CHAMPCAR/CART: Montreal: Team Australia preview

TEAM AUSTRALIA HEADS TO SECOND HOME RACE FOR 2005 Team Australia will enjoy it's second "home" race of 2005 Champ Car World Series when the Aussie Vineyards squad heads to Alex Tagliani's home province of Quebec for round ten of the...

TEAM AUSTRALIA HEADS TO SECOND HOME RACE FOR 2005

Team Australia will enjoy it's second "home" race of 2005 Champ Car World Series when the Aussie Vineyards squad heads to Alex Tagliani's home province of Quebec for round ten of the championship at the Molson Indy Montreal at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve on Ile Notre-Dame.

Staged on the same circuit which hosts Canada's annual Formula One event, the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve was the scene of one of Tagliani's most bitter-sweet motorsport moments.

After qualifying on pole in 2003, Tagliani led the first 52 laps of the event before he was forced to make the last of his three mandatory pit stops on Lap 58, two laps earlier than the others. Tagliani's advantage evaporated at the end of the race to finish 4th.

The Lachenaie, Quebec-native is also looking to bounce back after suffering major damage at the first corner at Denver when he was struck by Cristiano da Matta. The Aussie Vineyards squad repaired the car to enable Tagliani to get back on track and salvage some valuable points.

Although finishing several laps down, Tagliani still moved up a position in the point standings to 7th place.

Aussie rookie and team-mate Marcus Marshall dodged the first corner drama at Denver to return a steady performance to finish 12th in Colorado.

The Tasmanian-born, Queensland-bred Aussie is looking to grab his second top ten of the year after finishing 8th at the Edmonton round of the championship in July. He has come close on three other occasions in 2005 with 12th place finishes in Cleveland, San Jose and Denver.

ALEX TAGLIANI - #15 AUSSIE VINEYARDS LOLA

"This weekend and of course the Gold Coast are the two races I have been waiting for all year. I am lucky because I get two 'home' races every year.

"Denver didn't go well for us at the start but I am very confident Team Australia will be very competitive in Montreal. The amount of support I get there every year is amazing. That is a lot of pressure, but I will be out to do my very best.

"Two years ago we had the pole, led most of the race but it didn't work out for me at the finish. This time around we will be out to make amends.

"Another podium is obviously well in our sights, but it would be brilliant to take a win in Montreal for the Aussie Vineyards team.

"If we can pull that off, I am sure the celebrations will go on for a couple of days.

"Like every race this year, the team hasn't been to Montreal with the Lola before but we have been doing a lot of homework to ensure we are as competitive as we can be straight off the truck."

MARCUS MARSHALL - #5 AUSSIE VINEYARDS LOLA

"I can't wait to get to Montreal this week. I have seen the Formula One race and the Champ Car event on television and it looks like an awesome track. I am looking forward to getting away from the street scene and racing a top road course like Montreal.

"Alex is pretty confident he has some good set-up ideas for us for Montreal which will be great. Apparently it is a high grip circuit and I really like that type of track.

"Alex has been showing a lot of on-board video footage from Montreal and telling me a lot about the track, so I am really looking forward to getting out there and trying it myself.

"There will be a lot of attention for Alex this week with the local media and I will get a chance to learn from him how to handle all that - I am sure we are going to be swamped this week with TV cameras and reporters. The situation will be similar for me when Team Australia runs at Surfers Paradise."

DERRICK WALKER -- CO-OWNER, TEAM AUSTRALIA

"Montreal is a true road course which should suit us well and Alex knows the track well and has gone very well there in the past.

"We are certainly looking forward to going there this week, it should be a good race for us and a chance to bounce back after Denver.

"Montreal is a very technical circuit and a track that has a bit of everything and it is important to have a good car beneath you.

"It will take a good car to do well there. We have never been there before with the Lola so we will be relying a lot on Alex's experience.

"However, it is a good grip track and I think we will be in the hunt for a good result."

CRAIG GORE - CO-OWNER, TEAM AUSTRALIA

"This is certainly going to be a big weekend for Alex at his home event," said Gore.

"Alex takes little motivating at the best of times, but there is no doubt he is going to be pumped this weekend and anything could happen.

"The team had a solid test last week and Derrick tells me they are learning more about the Lola at every outing.

"It would be great to have a solid result this weekend and ensure Alex is still knocking on the door of that top five championship spot.

"The team will have a month after this race to take a deep breath and prepare for the last four events of the year, including Team Australia's home event on the streets of Queensland's Gold Coast.

"Alex and Marcus will be a littler busier with trips down to Australia to drive in a couple of major V8 Supercar endurance events."

-taus-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Alex Tagliani , Gilles Villeneuve , Marcus Marshall , Cristiano da Matta