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21 Jul 2014

Carpentier: RX is for me!

Category: News, WRX Posted 21.07.14 15:00 by

World RX has attracted a host of stars from a variety of motorsport disciplines including drivers from F1, WRC, DTM, Formula Drift, BTCC and X Games. Now IndyCar and NASCAR star Patrick Carpentier has confirmed he will compete in WRX for the Canadian round at the wheel of a VW Polo SuperCar.

 

Throughout his career Canadian-born Carpentier has amassed five wins and 24 podiums in the Champ Car World Series and IndyCar.  He also competed in NASCAR in the Sprint Cup Series and Nationwide Series.  After his official retirement back in 2011, Carpentier has contested a number of charity races and is now a TV analyst for both NASCAR and World RX on Canadian TV channel RDS.

FIA World Rallycross caught up with Patrick Carpentier in the run-up to Canada to find out more about his transition from World RX commentator to Rallycross driver.

Question: Hi Patrick, you’ve been the Canadian commentator for World RX on RDS this season, how does it feel to swap to the driver’s seat for Trois-Rivières?

Answer: “I feel I’ve learnt a whole bunch about the series, especially how much more competitive it is than I first thought. This is one of the most interesting forms of racing to commentate on. It’s fast, adrenaline pumping, high energy and what I like the most is that the short races are unpredictable.”

Question: Do you think your role as a World RX commentator has helped you pick up any tips?

Answer: “It has and I have also been training very hard physically because of the lack of testing. You can pick up tips all you want while watching but it will never even come close to sitting in the car and driving. I expect this one to be a real challenge.”

Question: How well has World RX been received in Canada and North America in general?

Answer: “To me, this is the future of car racing because it has everything a young modern sports fan wants. The attention span for watching a sport has shortened quite a lot in the last few years. Long races, a lack of action and knowing what the result will be midway through the race will not attract the up and coming crowds anymore. The Rallycross show is about two hours, including many bursts of energy, action and drama – it’s what will thrive in racing. The sport is growing rapidly and with the Canadian event, people will get even more interested.”

 

Canadian Patrick Carpentier is set to do Rallycross... © Wikipedia/ERC24

Canadian Patrick Carpentier is set to do Rallycross… © Wikipedia/ERC24

 

...in the 560bhp wildcard VW Polo Mk5 SuperCar of Marklund Motorsport. © Marley's/ERC24

…in the 560bhp wildcard VW Polo Mk5 SuperCar of Marklund Motorsport. © Marley’s/ERC24

 

Question:  Which drivers are you most looking forward to pitting yourself against in World RX?

Answer: “If I make it to the semi-final, everything else is a bonus. My intentions are to do so but we’ll find out once we are on the track.”

Question: How much do you think your past experience in NASCAR and IndyCar will help when taking to the wheel of a Polo RX Supercar?

Answer: “I think it will but I’m not totally sure. I’ve raced at the Supercross Stadium in all-wheel drive machinery and it went quite well. We were running third in the final, until the car broke but I had a blast, jumping, pushing and all!”

Question: World RX of Canada is part of a wider motorsport festival, what can fans and drivers expect from this event?

Answer: “The only thing the fans can expect is to expect the unexpected! I already have butterflies and can’t wait to try the Supercar. I’m going to be laughing all the way through the first lap and I’m sure just feeling the horsepower will be a blast. Well, let me rephrase that, maybe I’ll be crying all the through this lap once I figure out what I got myself into!”

Question: Do you have any plans to compete in any further rounds of World RX?

Answer: “I would certainly love to. We’ll see how this one goes but this is truly the kind of racing I would love to pursue. In today’s sports, Rallycross is for me.”

 

Top photo: Carpentier pictured during qualification for the 2010 NAPA 200 race in Montreal, Canada. © Wikipedia/ERC24