IRL: Motegi: Patrick Carpentier qualifying report

CARPENTIER WILL START FROM ROW SEVEN IN JAPAN Montreal, April 29, 2005 - Patrick Carpentier will start from row seven for Saturday's Indy Japan 300 at Twin Ring Motegi in Japan. The Canadian driver posted the 14th best lap time...

CARPENTIER WILL START FROM ROW SEVEN IN JAPAN

Montreal, April 29, 2005 - Patrick Carpentier will start from row seven for Saturday's Indy Japan 300 at Twin Ring Motegi in Japan. The Canadian driver posted the 14th best lap time in the single car qualifying session, driving around the 2.414-kilometre (1.5-mile) oval track in 27.2551 seconds for an average speed of 323.107 km/h. Carpentier was satisfied with the changes made to his car before the qualifying session. In the practice session prior to qualifying, the Red Bull Cheever Racing driver ended near the rear of the field in 21st place.

''Before qualifying, we seemed to be going backward every time we went out,'' Carpentier said. ''My teammate (Alex Barron) thought he found something that improved the handling during the third practice, and the engineers decided to take some of his set ups and put them on my car. This makes it more difficult to go out and qualify well in just two laps when you don't know how the car is going to react with last minute changes. But it went well. We are using new dampers this weekend and they make the car more predictable. We had troubles with handling on the first day because the springs were too hard. The rear of the car was sliding a little too much for my taste. We are still learning how the new dampers work, but I'm very confident for the race. I have to be patient on this track and go easy with the car. Last year, eight drivers did not finish the race.'' He will share row seven with Australian driver Ryan Briscoe.

His teammate Alex Barron finished 16th overall with a lap time of 27.3357 seconds (322.108 km/h). He will share the eighth row with Bryan Herta of the United States.

Sam Hornish Jr. was fastest of the 23 drivers qualifying for Round 4 of the 2005 Indy Car Series. The American driver captured his first pole of the season, the fourth of his IRL career with a lap time of 26.7276 seconds (329.496 km/h). Sharing the front row with him (Hornish) will be Danica Patrick, who made history by becoming the first woman to start a major single-seater race from the front row of an IndyCar Series event since Sarah Fisher qualified second at Richmond in 2003. The American driver posted her quickest lap in 26.7577 seconds and held provisional pole for quite some time before Hornish came along. The previous year, Sarah Fisher had won the pole in the Kentucky Speedway. Another American driver, Scott Sharp, qualified third, ahead of Brazilian Helio Castroneves. The third row belongs to British driver Dan Wheldon, the points' leader, and Tomas Scheckter of South Africa.

THE GREEN FLAG FOR THE INDY JAPAN 300 WILL BE GIVEN AT 12:01 A.M. EASTERN TIME SATURDAY MORNING. THE 200-LAP RACE WILL BE TELECAST BY TSN AT 3:30 P.M. (EDT) ON SATURDAY, APRIL 30 (TAPE-DELAY). A FULL NEWS REPORT ON SATURDAY'S RACE WILL FOLLOW.

Late night fans with high-speed data connection can watch the race live on the internet at www.espn360.com. The video offered by ESPN360 is encoded at a high bit rate that enables a fast transmission for viewing high-quality video content. The broadband outlet ESPN360 is available free April 27-May 1 as part of ESPN "All-Access Week". Coverage of the race will begin Friday at 11:59 p.m.

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Tomas Scheckter , Sarah Fisher , Scott Sharp , Helio Castroneves , Patrick Carpentier , Bryan Herta , Alex Barron , Dan Wheldon , Ryan Briscoe , Sam Hornish Jr.