CHAMPCAR/CART: Surfers Paradise: Rocketsports race report

Rocketsports Earn Top Ten Result after Difficult Weekend Down Under SURFERS PARADISE, Queensland, Australia (October 21, 2007) - It was a long weekend for the Rocketsports Racing team, and a long race today in Surfers Paradise, Australia that ...

Rocketsports Earn Top Ten Result after Difficult Weekend Down Under

SURFERS PARADISE, Queensland, Australia (October 21, 2007) - It was a long weekend for the Rocketsports Racing team, and a long race today in Surfers Paradise, Australia that almost saw Alex Tagliani salvage a top-five finish, but team will take a top-ten result knowing they worked very hard to deserve it.

During the Warm Up session, Tagliani demonstrated that the team was ready to fight in today's Lexmark Indy, by finishing the session fourth quickest with a time of 1:32.798 (108.429 mph/174.499 km/h).

After starting from the 11th spot on the Bridgestone Red Potenza tires, Tagliani gained two positions on the first lap. On Lap 8 he moved up to the eighth position before making his first pit stop of the day under yellow on Lap 10. An excellent stop by the #8 Rocketsports pit crew put Tagliani back out in the ninth spot, with three cars that did not pit. On Lap 23, those cars pitted, moving the French-Canadian into the sixth position. Making a nice move around Graham Rahal on Lap 23 put Tagliani in the top five. He made his second stop of the day on Lap 31 for fuel and a set of the Bridgestone Black Potenza tires. Another good stop kept Tagliani on the hunt and by Lap 42 he was back in the fifth spot. The highest position that Tagliani sat in the field was fourth, when he entered the pits for his final stop of the day on Lap 45. A complete fuel fill up and a fresh set of the softer compound Bridgestone Reds would carry Tagliani to the end of the 1 hour, 45 minute timed race. Pushing as hard as he could, he would complete all 61 race laps in the 17th running of the Lexmark Indy 300 and finish 7th overall.

In eight starts, this marks the sixth top-ten finish for Tagliani in Australia. Rocketsports Racing has rounded out the top ten six times out of eight starts in five years of competition at Surfers Paradise. Tagliani remains in the top ten of the Champ Car championship standings, tenth overall with 197 points.

The Rocketsports team will pack up and head back to the United States tomorrow. They will then begin preparations for their final race of the season in hopes of ending on a good note. The 2007 Champ Car World Series season will wrap up in Mexico City, Mexico, November 9-11.

Alex Tagliani #8 PBS Equities/Rocketsports Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone
"It was a very good team effort. All weekend long we were working towards making a better car, and it was good in the race. We still lacked a little bit of overall grip in the slow corners, that is why were behind a little bit in terms of our competitors. But in general we had a good race. A couple of guys in front of us did an alternate strategy and got very lucky finishing on fumes, but if that hadn't have happened then we could have definitely finished in the top five. Considering all the events that happened this weekend, I think it was a very good effort from everyone in the Rocketsports Racing team."

Paul Gentilozzi, Rocketsports Racing Team Owner
"The team did a good job this weekend, as it was not an easy one for them. We had a top five car, it was just unfortunate that we missed those two spots to cars that were on a different strategy; but that is how racing goes. We are just happy to have a good, clean race. Alex (Tagliani) drove a very good race. He made some nice passes and rebounded well from a rough start. It may not have been the results that we were hoping for, but it is a solid top ten finish that we will take. We have one more race this season; hopefully we can finish the season off on a good note in Mexico City and finish in the top ten of the Champ Car championship with Alex."

-credit: rsr

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Alex Tagliani , Graham Rahal , Paul Gentilozzi