Edmonton City Centre Airport runways
‘Cleared For Landing’ in Edmonton
After ending his last IZOD IndyCar Series race up on two wheels, Sam Schmidt Motorsports (SSM) driver Alex Tagliani is ready to land and resume racing this weekend in the Edmonton Indy in Edmonton, Alberta.
Tagliani was in a tight battle with a handful of drivers in Toronto on July 10 when contact with Andretti Autosport’s Danica Patrick catapulted the Canadian’s car onto its side and it continued for several yards, scraping and bumping along the wall. Despite the scary nature of the crash, Tagliani was uninjured.
With Toronto in the wake, Tagliani and the No. 77 Bowers & Wilkins Dallara/Honda/Firestone car have been cleared for landing and are ready to race on the 2.556-mile, 13-turn Edmonton City Centre Airport.
The Edmonton Indy event is building history in IndyCar racing. This weekend’s race will be the fourth consecutive IZOD IndyCar Series-sanctioned race there, while the Champ Car World Series also raced there from 2005 to 2007. Tagliani has raced in five of the six Edmonton Indy events. He missed the 2008 race.
Tagliani has just one top-10 finish on the challenging airport circuit. In 2005, he finished seventh after starting sixth.
Despite taking flight in Toronto and not finishing the race, Tagliani and the SSM team sit 10th in the IndyCar Series championship after nine of the 17 races. He trails ninth-place JR Hildebrand, from Panther Racing, by 20 points.
When the green flag falls Sunday at the Edmonton City Centre airport circuit, the only flying Tagliani plans on doing is toward the front of the field and on his way to his best finish in the Edmonton Indy to date.
Alex Tagliani, Driver of the No. 77 B&W Dallara/Honda/Firestone for Sam Schmidt Motorsports:
There’s been a lot of talk about the new Edmonton City Centre Airport circuit. You have seen it. What are your thoughts?
“Open-wheel racing with wings is very unique. You need long straightaways for people to draft and do a lot of braking to be able to pass. It (the Edmonton circuit) is going to absolutely be one of the best courses we’ll have this season.”
The potential passing zones were created with the fans in mind. How so?
“Having the track built in a way where people in the grandstand are going to have a visual of three different (braking) opportunities for that (overtaking) is very unique. When you sit in the grandstand in Edmonton, you’ll see crazy speed and amazing action. IndyCar really needs places like this for passing.”