RSPORTS PREPARES FOR 2007 TITLE FIGHT AT CHAMP CAR SEASON OPENER IN LAS VEGAS
EAST LANSING, Michigan (April 4, 2007) -- Usually big fights in Vegas are held in arenas, but RSPORTS will begin their fight for the championship title in the streets of Las Vegas. After much anticipation during the off-season of the new Champ Car DP01, along with a variety of changes throughout the entire newly-formed RSPORTS operation, the team and its drivers are ready to rock and roll in the streets of Las Vegas, Nevada to kick-off the 2007 Champ Car World Series season.
Alex Tagliani, pilot of the #8 LXN2 Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone, returns to familiar ground working with Paul Gentilozzi after competing with Gentilozzi's team back in 2003-2004. The French-Canadian returns to the Champ Car World Series for his eighth season after earning his fifth consecutive top-ten finish in the Champ Car season standings in 2006. He has recorded five poles and 14 podiums throughout his Champ Car career, and looks to be in the running for his first Championship Title this season as he fights with RSPORTS for the Vanderbilt Cup.
The driver of the #9 CDW Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone Justin Wilson enters the 2007 season after three successful years in the Champ Car World Series that included 35 top-ten starts, 29 top-ten finishes, four poles, and three victories. His consistency on the track makes him a fierce competitor, earning him a second place in the Champ Car World Series Driver's Championship race in 2006 and was the recipient of the 2006 Greg Moore Legacy Award for this combination of outstanding on-track talent and dynamic personality. Those impressive stats place him as one of the top drivers in the 2007 Champ Car lineup to contend for the Champ Car World Series Championship Title.
The 2.440-mile temporary street circuit located in downtown Las Vegas consists of 12 turns. The track encompasses a route that circumnavigates WorldMarketCenter, Fremont Street and the downtown casinos. The inaugural Vegas Grand Prix event is set to take place on April 6-8, 2007. This event will be the season opening event for the 2007 Champ Car World Series. With a new race car, and a new race track, this weekend can only promise a bundle of excitement.
- Alex Tagliani's best start in a Champ Car season opener event was back in 2002, sitting third on the grid in Long Beach, California.
- Tagliani's best finish in a Champ Car season opener event was on the podium after a third place result in 2006 on the streets of Long Beach, California.
- Tagliani by the numbers: a firm believer that numbers give him a sense of luck after earning his first victory driving the #8 car, in the 8th race of the season, in the eighth month, as he was the 8th different driver to earn a victory at Road America in 2004. The numbers seem to be lining up for him once again as he will be driving the #8 car, in his 8th Champ Car season, on April 8th.
- Las Vegas Resident Tagliani is excited to start the season off in his own backyard. A resident since 2000, Tagliani enjoys remodeling homes with his wife, Bronte, when not on the race track. A member of the 24-hour fitness gym, he often enjoys training in the heat of Vegas both indoors and out.
- Justin Wilson has finished in the top-six of every Champ Car season for the last three years, marking the entire time he has competed in the series.
- Wilson's best start in a Season Opener event came in 2006. He started second, on the outside of Row One in Long Beach, California. That resulted in a podium finish as the runner-up.
- Momentum can carry over: Wilson finished the 2006 season in style, earning the pole and finishing second in the final round of 2006 at Mexico City. The Englishman qualified in the top six a total of 11 out of 13 starts, and finished no further than eighth on the timing and scoring charts in the races where he took the checkered flag in running status.
- RSPORTS is excited to welcome back Canadian-based Lexington Energy Services to the Champ Car World Series. Alex Tagliani will be driving the #8 LXN2 Champ Car. Lexington Energy Service's wholly owned subsidiary, LXN2, designs and manufactures nitrogen generation systems for a variety of oil field applications.
- Justin Wilson starts the new season with returning partner, CDW. The #9 CDW / RSPORTS Champ Car also features sponsors HP, Plantronics, Edge Tech Corp., EMC2, Fortune, and Gulfstream. CDW and RSPORTS are also pleased to welcome as new co-sponsor Fortune, part of Time Inc.'s Business and Finance Network.
- The RSPORTS No. 9 team will be hosted by the Monte Carlo Resort and Casino, a AAA Four Diamond Las Vegas resort, offering an escape from the busy schedule of the inaugural Vegas Grand Prix race weekend. Meanwhile, Monte Carlo executives and guests will be joining RSPORTS at the downtown street circuit to enjoy the excitement of the Vegas Grand Prix. The Monte Carlo Resort & Casino brand will be exhibited on Justin Wilson's No. 9 CDW/RSPORTS car for the Vegas Grand Prix weekend and the No.9 CDW/RSPORTS show car will be on display at the Monte Carlo Wednesday through Sunday of race week in Vegas.
Alex Tagliani #8 LXN2 Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone
"Las Vegas is going to be a great event. They have put forth a lot of effort into making this the best event possible. It has been a great advantage to me that I am a resident in Las Vegas, because I have been able to train in this type of weather. My training has included taking jogs around the track, so I am now ready to take laps around this track in a Champ Car. I am just so excited to get this season started. I am physically fit and mentally prepared; I just can't wait to jump into the #8 LXN2 Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone on Friday morning because I know that it will be the start to a great season. I have been working hard all winter on sponsorship, and it is just great to be back with familiar faces, Paul Gentilozzi, and now working with Dan Pettit and Justin Wilson. The RSPORTS team is fully committed to a great season, I think everything has come together and now we can go out and fight for the championship title and the win in Las Vegas!"
Justin Wilson #9 CDW Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone
"Las Vegas is going to be a new circuit for us all, so it is will be very exciting. It is a great place to start the season, it seems like it is going to be a fun event with lots to do. I hope that we can start the season off the right way with a positive weekend and end result. It is always important to have a good start to the season at the first race to get the momentum going for the rest of the year. So we will go out there, give it our best, and hope to have #9 CDW Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone and RSPORTS on the podium this weekend."