CHAMPCAR/CART: Team Players qualify near front at Gateway

Madison, Illinois, September 16, 2000 Team Player's drivers Patrick Carpentier and Alex Tagliani both delivered strong performances on the Gateway oval today, qualifying their cars on Row 3 and 4 respectively for Sunday's Motorola 300, the 17th...

Madison, Illinois, September 16, 2000 Team Player's drivers Patrick Carpentier and Alex Tagliani both delivered strong performances on the Gateway oval today, qualifying their cars on Row 3 and 4 respectively for Sunday's Motorola 300, the 17th race of the season in the FedEx CART Championship.

The front row of the grid is occupied by Colombia's Juan Montoya, who won the pole with a quick lap of 25.353 seconds (180.334 miles per hour) and his teammate, American Jimmy Vasser, who was just 0.015 seconds off Montoya's pace.

Carpentier put in the fifth-fastest lap, clocking a time of 25.516 (179.182 mph), his second-best qualifying effort of the season, next to his third-place spot on the grid in Milwaukee, where he drove to a third-place finish, his best performance thus far.

"We've been struggling ever since we put the car on the track on Friday morning, so I'm very happy with the results," remarked Carpentier, adding that the result might have been even better, but a turbo-pop valve opened in corner 4 on his quickest lap. "Team Player's has constantly improved the car throughout the weekend, and the crew made minor adjustments prior to qualifying. But somehow, the car had a bit of push, and what you want here at Gateway is a slightly loose car. Still, we're really pleased with the progress we've made in the last two days."

Tagliani qualified in the top 10 for the sixth time in eight oval races, covering the 1.270-mile oval in a time of 25.642 (178.301 mph), the eighth-fastest lap among the 24-car field.

"It looked even better for a while, when I was in fourth, but I knew that I would slip down the grid a bit," said Tagliani. "Starting eighth is still pretty good. You can find yourself in first place after the second round of pit stops, without doing anything out of the ordinary on the track, although you still have to take care of the car because you have to shift four times, and that can be hard on the transmission if you multiply it by 236 laps."

Looking ahead to what he described as a long and eventful race, Carpentier said part of the driving strategy will be to change the gear ratio to reduce the shifting in corner 1.

"We're hopeful for a solid result, even though we didn't run too many laps today with a full tank," Carpentier added. "Team Player's usually puts out a great race car on oval tracks."

Bordin sixth in Atlantic race

In today's Toyota Atlantic Championship race on the Gateway oval, Team Player's driver Andrew Bordin, of Woodbridge, Ontario, recorded a sixth-place finish in the 50-lap race won by American Casey Montgomery. Bordin is fourth in the drivers' standings with 111 points.

Racing fans can track the progress of Team Player's on Sunday by logging on to the web site at www.teamplayers.ca. They can also watch the Motorola 300 live on The Sports Network at 2:30 p.m. (ET).

Sunday, Sept. 17 CART warm up 9:30 a.m. 10:00 a.m. 10:30 a.m. 11:00 a.m. CART race 1:30 p.m. 2:30 p.m.

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Jimmy Vasser , Alex Tagliani , Andrew Bordin