Double-whammy for Player’s/Forsythe squad

Friday was a particularly rough day for the Player's/Forsythe team at Motegi as both of the Ford-Cosworth engines in the team's cars failed to last through a two-lap qualifying run on the flat-out Motegi oval

Double-whammy for Player’s/Forsythe squad

Patrick Carpentier was third fastest in the morning practice, and his first qualifying lap was good for 10th on the grid for Saturday's Firestone Firehawk 500. But Patrick's motor went pop about a hundred yards short of the start finish line, forcing the French-Canadian to coast his Reynard into Turn One to wait for a tow-in.

Remarkably, his team mate Alex Tagliani's Ford-Cosworth engine also let go during his second qualifying lap, this time in a spectacular and smoky way exiting Turn Two. A more lengthy clean-up was required before qualifying resumed.

"I knew it was losing power on the first lap, but once you get the green flag for qualifying you have to keep going anyway," said Carpentier, who like his team mate, is still in search of his first 2001 championship point. "It's too bad, because I think the team gave us a car good enough for pole position. We were hoping we could do it, but again we got sidelined by technical problems. It's a shame, because we came here with a car that was fast.

"I asked the guys if they changed anything, perhaps with the radiators that could have caused what happened this afternoon," Carpentier added. "But the car was identical to this morning, and the water temperature was right around 100-degrees. The temperature was perfectly fine, and that Ford was so fast this morning that it makes it disappointing."

Tagliani's first lap was good for 19th on the grid, but he never completed the second.

"I knew right away something was wrong when I went out of the pits," Tagliani said. "I could tell there wasn't much power, but what can you do? You never know if it's something you did wrong or just bad luck. We had bad luck all weekend. We had a big gearbox problem on Friday afternoon and didn't do many laps. We improved out car this morning, did a 26.1, and were hoping for a 25.9 in qualifying. It's a big horsepower track, and if the engine goes wrong a little bit, it's over."

Tagliani admitted the slow start to the season for himself and his team mate has been frustrating.

"We don't have any points right now after three races," he said. "I got punted from behind in Long Beach after being quick all weekend long, and we would have been sixth or seventh at Nazareth. I don't know what we need to do. The Player's team is a good team, we had a good car - Pat was strong all weekend long - but we need to pray more or something."

shares
comments
Zanardi bounces back in Motegi practice
Previous article

Zanardi bounces back in Motegi practice

Next article

Qualifying woe for Reynard-Toyota runners

Qualifying woe for Reynard-Toyota runners
The 2022 Autosport Awards winner using Esports as a launchpad Plus

The 2022 Autosport Awards winner using Esports as a launchpad

A trail blazed in Esports has inspired a revamp of the annual prize that aims to discover the best young engineering talent. Autosport met Autosport Williams Engineer of the Future winner Michael Preston

General
Jan 18, 2023
The plug in and play stand-ins who got their timing just right Plus

The plug in and play stand-ins who got their timing just right

Nyck de Vries’s Italian GP exploits weren’t the first post-eleventh-hour call-up in motorsport history, and won’t be the last either. Here are some offbeat tales from the past

General
Dec 26, 2022
Porsche’s hopeful Le Mans future meets its illustrious past Plus

Porsche’s hopeful Le Mans future meets its illustrious past

Rising sportscar star Adam Smalley had to pinch himself when offered the chance to drive the car that won the world’s most famous enduro in 1987

Historics
Sep 6, 2022
Why romanticism isn't the key factor in Lola’s racing return Plus

Why romanticism isn't the key factor in Lola’s racing return

The iconic Lola name is being relaunched after it was taken over by new ownership. Part of that reboot is a planned return to racing, though the exact details of this are still to be finalised - though its new owner does have a desire to bring the brand back to the Le Mans 24 Hours. But romanticism doesn't appear to be the driving force behind this renewed project...

General
Jul 14, 2022
Rating the best drivers of the century so far Plus

Rating the best drivers of the century so far

Autosport's Top 50 feature has been a staple of the magazine for the past two decades since its first appearance in 2002. Here are the drivers that have featured most prevalently during that time

General
Jan 7, 2022
The best motorsport moments of 2021 Plus

The best motorsport moments of 2021

Motorsport produced one of its greatest years of all-time in 2021 despite a backdrop of ongoing COVID-19 challenges and an ever-changing racing landscape. Through the non-stop action Autosport has collected the finest moments from the past 12 months to highlight the incredible drama and joy motorsport generates

General
Dec 31, 2021
The racing comeback artists who resurrected long-dormant careers Plus

The racing comeback artists who resurrected long-dormant careers

Making it in motorsport can be tough, and sometimes drivers move elsewhere before their best chance arrives. Here are some of those who made it back

General
Dec 26, 2021
The hidden racing gem attracting ex-F1 heroes Plus

The hidden racing gem attracting ex-F1 heroes

It’s rarely mentioned when it comes to assessing the best national contests, but the Brazilian Stock Car series that reaches its climax this weekend has an ever-growing appeal. Its expanding roster of ex-Formula 1 names has helped to draw in new fans, but it's the closeness of competition that keeps them watching

General
Dec 10, 2021