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ECR Hurt by Rain and Setups Friday at Belle Isle

Open Wheel Racing Topics:  Ed Carpenter, Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix presented by ShopAutoWeek.com

ECR Hurt by Rain and Setups Friday at Belle Isle

Tom Blattler
Ed Carpenter Racing
June 1, 2012

Ed Carpenter
June 1st 2012 - DETROIT – Ed Carpenter Racing was looking for another strong street performance Friday in the streets of Detroit’s Belle Isle as practice runs began for Sunday’s Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix.

Carpenter, who ran as high as third in last Sunday’s Indy 500, was anxious to return to the Belle Isle 2.1-mile, 14-turn circuit through the picturesque island northeast of downtown Detroit. Ed put in a strong showing in the streets of Sao Paulo, Brazil in late April but Friday proved frustrating for the IZOD IndyCar Series’ only owner/driver.

The return to the Belle Isle course for the IndyCar Series drivers was met with a steady rain keeping the majority of the 25-driver field out of the first hour of practice. After an “install” lap to test all of the No. 20 Fuzzy’s Ultra Premium Vodka Chevrolet inter-workings, the ECR crew decided to park the car and wait to the late afternoon practice.

With windy and cold conditions, the full field hit the track but Carpenter’s mount wasn’t handling to his liking. After the Indy 500 qualifying crash, ECR was down to a single Dallara chassis for the Indy 500, the Milwaukee testing and the Belle Isle event. The team traveled directly after the Milwaukee test Wednesday to Detroit to change from the oval setup to the road racing settings. Ed’s best speed was 96.327 miles per hour.

Carpenter felt something went awry in the initial setups and he and the team’s engineering staff was sifting through data late Friday to find an improvement for Saturday’s qualifications set for 11:45 a.m. EDT. The Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix will begin at 3:45 p.m. Sunday and will be televised live on ABC-TV.

“We had a problem with the car today,” said Carpenter. “We were pretty anxious to get on the Belle Isle track after the run we had at Brazil. This is the same car we ran in the Indy 500 and in the Milwaukee test with and something just isn’t right. Back at the shop we are getting the backup car ready for the Texas race next week, but right now we just have the single car. The qualifying crash set us back a little in our normal road course car. The track doesn’t feel as bumpy as I remember it. We just need to sit down and go over everything with the set ups. Having the rain in the first practice didn’t help us either today. But we’ll be ready for Saturday.”

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