CHAMPCAR/CART: Cleveland: Rocketsports Racing preview

Tagliani to Add Sparks to Fourth of July Celebrations at the Cleveland Grand Prix Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford - Round Nine Cleveland, June 2003 - Alex Tagliani and the Rocketsports crew head to Cleveland this...

Tagliani to Add Sparks to Fourth of July Celebrations at the Cleveland Grand Prix Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford - Round Nine

Cleveland, June 2003 - Alex Tagliani and the Rocketsports crew head to Cleveland this weekend for the US Bank Presents the Cleveland Grand Prix at Burke Lakefront Airport. The historic 2.106 mile temporary course will stage the first-ever Champ Car World Series night race on a road course. Tagliani, who finished fifth in Cleveland in 2002, is looking forward to his return to the track and the opportunity to race the #33 Johnson Controls Lola under 22 towers of light and for 100,000 fans over the July 4th weekend.

"The fact that this race takes place at night on a fun, fast track and with drivers that will do whatever it takes to win will make this an interesting race," said Tagliani, still reveling from his second podium finish of the season two weeks ago in Portland. "The sparks coming off our cars will add to the Fourth of July fireworks and make it a great time for the fans," said Tagliani.

Musco Lighting will provide the equivalent of a half million car headlights to illuminate the 22nd annual race and creating a new atmosphere for fans and drivers alike. "At the beginning of the weekend, the road course is a virgin track with no racing lines because it's a temporary circuit. Later in the weekend the black marks (racing lines) will be easier to see, but they'll be shiny at night because of the reflection of the lights," explained Tagliani. "In the daylight, I would usually avoid the shiny parts of a track, but I'll drive into them for this night race."

Tagliani is currently ninth in the Championship standings with 46 points and five top-ten finishes in eight starts this season. With a hint of mischief, Tagliani recalls highlights of the Burke Lakefront Airport course. "The airport course is challenging because it's a wide track with fast corners and no reference points. It's interesting because it has many escape routes and no walls, so we can try more things on track without damaging the car," said Tagliani. "The dip in the middle of the last chicane is also a challenge and it'll be interesting to see what happens in this area under the lights."

Fast Facts
-2002 Cleveland Tagliani started 14th and finished 5th
-2001 Cleveland Tagliani started 7th and finished 9th
-Tagliani finished eighth in the 2002 Championship standings with 111 points

-rsr-

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Alex Tagliani