SATURDAY'S RAIN AT CAYUGA DELAYS CARPENTIER'S CASCAR DEBUT MontrÃ©al, QC, September 2nd, 2006 - Persistent rain forecast for the Southern Ontario region forced CASCAR and Cayuga Speedway Park officials to call off Saturday's racing program and...
SATURDAY'S RAIN AT CAYUGA DELAYS CARPENTIER'S CASCAR DEBUT
Montréal, QC, September 2nd, 2006 - Persistent rain forecast for the Southern Ontario region forced CASCAR and Cayuga Speedway Park officials to call off Saturday's racing program and condense the Round 9, two-day program schedule into a full race Sunday. This nasty weather has delayed the debut of Patrick Carpentier's on-track activities with other drivers on the one-mile oval. However, the Canadian open-wheel star managed to get his feet wet during a private test session on Friday, when he drove 40 laps under the supervision of Dave Jacombs of Mount Hope, Ontario.
Team owner and current driver, Jacombs, yielded his seat to Carpentier after Jerry Santucci, the new track owner of Cayuga International Speedway, proposed to sponsor Carpentier's inaugural stock car race.
Carpentier enjoyed his first taste of the powerful #88 Ford Taurus on Friday, lapping the track in the high 21 seconds on used tires. According to Jacombs, with new tires, the Quebec driver could have stop the clock around 21.3 seconds, which would have been good enough for 5th place on the grid last season. Carpentier and Jacombs spent a lot of time working on the car's set ups to suit the driver's style, and the veteran Jacombs had a lot of advices for his "rookie" driver.
"It's a shame that we are going to lose one day of on-track activities and that everything will be done in only one day," commented Carpentier. "I would have preferred to have two days of activities because this would have given me more time to talk with the team, but this is what it is. I had a lot of fun on Friday. I've never had that much fun driving a car since my Atlantic days (when he won the Championship in the Atlantic open-wheel series back in 1996). The Taurus handles real well when we make changes to the set ups. Nevertheless, I think that I will learn a lot more when I will share the track with other drivers. You learn so much more when you see how they drive."
According to Carpentier, "we could have better weather on Sunday, but nobody's sure of anything when it comes to weather forecasting." If the conditions persist, everything will be pushed back to Labour Day Monday.
CASCAR Super Series drivers and teams will be busy on Sunday. The only practice session will be held between 11 and 12 noon, followed by qualifying time trials at 2:00 p.m. The first of two 50-lap shootout races is scheduled to start at 3:30 p.m. The results of those two short races will set the grid for the Hot Head Henry 200 Feature Race, that is if the weather cooperates.