CHAMPCAR/CART: Houston: Team Australia preview

TEAM AUSTRALIA READY TO CONTINUE ROLL Team Australia's Alex Tagliani believes the experience of both himself and his crew will give him a shot at podium place or better in this weekend's Champ Car Grand Prix of Houston -- the second round of...

TEAM AUSTRALIA READY TO CONTINUE ROLL

Team Australia's Alex Tagliani believes the experience of both himself and his crew will give him a shot at podium place or better in this weekend's Champ Car Grand Prix of Houston -- the second round of the Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford.

Tagliani is coming off a confidence-boosting third place in the opening round at Long Beach California last month in his Aussie Vineyards Lola and is looking forward to tackling the new temporary street course in Houston.

Tagliani and fellow Canadian Paul Tracy are the only two drivers in the field who have had more than 100 starts in Champ Car competition and this can only be seen as an asset when attacking a brand new layout.

They are also two of eight drivers in the 19-car field who have recorded race wins in the series.

This year Champ Car will be revisiting the streets of Houston after a four year hiatus from the "Space City."

Houston hosted four Champ Car races from 1998-2001 on the streets of downtown. During the four year run, Houston produced four different winners.

Of the current roster of drivers only Tagliani, Paul Tracy, Cristiano da Matta, Bruno Junqueira and Oriol Servia raced on the old layout.

While Tagliani is one of the most experienced drivers in the field his young Australian team mate Will Power will be having just his fourth Champ Car start.

One of six rookies in the field, Power is confident he can build on his season-opening ninth place in Long Beach where he admits to making a couple of "rookie" mistakes which possibly cost him a top five result.

This year's Houston Grand Prix marks just the second time in history that Champ Car has run a temporary road course event under the lights

The only other temporary road course race to run at night came in 2003 when Cleveland's Burke Lakefront Airport. On that occasion Tagliani qualified seventh and finished a credible eighth.

CHAMP CAR ATLANTICS -- ROUND 2

This weekend will also see the second round of the Champ Car Atlantic Series which will feature Team Australia's Simon Pagenaud and James Davison.

Frenchman Pagenaud is coming off a fourth place in the opening round in Long Beach and a successful two-day test this week where he was quickest on day one and second-fastest overall.

Davison, a talented young Australian from Melbourne, has shown increased speed at each outing and is definitely adapting to the Atlantic car after graduating from Formula BMW at the end of last season.

-www.teamaustraliamotorsport.com

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Bruno Junqueira , Alex Tagliani , Paul Tracy , Oriol Servia , Will Power , James Davison , Cristiano da Matta