far at Long Beach in mid-April but that was one of three races that Carpentier missed while mending his broken left wrist.

Carpentier is rounding into peak form, as evidenced by his strong performance in Milwaukee two weeks ago, when he finished third the third podium of his CART career and his second top-5 finish of the season.

"We've felt since the start of the season that we have the right package for the Player's team to be consistently in contention," said Carpentier. "We're always aiming to be in the top 5 and, fortunately, we've been able to do that in two of the three races we've run in so far. After missing three races because of the wrist injury, it's going to take that type of consistency to climb our way up the drivers' standings, and getting the podium in Milwaukee enabled us to move up several positions. We want to keep doing that.

"I didn't have any unusual amount of soreness in my wrist after the race in Milwaukee. I talked to some of the other drivers and they said their wrists were a bit sore, too, but that's something which is normal after going through a long race. With a series of street and road-course events coming up, it was good to have a couple of days of testing sessions on the Mid-Ohio road course last week. I expect the Ford engine we have this year will perform well on the Detroit street circuit."

Tagliani, in his rookie season with Team Player's, will be making his first appearance on the Belle Isle track, although he is mindful of the team's past success there Greg Moore won the race in Detroit in 1997 and took the pole the next year.

"I'm going into the Detroit race hungry to pick up some points in the drivers' standings because we've had some misfortune in that regard recently," remarked Tagliani. "This is an extremely competitive series and you can stay close to the pack as long as you can get into the paying points on a regular basis. That's what we were doing at the start of the season and we're going to work hard to get back into that groove in Detroit."

Canadian acing fans can watch the 84-lap Grand Prix of Detroit on a tape delay on The Sports Network at 8:30 p.m. on Sunday.

WEEKEND SCHEDULE

Eastern time Friday, June 16 CART practice 10:30 a.m. noon CART qualifying 2:30 p.m. 3:00 p.m. (1st group) CART qualifying 3:15 p.m. 3:45 p.m. (2nd group)

Saturday, June 17 CART practice 10:00 a.m. 11:15 a.m. CART qualifying 1:45 p.m. 2.15 p.m. (1st group) CART qualifying 2:30 p.m. 3:00 p.m. (2nd group)

Sunday, June 18 CART warm-up 9:00 a.m. 9:30 a CART race 1:00 p.m.

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Patrick Carpentier , Alex Tagliani , Greg Moore