Alex Tagliani captures second place at Road America. TAGLIANI MAKES SECOND PODIUM APPEARANCE OF THE SEASON - Team Player's driver Alex Tagliani finished second in the CART Grand Prix of Road America, equaling his best finish of the season...
Alex Tagliani captures second place at Road America.
TAGLIANI MAKES SECOND PODIUM APPEARANCE OF THE SEASON - Team Player's driver Alex Tagliani finished second in the CART Grand Prix of Road America, equaling his best finish of the season (Motegi, Japan). Cristiano da Matta won his sixth race of the season while defending race champion Bruno Junquiera finished third. In addition to Tagliani, the remaining Ford-Cosworth entries finished in the top 10, including Jimmy Vasser (fifth), Patrick Carpentier (seventh), Mario Dominguez (eighth) and Michel Jourdain, Jr. (ninth), who set a Team Rahal record for consecutive points paying finishes in a season (12).
ALEX TAGLIANI (#33 Player's/Indeck Ford) - Finished 2nd
"The team did a fantastic job and the car was great since Friday morning. The guys at the shop are working really hard and the car is always improving. The Reynard is getting more competitive against the Lola and three podiums for the team in the last four races is really good going into Montreal and I don't think we could've asked for anything better. The guys gave me some really great pit stops all day and that's why we got second place."
WAS IT PHYSICALLY GRUELING OUT THERE TODAY? "Yeah, it was physical. It's really on the edge with fast, fast corners and in the turbulence it was really difficult to stay behind cars and keep it on the track. But it's always going to be that way in this series and never get any less competitive."
TALK ABOUT THE RESTART ON LAP 51. WHAT WAS YOUR STRATEGY? "I was trying to get the best restart I could behind Cristiano (da Matta), but the only mistake we made was to put in too tall of a seventh gear and my rpm's were a bit too low to be able to get a good draft out of him. I was very quick except on both straightaways and coming up the hill in seventh gear the car just wasn't accelerating enough. But the car was great everywhere else and I really can't say too much bad about it. I think if we would've been in front it would've been a different deal but second place is good."
JIMMY VASSER (#8 Shell Ford) - Finished 5th
"We'll take what we can get today. Struggling as we were all weekend and as hard as its been for me to finish races, on a bad weekend if we can get fifth we'll take it."
ARE YOU LOOKING FORWARD TO MONTREAL NEXT WEEKEND? "Yeah, but I don't know what to expect anymore. Every time I think we're going to be good we're not so I'm just going to reserve judgement for Montreal until we get there. I know it's a nice city and I'm looking forward to going to a new track. I won there in Atlantics and I've had fun there before. But as far as the racing goes we can be good or bad any time out so I'm going to reserve judgement until after the first session."
PATRICK CARPENTIER (#32 Player's/Indeck Ford) - Finished 7th
"We kind of took a chance and put in a seventh gear because we thought we were going to run by ourselves and it was too short. I was on the rev limiter on all three straightaways in seventh gear. There was one time when one of the red and white cars, I think (Tora) Takagi, made a huge mistake and I tried to pass him. But I got alongside him and got on the limiter and ended up being stuck behind him."
BUT YOU'VE GOT TO BE PLEASED WITH THE OUTCOME CONSIDERING THE WAY THE WEEKEND WENT FOR YOU. "Yeah, that's not too bad. We got some more points and we're still second in the championship. It's too bad that the weekend didn't start out too well and we struggled the whole time. By the middle of the race the car was pretty good but at the beginning it had too much push. It just seems like we were in the wrong place at the wrong time all weekend long. Trying to run by ourselves we were behind slow cars and trying to catch the guys at the end, boom, the yellow came out at the wrong time. Nothing was working ... nothing seems to work here for us, so I'm happy to get out of here with some points."
MARIO DOMINGUEZ (#55 Herdez Ford) - Finished 8th
"This was our best finish of the season and I have to give a lot of credit to my crew and the engineers. They gave me a car that ran consistently all day long and our strategy worked really well. Our car wasn't the fastest one out there but it was consistent and quick enough to give us a top 10 finish. I had a lot of fun out there today but I had to fight hard the entire time and couldn't relax for one moment. It was a tough couple of days for us on Friday and Saturday but this is a nice way to finish the weekend."
MICHEL JOURDAIN, JR. (#9 Gigante Ford) - Finished 9th
YOU MIGHT NOT HAVE BEEN TOO FAST THIS WEEKEND BUT YOU HAD A NICE FINISH. "I'm very disappointed because everybody at Team Rahal has been working hard to make things better and the last few weekends have been bad. The endplate on the rear wing broke so we had to make an extra pit stop and we lost quite bit of time there. We were lacking quite a bit of top speed all weekend and I don't know why. We'll see what we're going to do to improve for Montreal."