RSPORTS IN LONG BEACH AND READY FOR ROUND TWO
LONG BEACH, California (April 11, 2007) -- RSPORTS is back at it again, heading straight to Long Beach, California in preparations for the second round of the 2007 Champ Car World Series after kicking off the season with drivers Justin Wilson and Alex Tagliani in Las Vegas, Nevada on April 6-8.
This year Champ Car will be celebrating their 24th trip to the streets of Long Beach, California. First run in 1975, The Long Beach Grand Prix is currently the single largest event held in Long Beach, California. Over the years it has transitioned from Formula 5000 to Formula 1 to a Champ Car race.
If last year's results can predict anything, RSPORTS is ready for a solid podium finish with both cars. Wilson and Tagliani return to the streets of Long Beach defending P2 and P3 positions, respectively. The team hopes to match the driving caliber of these two drivers, with the wide-range of talent within their engineering department and crew, to return these two drivers to the Long Beach podium in 2007.
The Grand Prix of Long Beach will kick off on Friday, April 13 with a morning practice and the first round of qualifying later that afternoon. Saturday will give the RSPORTS team another opportunity for practice time before the final round of qualifying. The race will take the green flag at 1:00 p.m. local time on Sunday, April 15 and can be seen live on NBC with coverage beginning at 4:00 p.m. EST. Live Timing and Scoring can be found all weekend long on the Champ Car website, www.champcar.ws <http://www.champcar.ws/> , where you can also sign up for Race Director for additional race coverage.
- 2007 series runner-up Justin Wilson will return to Long Beach piloting the #9 CDW Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone this weekend. He looks to bounce back from a tough opening round after a mechanical failure ended his race in Las Vegas after only 20 laps. He struggled all weekend with intermittent mechanical issues, which put him eighth on the grid and 14th at the finish.
- This weekend marks the fourth visit for Wilson to Long Beach. He has earned top-six finishes in each of his past three runs at Long Beach, with his best showing in 2006 when he started and finished second. The Englishman has made two of his three starts in the top five in Long Beach.
- Driver of the #8 LXN2 Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone Alex Tagliani sits fourth in the Champ Car standings after starting and finishing fourth last week in Las Vegas. Just ten points out of the lead, he looks to use his experience in Long Beach to further his points tally as he fights for the 2007 Vanderbilt cup with RSPORTS this season.
- Tagliani made his return to RSPORTS a memorable one, with the fourth place finish and leading the field for 11 laps during the season opener in Las Vegas. He was confident that his #8 LXN2 car was capable of a second place finish and looks to carry that positive momentum over to this weekend's event in Long Beach.
- Last year, Tagliani scored his first Long Beach podium after starting seventh on the grid and taking the checkered flag in the third spot, marking his best finish out of seven starts on the 1.968-temporary street course. He has also shown well in qualifying, having started seventh or better in each of his last four visits.
- RSPORTS team co-owner Paul Gentilozzi has an extensive career as a champion driver in three different series with 39 combined Trans-Am and IMSA GTS victories. He has competed multiple times at the Long Beach circuit and will use his knowledge to help his Champ Car drivers excel this weekend.
Alex Tagliani #8 LXN2/Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone
"I think that the RSPORTS team was able to accomplish what we wanted to for the first race of the season with the #8 LXN2/RSPORTS car. We were in the ballpark all weekend in Las Vegas, and we know the areas we are lacking. So it was a good start to earn some valuable points because that is really important when you are fighting for the championship title. We had a car that was capable of finishing second in Las Vegas, so that makes us very pleased to say that we are there in terms of being competitive. We have some challenges to face in terms of closing the gap, but we know what work we have to do. We have a plan and we hope to be even closer in Long Beach. I always enjoy coming to Long Beach; it is always a great event and a traditional one at that on the Champ Car World Series schedule."
Justin Wilson #9 CDW/Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone
"We had a bit of a rough start to the season, with having the mechanical failure in Las Vegas. It was definitely disappointing because that is not how we wanted to start the season off. We have some work to do to get back on the pace, but we ran well in Long Beach last year, so that will be a plus as we prepare for the next event. We came very close last year, finishing second, so hopefully we can have another good weekend here if everything works out. I am looking forward to returning to Long Beach. I think it is a great track, and one that is very special for us to compete at. I hope to have a rewarding weekend to get us back on track for the 2007 season championship battle."