CHAMPCAR/CART: Miami: Rocketsports Racing race report

Tagliani Finishes 13th in the Grand Prix Americas in Miami Round 16, Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford Miami, Fla. Sunday September 28, 2003 - Alex Tagliani, driver of the No. 33 Johnson Controls Lola, was knocked...

Tagliani Finishes 13th in the Grand Prix Americas in Miami
Round 16, Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford

Miami, Fla. Sunday September 28, 2003 - Alex Tagliani, driver of the No. 33 Johnson Controls Lola, was knocked out of the running in the Grand Prix Americas Presented by Sportsbook.com. Tagliani qualified tenth with a time of 45.372 seconds (91.246 mph, 146.845 km/h) and completed 101 of the 135 lap race before being blocked and sent into the wall by the No.19 car driven by Alex Sperafico. This left Tagliani out of the race and bewildered since Sperafico was down three laps and could not challenge his hold on fourth place. Tagliani finished 13th overall and although no points were gained today, he remains in the top ten for the Champ Car World Series championship with 91 points.

"What happened on the track today is difficult to accept. The team worked hard, made improvements to the car and it was the best it's been all weekend. I had a steady run for 101 laps and avoided any incidents. I moved from tenth to fourth and had 34 laps to go. This would have been a great boost in points for me and the Rocketsports team, who have worked so hard all season," reasoned Tagliani.

"What's most frustrating is that I was told by my team that Sperafico was going to let me pass at the restart, since he was a few laps down," added Tagliani. "Apparently Coyne (Dale Coyne, owner of the No.19 car) told Sperafico 'it's not for position, let him go by.' Somehow that message was not followed through on the track and he (Sperafico) didn't let me pass. I tried to get by him a few times, but he blocked me each time and then finally nailed me. I don't understand why he would destroy my race, when it's not for position. This is not the first time this sort of thing has happened this season and this kind of behavior from drivers is disappointing."

Fast Facts

-Tagliani sits in 9th position in the 2003 Champ Car World Series standings with 91 points

- Tagliani has earned 10 top-ten finishes this year, including 3 third place podiums.

- Among 11 top-ten starts this season, Tagliani has claimed the pole in Milwaukee and Montreal

- Tagliani finished a career-best 8th, with 111 points, in the 2002 Champ Car World Series championship.

Rocketsports on Wind Tunnel

Catch Rocketsports' team owner, Paul Gentilozzi on Dave Despain's Wind Tunnel this Tuesday, September 30, on SPEED at 9:00 pm (ET) and driver Alex Tagliani on Wind Tunnel in early October.

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Alex Tagliani , Paul Gentilozzi , Alex Sperafico , Dale Coyne