CHAMPCAR/CART: Cleveland: Rocketsports Racing Thursday report

CLEVELAND, OH (July 1, 2004) -- Alex Tagliani and Nelson Philippe today secured provisional positions on the starting grid for the US Bank Presents the Champ Car Grand Prix of Cleveland. Tagliani was eighth quickest, while teammate, Philippe was...

CLEVELAND, OH (July 1, 2004) -- Alex Tagliani and Nelson Philippe today secured provisional positions on the starting grid for the US Bank Presents the Champ Car Grand Prix of Cleveland. Tagliani was eighth quickest, while teammate, Philippe was 15th in the first qualifying session for the Saturday evening race at Burke Lakefront Airport in downtown Cleveland.

Tagliani was pleased with the performance of No.8 Johnson Controls Lola, but is hoping to improve on his top-ten start position. "The Johnson Controls crew gave me a good car and it feels great out there. I could've had a great lap on a fresh set of Bridgestone tires, but was blocked when Patrick (Carpentier) ran out of fuel ahead of me, while he was on a flyer. I'm a little disappointed at losing the opportunity and will have to aim to get my best results in tomorrow's qualifying session," said Tagliani, who ranks eighth in the championship battle with 61 points. Tagliani was eighth quickest and posted a time of 0:58.948 (128.615 mph or 206.985 km/h).

NOTE: Patrick Carpentier and Sebastian Bourdais both lost their top qualifying times as penalty for blocking other drivers' qualifying efforts. (Pursuant to the Champ Car World Series rule # 6.17.4I)

Philippe was particularly pleased about the consistent improvements to the Ford-Cosworth powered machine on the Cleveland track. "The No. 17 LeasePlan Lola is different from anything I've run all year," explained Philippe. "We're trying a lot of new equipment and the car feels a lot smoother. I feel more confident about the car's handling and was consistently faster each lap. I'll learn more about the changes we made to the car and hope for better results tomorrow." Philippe is currently 16th with 32 points in the championship standings.

Philippe qualified 15th and posted a time of 1:00.282 (125.769 mph or 202.405 km/h)

The US Bank Presents The Champ Car Grand Prix of Cleveland will be broadcast live on HD Net Saturday July 3rd at 5:00 PM (ET). A tape-delayed broadcast will air on SPIKE TV at 4:00 PM (ET) on Sunday July 4, 2004 and on FOX SPORTS ESPANOL on Monday July 5, 2004.

-rsr-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Patrick Carpentier , Alex Tagliani , Nelson Philippe