CHAMPCAR/CART: Assen: Rocketsports preview

Tagliani and the Rocketsports Team Hope for Better Results in Second European Race Rocketsports Racing and Alex Tagliani headed north to the Netherlands to begin preparations for Round 12 of the 2007 Champ Car World Series immediately after the...

Tagliani and the Rocketsports Team Hope for Better Results in Second European Race

Rocketsports Racing and Alex Tagliani headed north to the Netherlands to begin preparations for Round 12 of the 2007 Champ Car World Series immediately after the race in Belgium and look forward to another exciting European challenge. After a day of traveling and sightseeing, the Rocketsports team was back to work on Tuesday. They headed to the Assen track for the first time on Tuesday afternoon to unpack and setup for this weekend's Champ Car event.

The inaugural Bavaria Beer Champ Car Grand Prix of Holland in Assen, the Netherlands, will be run on the challenging TT Circuit Assen track which is world-reowned for hosting the top tier of motorcycle events. The circuit has been modified and improved over the last two years to accommodate the Champ Cars, and will provide a true test for the drivers.

The original Assen track was first used for the 1925 Dutch TT race, held on country roads through the villages of Borger, Schoonloo and Grolloo, and organized by the Motorclub Assen en Omstreken. The brick-paved track had a length of 17.75 miles. The location changed a little bit, until 1995, when a whole new circuit was built close to the site of the original, but less than a third of the length and much more like a modern closed-circuit road racing venue. The circuit was fundamentally redesigned again in 2006, into the 2.83 mile TT Circuit Assen. All alterations aside, there is one section of the circuit with its original location, which is the finish line.

After a disappointing end result of ninth in Belgium, the team is regrouping their efforts for a solid performance this weekend. The team knew they had a quick car, but when strategy took charge during the race, it was unseen what the #8 Rocketsports car was capable of. Hoping to learn from their experience, the team and Tagliani seek better results and another competitive car for this weekend in Holland.

The race weekend in the Netherlands will kick-off on Friday, August 31, morning with practice, followed by the first round of qualifying in the afternoon at 2:00 p.m. CET (Central European Time, 8:00 a.m. ET in the states). Final qualifying will take place on Saturday afternoon at 2:00 p.m. local time. (8:00 a.m. ET in the United States). The Bavaria Beer Champ Car Grand Prix of Holland will take the green flag on Sunday, September 2, at 1:00 p.m. CET. The race can be seen live in the United States on ESPN Classic with coverage from Holland beginning at 7:00 a.m. ET. There will be a replay of the race on Friday, September 7 at 1:30 a.m. ET on ESPN2.

Fast Facts

* This will be the first time that Rocketsports Racing and driver Alex Tagliani run at TT Circuit Assen.

* Alex Tagliani, driver of the #8 Rocketsports Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone, started his Champ Car career in 2000. This season marks his eighth year of competition. He will attempt to make his 129th start when he takes the Green Flag in Belgium. He has recorded one win, five poles, and 14 podiums throughout his Champ Car career.

* Tagliani will continue to make his return to Europe racing in Champ Cars. The last time he raced in the European market was with the Rocketsports team in 2003 when Champ Car competed at Brands Hatch in the UK and Germany's Lausitzring.

* Champ Car is unique as it races on street courses, road courses, and airport surfaces. After eleven races this season, Tagliani has had the opportunity to compete on four natural road-course surfaces. In those events, he has finished in the top nine or better, including two top-five finishes. He has qualified in the top eight or better on a road course this season.

* To date, this has been an unlucky season for Tagliani, who started off strong with three starts fourth on the grid and three top-five finishes in the first four races. He has made eleven starts this season, all of them but one has been in the top nine or better. He has finished in the top nine or better in nine of eleven races this season. His best start and finish this season is fourth.

* Tagliani has sat in the top five of the 2007 Champ Car championship standings for most of the season, up until this point. After earning valuable points in Belgium, Tagliani moved up one spot in the standings. He currently sits 8th overall, with 174 points. He is only 22 points away from returning to the top five.

Driver Quote: Pre-race on Zolder event

Alex Tagliani #8 Rocketsports Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone

"We had a disappointing race last weekend in Belgium, but we had a quick car. So I am hoping that we can at least continue to set up a car that is quick on road courses this weekend at the Assen circuit. I am very excited to race at the TT Circuit Assen. From the pictures and videos that I have seen it looks fast and has all the features that you expect from a top flight European track. There are some good passing zones, and the Dutch fans are passionate about motorsports so I hope that Champ Car can put on a race that they will remember."


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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Alex Tagliani