Montreal, January 3, 2001 Five weeks after adding Bruce Ashmore to its operations as technical director, Team Player's made another major move today with the hiring of engineer Tony Cicale , who will help oversee the preparations for the car driven by Alex Tagliani.
It is a return of sorts for the Stamford, Connecticut-born Cicale, who was the chief engineer for Jacques Villeneuve in the Atlantic series (1993) and during the latter's two seasons with Team Player's (1994-95), which featured a victory at the Indianapolis 500 on his way to the driver's championship.
Cicale has spent the last two seasons working with Canadian driver Paul Tracy, a three-time race winner in the 2000 CART season with the team managed by Barry Green. His new role within Team Player's will be to assist chief engineer Kelly Loewen in his duties and act as technical advisor.
"I'm really excited about joining a team that is determined to regain its position among the series' leaders and I'm looking forward to helping a promising driver like Alex Tagliani reach his full potential," remarked Cicale, who has contributed to the success of such stalwart drivers as Mario Andretti, Emerson Fittipaldi and Danny Sullivan during his career in motor sports.
Neil Micklewright, Vice-President of Operations for Team Player's, said the addition of Cicale to the existing nucleus of engineers, is a huge boost to the team's aspirations for the 2001 season.
"We have consistently stated that we plan to do everything we can to give our fans a team that will be able to challenge for the championship next season," stated Micklewright. "Having Tony Cicale on board, combined with the hiring of Bruce Ashmore, is another important step in that direction."
Before reaching his decision, Cicale engaged in a four-hour phone conversation with Tagliani and the second-year driver considers his arrival a great confidence-builder.
"He brings a wealth of knowledge and experience in race strategy that will help us take it to the next level," said Tagliani, who completed his first off-season test at Sebring on Dec. 19-20. "He is very down to earth, but his competitive nature is what sets him apart. He'll do anything to go fast and I feel privileged to have him around as we embark on what should be an exciting 2001 season."