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Latest News and Commentary

Players team completes successful Sebring test

March 22,  2002


Patrick Carpentier

Sebring, Florida, March 22, 2002 - Team Player's two-day testing session on the 1.72-mile Sebring road course concluded Friday with encouraging results on two fronts - driver Patrick Carpentier clocked the fastest lap time on this second day and the team's Ford-Reynard Champ car package performed exceptionally well.

"It was the best test we've done this year," remarked Team Player's technical director Bruce Ashmore. "It was especially good because when you're coming off a race, you have clear questions and you know what issues you want to focus on. Over the last two days, we've run set-ups for the street course in Long Beach, where we'll be racing in couple of weeks. This session has really helped a great deal to prepare us for that race."

Drivers from five other CART series teams shared the track with Carpentier on Friday, as the Team Player's driver logged almost 90 laps, about the same number of laps he had done on Thursday, when his fastest lap was 51.7 seconds on a track that still had lots of grip after last weekend's running of the 12 hours of Sebring. In registering the quickest lap on Friday, Carpentier toured the road circuit in 51.1 seconds.

The main focus of the two-day session was further developing the traction control system, a device that teams are allowed to use during the 2002 CART season. Reynard also delivered a new undertray and a new and improved front wing for the sessions, along with a fresh set of aerodynamic components, to set the race car up for Long Beach.

"We were not only looking at Long Beach, but Montreal and Mexico City as well, because the Sebring course we tested on is quite similar to these tracks," said Carpentier. "We tested extensively at Sebring in the off-season but this was the first time we did it using a street-course set-up on a car that included street-course tires."

"I'm totally pleased with the way the two days went," added Carpentier, who had a seventh-place finish at the season-opener in Monterrey, Mexico earlier this month. "I got a lot of answers to questions I had coming out of Monterrey - things like teamwork and how the car works, for example. Having a testing session like this between your first and second race is good because you can clear up any questions you have before the next race weekend."

Carpentier's teammate Alex Tagliani, fresh off a fifth-place finish in Monterrey, will be back on the track for a testing session next week in Homestead, Florida. It will be Team Player's first oval-track testing, and the session is expected to include at least 15 other CART series drivers.

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