CHAMPCAR/CART: Montreal: Alex Tagliani home town driver

Home town boy out to upstage runaway leader. Canada's Alex Tagliani wants to continue his improvement curve at this weekend's Molson Indy Montreal, the 13th round of the CART FedEx Championship Series, and take his first Champ Car career win in...

Home town boy out to upstage runaway leader.

Canada's Alex Tagliani wants to continue his improvement curve at this weekend's Molson Indy Montreal, the 13th round of the CART FedEx Championship Series, and take his first Champ Car career win in front of a home town crowd.

After scoring points in his past eight races including a career high second place last weekend at Road America, Tagliani (Player's Forsythe Racing) is out to close the gap on series leader Cristiano da Matta from Brazil.

A native of Montreal, Tagliani is hoping to climb the series standings with a performance set to excite his local fans. He currently sits sixth with 80 points, while da Matta (Newman/Haas Racing) sits atop the standings with 143 points.

Another Brazilian Bruno Junqueira (Target Chip Ganassi Racing) is tied in second with Tagliani's Player's Forsythe teammate Patrick Carpentier on 101 points. Dario Franchitti (team KOOL Green) who won in Vancouver three races ago and Christian Fittipaldi (Newman/Haas Racing) are fourth and fifth respectively.

It is crunch time in the series with da Matta's lead building. The reigning Honda Indy 300 champion became the first driver since Juan Pablo Montoya in 1999 to win as many as six races in a season but still has work to do before he can claim the series.

It is possible that the series-deciding race could come on the Gold Coast at the Honda Indy 300 from October 24-27.

But this weekend, Tagliani has his sights set on claiming his first win in the CART FedEx Championship Series.

"Whenever you can return home for a race on a track that's only a few miles from the place you grew up, it's something very special," said Tagliani.

"From the time that CART announced it was adding another Canadian race with Molson Indy Montreal, the interest and the excitement have been building, and now the big moment is here."

Two of the drivers that have been at home on the road courses this season will be looking to take advantage of CART's final true road course event before the season finale at Mexico City's Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez. Michael Andretti (Team Motorola) and Fittipaldi have each run in the Canadian GP and are third and fourth respectively in CART road course points this season.

Fittipaldi has earned four podiums on road courses this season while CART's all-time victory leader Andretti extended his Champ Car record of seasons with at least one win to 15 when he took the chequered flag at Long Beach this year.

The track in Montreal, which is named for the fabled Ferrari driver and father of former CART champion Jacques Villeneuve, has been the site of the Formula 1 Canadian Grand Prix since 1978. The 13-turn circuit will host the Champ Cars for the first time on the same layout that has seen legendary World Champions such as Ayrton Senna, Michael Schumacher, Nelson Piquet and Alain Prost climb the winner's podium in the past.

-hi-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Michael Schumacher , Jacques Villeneuve , Michael Andretti , Bruno Junqueira , Patrick Carpentier , Alex Tagliani , Christian Fittipaldi , Dario Franchitti , Alain Prost , Ayrton Senna , Nelson Piquet , Chip Ganassi , Cristiano da Matta
Teams Chip Ganassi Racing