Another Setback for Team Barracuda - BHA in Long Beach
Long Beach, CA - April 15, 2012 - What started as an unusual race weekend ended in disappointment as Alex Tagliani and Team Barracuda - BHA experienced an engine issue and contact during the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach on Sunday afternoon.
The weather prevented more than a few laps of practice on Friday in Long Beach as a rare rain deluge swept through the area. Then multiple red flags on Saturday made it difficult to turn some productive laps and gather data.
Tagliani started the race in P10, as a result of nearly half the field changing engines and subsequently receiving a ten-spot penalty on the starting grid.
When the green flag dropped, the No. 98 car came into the pits due to engine temperature. After getting back on track, Tagliani was hit by E.J. Viso and had to come in again to replace the front wing. It appeared the day was over for Team Barracuda - BHA at that point, but the crew worked hard to get the car back in the race by lap 36.
Another pit stop was necessary at lap 41, again due to engine temperature issues. Finally, with 24 laps to go, the team decided to pull the car as a precautionary measure, as there were no more laps to be made up at that point. Tagliani officially finished the race in P21.
"Normally I never finish a race where I'm speechless, but I don't know what to say," said Tagliani. "In Barber, we didn't even do 100 meters. The team is pretty upset and it's a shame. I think the car was decent in the race. We made some passes and I think the car would have been good to have a decent finish if we ran the whole race.
"I'm behind the team one hundred percent and I'm going to drive every lap like it's qualifying. I'm always going to do my best, but I feel so much for the team. The results are not representative of our team. It's very difficult at the moment."
Team Barracuda - BHA owner Bryan Herta added, "I'm just really disappointed for Barracuda Networks, Bowers & Wilkins, all of our sponsors and the guys that worked on the car. We're putting in a lot of effort here and unfortunately, we just cannot seem to get past these problems and be able to race."