MEXICO CITY, Mexico (November 6, 2004) -- Rocketsports Champ Car drivers, Alex Tagliani and Guy Smith today completed the final qualifying session for the Gran Premio Telmex-Tecate Presented by Banamex. Tagliani, in the No 8. Johnson Controls...
MEXICO CITY, Mexico (November 6, 2004) -- Rocketsports Champ Car drivers, Alex Tagliani and Guy Smith today completed the final qualifying session for the Gran Premio Telmex-Tecate Presented by Banamex. Tagliani, in the No 8. Johnson Controls Lola, qualified 13th overall with a time of 1:27.841 (114.179 mph, 183.753 km/h). Smith posted a time of 1:28.804 (112.941 mph, 181.760 km/h), putting the No.17 Rocketsports Lola in 18th position on the grid for the final Round (Fourteen) of the Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford.
Disappointed to start in the seventh row on the grid, Tagliani explained the difficulties he's had to qualify the No. 8 car. "We continued to make changes to the No.8 Johnson Controls Lola, and aerodynamically we're there, but we've been working on improving our damper package to get more from the car. It's tough and we're limited, but we're working with what we have.
"The Gran Premio is a great event because of the Mexican fans who really like racing and support Champ Car, added Tagliani, reflecting on the overall weekend. "The Mexico City circuit is long and beautiful with a good mix of corners. As a driver, I like the track, but if I'd qualified better, I'd love it!"
Rocketsports teammate, Guy Smith had an equally challenging time to qualify well on the 2.786 mile circuit. "It's been a tough weekend for the No. 17 Rocketsports team. This is a very technical course with slow and fast corners, and we're searching for the right rhythm in the car to manage it, but we just can't find it yet. I'll be as consistent and competitive as I can be in the race tomorrow and aim for a good finish," determined Smith.
In other Rocketsports news, Tagliani today accepted the Champ Car Nation's Cup award for Canada, along with fellow-Canadian Champ Car drivers Paul Tracy and Patrick Carpentier. The Nation's Cup is awarded to the country whose drivers have amassed the most race points in the season. The Canadian Champ Car racers have each won races and accumulated 11 podium finishes for a total of 361 points thus far, clinching the title for Canada in Round Thirteen. "I'm very proud to have contributed to Canada's Champ Car Nation's Cup award," stated Tagliani. "All of the Canadian drivers have worked hard this season. Canadian's love racing and appreciate Champ Car, so it's an honor to have added my efforts to this great accomplishment for my country."
Guy Smith also earned a prize recently, announcing his engagement to Alicia Richardson. The couple was engaged in Sydney, where Richardson was born, following the Surfers paradise race. Smith and Richardson will reside in a 200 year-old home they spent five months renovating in the small village of Braken, in Yorkshire, England.
Catch Smith and Tagliani in the Gran Premio Telmex-Tecate Presented by Banamex on Spike TV on Sunday, November 7, 2004 at 4:00 PM (ET).