CHAMPCAR/CART: Ford Racing Toronto race notes

TAGLIANI SCORES A PODIUM FINISH IN HIS HOMELAND - French-Canadian Alex Tagliani scored his first career CART podium appearance after driving from his fifth-place starting position to a second-place finish in the Molson Indy Toronto. Michael...

TAGLIANI SCORES A PODIUM FINISH IN HIS HOMELAND - French-Canadian Alex Tagliani scored his first career CART podium appearance after driving from his fifth-place starting position to a second-place finish in the Molson Indy Toronto. Michael Andretti successfully defended his title by coming home first, while Adrian Fernandez joined Andretti and Tagliani on the podium by finishing third. Tagliani's second place finish was his second straight top-10 result of the season (Cleveland - ninth), his third career top-five result ( Toronto '00 - fifth and Long Beach '00 - fourth) and his second straight top five finish at Toronto.

ALEX TAGLIANI (#33 Player's Forsythe Ford-Cosworth) - Finished 2nd

DID YOU THINK YOU HAD ENOUGH FUEL TO GO AFTER MICHAEL [ANDRETTI]?"

Yes, we had enough fuel, but the problem was that I was on older tires than Michael and the team wanted me to save enough fuel to finish the race. When I was running in sixth gear in order to save fuel I wasn't able to warm-up my tires to be competitive on the restarts. After a while I was getting really strong but with so few laps to go I needed to be quicker on the restarts, but I think it was more important to save fuel for us."

HOW MUCH PRESSURE DID YOU FEEL TO BE CONSERVATIVE WHEN YOU HAD TO BE AND WHEN TO PUSH WHEN YOU NEEDED TO?"

I was just listening to my guys in the pits and just doing what they were asking me to do. I knew we had a very fast car today and we were there to win, but it was a matter of circumstances there at the end that forced us to save fuel."

TELL US ABOUT THE LAST FEW LAPS WHEN YOUR GUYS FIRST TOLD YOU TO SAVE FUEL, THEN TO GO FOR IT."

It was very tough because the saving fuel was done during the yellows. Michael was doing a good job warming his tires and I wasn't able to spin the tires or warm-up the brakes during the yellows because we needed to save fuel, so on the restarts I was a little conservative. My tires were not as good as Michael's at the end, but we definitely had the car to win this race and it was just a question of we wanted to make it to the end."

DID YOU GET CAUGHT BEHIND BRUNO [JUNQUIERA] WHEN HE CAME OUT OF THE PITS?"

That was another thing. I was kind of getting close to Michael at that time and with the number of laps we had left I think we had a chance to pass him because our car was great under braking. I ran in the marbles all the way down the back straightaway and it took me five corners to clean off my tires."

MAX PAPIS (#7 Miller Lite Ford-Cosworth) - Finished 8th

"We fought very hard for our eighth place finish today. We fought all day long and managed to score some points, but I thought we deserved a little bit more considering how hard we worked today. The popoff valve was terrible at the end of the race because it was stuck open and that caused our problem, but otherwise the engine ran great all weekend. We started very strong at the beginning of race and I was pleased going down the back straight because I was very fast, but something must've happened with the popoff valve because later on we were very slow."

THERE WAS AN AWFUL LOT OF CARS BUMPING INTO EACH OTHER OUT THERE TODAY."

Yeah, I got knocked in the back by [Gil] de Ferran on one of the restarts because I think he got knocked by someone else, but it's a shame to see him out of the race. Overall it wasn't a very exciting race despite how hard we fought today."

BRYAN HERTA (#77 Forsythe/Indeck Ford-Cosworth) - Finished 18th

HOW DISAPPOINTING IS YOUR FINISH CONSIDERING HOW WELL YOU WERE RUNNING TODAY? "It's very disappointing and we'll see at the end of the race. Christian [Fittipaldi] is up to fourth now and I was running ahead of him and I think we had a good, strong car. We didn't qualify where we wanted to, but coming from 15th I think we were right on line for a podium. We've had just too many DNF's this year."

KENNY BRACK (#8 Shell Ford-Cosworth) - Finished 20th

WILL THIS HURT YOUR CHAMPIONSHIP CHANCES?"

It does in a way, but if you look up at the scoreboard the other guys that are behind me are out too so it seems like nobody wants to win this thing."

WHAT EXACTLY WENT WRONG?"

We don't know yet. We think it was an electrical problem because of the smoke and smell in the car plus it drained the battery, so I would think it's an electrical problem somewhere. But that's life. It's something that you don't want to have happen but unfortunately it happens sometimes and today it was one of those days."

A LOT OF BANGING OF WHEELS OUT THERE TODAY.

"Well it's difficult to get by here and you have to force each pass and it's tight. Helio [Castroneves] and I touched a little bit and I nearly touched wheels with [Adrian] Fernandez too, but that's the way it goes in street racing."

PATRICK CARPENTIER (#32 Player's/ Forsythe Ford-Cosworth) - Finished 21st

"I was going fast into Turn One and I was moving forward, but I guess I tried too hard and went in a little bit too deep and lost the rear wheels."

A DISAPPOINTING DAY FOR YOU BUT YOU MUST HAVE SOME SATISFACTION KNOWING YOU HAVE A COMPETITIVE PACKAGE.

"Exactly. We've been looking for speed and we've got it now. Hey, we're going to win a race. It's not going to be today but it's going to happen."

ORIOL SERVIA (#22 Sigma Autosport Ford-Cosworth) - Finished 23rd

"I think we did a very good job. We got up to speed this weekend and the car improved during each session. We didn't too as well as I would've hoped for qualifying, but the car was very good for the race and I felt very good and strong out on the track. [Paul] Tracy was a little bit too excited because this is his home race and made a mistake at the start and I don't know what happened when he hit me. First [Tora] Takagi put me in the grass in Cleveland and now he put me in the wall here today, so I think he's causing too many accidents and somebody needs to sit down and have a talk with him."

MAX WILSON (#25 Redback Networks Ford-Cosworth) - Finished 25th

"The car wasn't good today - I don't know what we missed and it was really bad during the race. It was hard enough to keep myself on the track before [Tora] Takagi came by me on the outside. I tried to hold my line on the inside and defend my position, but before the turn he was already coming towards the right and then he hit me and we both spun off. When I tried to get back I noticed that my left front suspension was bent so I stopped. It wasn't a good weekend for us and we had many, many problems, but I just hope we have better luck next week."

-Ford Racing

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Michael Andretti , Adrian Fernandez