CHAMPCAR/CART: Long Beach: Rocketsports Racing preview

Rocketsports Racing Champ Car Line-Up for Long Beach LONG BEACH, Cal. (April 15, 2004) -- Rocketsports drivers, Alex Tagliani and Nelson Philippe take to the streets of Long Beach, California for the 30th annual Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach,...

Rocketsports Racing Champ Car Line-Up for Long Beach

LONG BEACH, Cal. (April 15, 2004) -- Rocketsports drivers, Alex Tagliani and Nelson Philippe take to the streets of Long Beach, California for the 30th annual Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, Sunday April 18, 2004. The Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford season-opener will mark Tagliani's fifth season in Champ Cars while rookie sensation, Nelson Philippe in the No. 17 Rocketsports Lola, will be running his first-ever Champ Car race. The excitement and anticipation of the season-opener is great for both drivers as they enter the season with the second year Rocketsports team.

Tagliani, in the No. 8 Johnson Controls Lola, ranked 10th in the 2003 Champ Car standings. His best Champ Car finish in Long Beach came in 2000, when he qualified 11th and finished fourth.

Tagliani expects great results for the 2004 season. "Long Beach is a beautiful city, filled with excitement on and off the track. The Toyota Grand Prix weekend is packed with entertainment, from the racing to special events and concerts.

"It's an important event for me and one of the biggest weekends for fans, but it's also special for Johnson Controls to showcase the No. 8 Lola and start the season off right. There's a lot of anticipation building for this first race. If you're able to shine in Long Beach, it's very telling of what can happen the rest of the season. I'm confident in the Rocketsports team and not only expect to have a very competitive, successful season, but know we have what it takes to be championship contenders," claimed Tagliani.

Rookie sensation, Nelson Philippe will make history as the youngest driver to enter the Champ Car competition, as he begins his Champ Car career by tackling the southern California street course. "I'm thrilled to be driving my first Champ Car race in Long Beach, with its history and popularity. It's exciting to be part of the action at such a great event.

"The Rocketsports team and I are ready and eager to go racing. Five days spent testing the No. 17 Lola last month was a great opportunity for us to prepare and work together. We're here to learn and progress toward rookie of the year, and Long Beach will be an excellent start to the season for us, said Philippe."

-rsr-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Nelson Philippe