Tagliani Impresses as He Takes Fourth Place at Surfers Paradise for Conquest Racing
Surfers Paradise, Australia (October 26, 2008) - After registering its best start of the season yesterday, Conquest Racing continued to add to its ‘best of' list today by scoring its best IndyCar Series finish of the 2008 season. The finish was a fourth place by Canadian Alex Tagliani who put in an impressive run aboard the #36 Conquest machine and gave the team much momentum heading into the off-season.
Starting in seventh place, Tagliani immediately gained a position at the start and kept up with the cars of Scott Dixon and Helio Castroneves ahead of him. When the first yellow flag came out on lap 8, the 36 crew elected to stay out. By the time the second caution came out, Tagliani was running in third position and remained there after his pit stop.
The Canadian was still in third when he came in for his second and final pit stop on lap 41, two laps later than the leaders. However, upon exiting the pits, he found himself in fifth behind Ryan Hunter-Reay and EJ Viso who was on a different pit stop strategy.
Tagliani was pushing hard behind Viso, which caused the Venezuelan to cut the chicane, consequently allowing Tagliani to get by him for fourth place, where he would take the checkered flag, giving Conquest Racing its best finish of the season in the unified IndyCar Series.
Meanwhile, Camara was slowly making his way up the field, running as high as 11th at one point, until he ended up in the run off at Turn 3. By the time the safety team had fired his engine up again, the rookie was two laps down in 20th place.
Next up for the Conquest Racing team is a well deserved off-season where the team will continue preparing for the upcoming 2009 season.
4th - Alex Tagliani, #36 Conquest Racing Dallara/Honda/Firestone
"I'm very happy with this result for the Conquest team, Brandon (Fry) and Eric (Zeto) worked so hard on the engineering aspect of the car. They saw potential in Detroit and were very excited with the feedback they received. They were able to take that information and prepare for this race in Australia. I'm pretty sure that the winter will be much sweeter for this with this good result. Coming here and fighting with Dixon , the champion of the series, Briscoe with Team Penske, it was a great showing for our team. The last pit stop is kind of what cost us a podium. We had a problem with the fuel going in the car and Ryan Hunter-Reay passed us. I think the team finished the season the way we wanted and now we will continue working over the winter."
20th - Jaime Camara, #34 Sangari Dallara/Honda/Firestone
"Missing most of the warm up this morning after I had contact with the wall was a problem for me because I didn't get a chance to see how the car was handling with a full load of fuel so we went into the race kind of blind on this side but with the same set-up as my teammate on the ride height. For some reason that didn't work for me. The car on a full load of fuel was really hard to drive and bottoming and I was struggling because of that. I often flat spotted my tires. It was just one of those days where I couldn't put a lap together and build up rhythm. It's really too bad that I made that mistake because I would have had a better finish."
Eric Bachelart, Conquest Racing Team Owner
"Alex did an excellent job. It wasn't an easy race for us because we had an issue putting the fuel in the car. Alex was saving fuel for the whole race and doing exactly what we asked him to do and this is our best result of the season with the Dallara. It's very good to run at the front again. I think the whole team has done a great job and everyone has worked well together. It's very encouraging for the future and it's good to enter the off-season with a good result like this."