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ECR Makes Improvements Saturday at Sonoma


Open Wheel Racing Topics:  Ed Carpenter, GoPro Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma

ECR Makes Improvements Saturday at Sonoma

Tom Blattler
Ed Carpenter Racing
August 25, 2012


Ed CarpenterECR Makes Improvements Saturday at Sonoma
August 25th 2012 - SONOMA, Calif. – It was a day of improvement for Ed Carpenter and the ECR/Fuzzy’s Vodka team Saturday at Sonoma Raceway in qualifying for Sunday’s GoPro Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma, the 13th stop of the 15-race IZOD IndyCar Series.

Carpenter improved nearly two seconds over Friday’s runs in the No. 20 Fuzzy’s Ultra Premium Vodka Chevrolet at the demanding 2.3-mile, 11-turn permanent racing facility in the beautiful Napa Valley.

The USAC open-wheel veteran worked closely with his engineering team of Matt Barnes, Brent Harvey, Ed Delporte, Joe Howard and consultant Lee Bentham to gain a quicker combination Saturday after Friday’s laps despite the windy conditions in qualifications. The rookie team continues to make progress with the new Dallara DW 12 chassis at the road course events.

Carpenter posted a best time of one minute, 19.683 seconds during the first round of time trials at the picturesque road circuit. Ed’s starting position will not be determined until Sunday morning’s warm-up session as engine changes are expected with several cars. Will Power won Saturday’s pole position at 1:17.270, his third straight Sonoma pole.

One of the largest fields at a road racing facility this year, 27 cars, will take the green flag Sunday at 1:42 p.m. PDT in the 85-lap feature. The national telecast will be shown on NBC Sports Network beginning at 1:00 p.m. PDT.

“It’s funny,” said Carpenter, the only driver/team owner in the field. “There are some things we weren’t happy with the car and other things that felt better. We were in the second group which seemed to be a stronger bunch in the first round of qualifying. We were faster than a few cars in the first group but we’ll have to start behind them due to the starting grid rules. It’s encouraging that we closed the gap with the leaders each session. So I think we are improving the car here. We have been more competitive here than other tracks, but it stinks that we have to start behind some cars that are slower. We’ll wait and see how the lineup fares after the Sunday warm-up and engine changes.”

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