Carpentier confirmed at Players Forsythe

Patrick Carpentier is staying with the Players Forsythe team for 2001, it was confirmed in Montreal today. It will be Carpentier's fourth season with the team,

Carpentier confirmed at Players Forsythe

The Canadian driver missed three races this after breaking his wrist in a fall at home. He recently underwent surgery to have a metal plate removed. There followed speculation that the team was looking for a replacement when they failed to take up their option mid-season.

However a strong finish to the season - his best yet in CART -- as well as the lack of available Canadian racers to take his place, means Carpentier keeps his seat, and he will again line-up alongside Alex Tagliani.

"The loss of Greg Moore changed the team's dynamics," admitted Carpentier. "It took me quite a while to assume a leadership role, but this last season was quite eventful, and I gained some maturity from it."

Unusually, there was no denying the internal political problems that unsettled Carpentier mid-season. "You have to realise there is going to be friction in racing, just as there is in every work place. But I'm approaching the 2001 season with renewed confidence in the Team Players operations, and I'm convinced our perseverance will pay off in the end."

Alex Tagliani will again be Carpentier's team mate in 2001, having shown promise in his rookie-season even though the end results are not what they could have been.

"It's hard to imagine the extent of the challenge when you make the jump to the CART series, because quite often you're facing the unknown," said Tagliani. "But now I know what to expect and how to react in tight situations. I think I've proved that I can stand up to the challenge and I feel that, as a team, we have all the tools to be right in the thick of the championship hunt in 2001."

Tagliani has spent the last two weeks recovering at home following his accident at the season finale at Fontana. The Forsythe driver had a heavy crash while running in third place with just a handful of laps to go. He was discharged from hospital the day after the crash, having suffered bruises to his back and lungs.

The team is sticking with its Reynard-Ford package, and will begin testing on December 19 and 20 at Sebring.

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