Carpentier shakes down Forsythe Lola

Patrick Carpentier got his first taste of one of the Lola chassis Forsythe Racing acquired from Chip Ganassi at the conclusion of the 2002 season on Friday at the Firebird Raceway

Carpentier shakes down Forsythe Lola

"It was great to get back on the track again," said Carpentier. "Today, we spent a lot of the time just doing a typical shakedown of the car. It wasn't so much a case of seeing how things went with the Lola chassis as it was seeing how the car reacted overall. It was basically a feeling-out process, and things went well on all fronts."

While the Lola was a new experience for Carpentier, who has driven Reynard chassis since joining Forsythe in 1998 (and before that, with Bettenhausen Racing in his rookie Champ Car season in '97), he began renewing acquaintances with Champ Car racing au natural - without traction control. To his satisfaction, he found the "green" race track somewhat on the slippery side.

"In one way it's good to have a track like that because without the help of traction control this year," he said. "We have to rework that aspect of racing in terms of the power and engine relationship, and how that affects the handling of the car."

Carpentier's new team-mate, Paul Tracy, was on hand as an observer at the test. Having raced a Lola for the balance of last season with Team Green, Tracy will get his first seat time with his new team at Sebring next week.

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