Team Player's Alex Tagliani earns his second podium of the year with second place finish at Road America. Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, August 18, 2002 Team Player's driver Alex Tagliani capped a stellar race weekend at Road America on Sunday as he...
Team Player's Alex Tagliani earns his second podium of the year with second place finish at Road America.
Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, August 18, 2002 Team Player's driver Alex Tagliani capped a stellar race weekend at Road America on Sunday as he moved up from third spot on the starting grid to capture second place, a crucial sixteen points to put him sixth in the driver standings, and his second podium of the 2002 FedEx CART Championship season.
The Team Player's driver stood alone on the podium, but he was quick to share the success, and place credit where he thought credit was due for the team's third podium in four races.
"Team Player's worked so hard to keep the car competitive, we're improving all the time, and we're glad to see the Reynards become more and more competitive," Tagliani said. "The guys at the track and the guys in the shop have shown that our team is really strong. We had great pit stops, the crew was so fast. It was a pit stop that gave us second place. This was such a physical race, we were on the edge the whole time, and we couldn't rest at all."
Brazil's Cristiano da Matta took home the chequered flag at Elkart Lake, his sixth win of the season. Despite various unsuccessful last minute attempts to pass the Team Player's car, Bruno Junqueira had to settle for third place.
Tagliani's teammate Patrick Carpentier saw a vast improvement in his car over the weekend. After qualifying a disappointing twelfth, the Team Player's driver drove his car to a seventh place finish, thereby earning six points and safeguarding his hold on second place in the driver's standings. (Carpentier technically shares second spot with Bruno Junqueira as they both have 101 points, but Carpentier's wins put him ahead of the Brazilian.)
"This is my best result on this track," said Carpentier. ""I'm a little disappointed that we had to play catch up all weekend, though. We put in a shorter seventh gear because we thought I'd be running alone more often, but I was always in traffic. It just made it impossible to pass on the straights, so I had to make all my moves on the corners. Team Player's worked hard all weekend to make sure I kept my second place in the championship standings. And second place overall is pretty good. It's tough to compete with a team that rarely makes a mistake, and that team (Newman Haas) never really makes a mistake."
Both Team Player's drivers are eagerly anticipating racing in front of the home crowd at next weekend's inaugural Montreal Molson Indy at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, and will spend much of the week in the city.
"In Montreal, I'm really looking forward to spending time on the track, which we could not do here. We want to diagnose the problems with the car early, and set it up properly," said Carpentier. "I just want to make sure we get the right set up for Montreal." added Tagliani. "We want to do well at that race especially."
Racing fans can follow Team Player's progress at the Molson Indy Montreal throughout the weekend by logging on to the team's website at www.teamplayers.ca. They can also watch the pre-race show on Global TV followed by the race LIVE at 2 pm ET on Sunday.