CHAMPCAR/CART: Mexico City: Rocketsports Racing Friday notes

Good Morning, Bad Afternoon for Rocketsports Racing and Tagliani on Day One in Mexico City MEXICO CITY, Mexico (November 9, 2007) - After a good morning session in Mexico City, Alex Tagliani and his Rocketsports team worked hard to improve the...

Good Morning, Bad Afternoon for Rocketsports Racing and Tagliani on Day One in Mexico City

MEXICO CITY, Mexico (November 9, 2007) - After a good morning session in Mexico City, Alex Tagliani and his Rocketsports team worked hard to improve the car for the first round of qualifying, however, things did not go very well for the team and has left them scratching their heads looking for answers.

Tagliani ran ten laps this morning on old tires in the #8 Rocketsports Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone. It only took him six laps on brand new Bridgestone Potenza tires to post a time in the top three. Things seemed to be off to a good start for the team and driver in Mexico City. At the end of the 75-minute practice session, Tagliani sat sixth on the Champ Car timing and scoring charts after recording his best time 1:28.137 (113.305 mph).

Champ Car established a new rule for the first practice session in Mexico City. Each entrant received eight sets of tires (six primary and two alternate) of the total nine sets allocated for the event as usual. The ninth set (primary) was to be earned in the Friday morning practice. The 75-minute practice session was divided into two segments, with 15 minutes downtime between segments. Segment one consisted of 30 minutes of guaranteed green time, while segment two was run for the remainder of the scheduled session time with no guaranteed green time. Each entrant that completed a minimum of 12 laps during segment one was provided with their ninth set of tires. Accomplishing their first goal of the morning session, Rocketsports was able to earn their ninth set of tires when they successful completed 13 laps during the first 30-minutes of green flag practice time. Just like in Australia, where the morning practice awarded qualifying laps, here in Mexico City, the teams were awarded tires. This is just part of new ideas that Champ Car is trying out as a test to possibly initiate in 2008, as the series prepares for a bigger and better season.

The afternoon session just did not go the way the team was hoping. Instead of taking a step forward, the car seemed to take a step back this afternoon. Tagliani was able to run 10 qualifying laps this afternoon, both on the primary Bridgestone Potenza tires. The team opted to save the Bridgestone Red tires for tomorrow's final round of qualifying, so that they can run both stints on the softer compound.

Tagliani posted his best time of the afternoon on his tenth and final lap of provisional qualifying, recording a 1:27.277 (114.422 mph). That put him 16th overall during the first round of qualifying. Despite the confusion and frustration during the first day for the team, they will have another shot tomorrow to improve the car, improve their qualifying position, and make the #8 Rocketsports car race ready for Sunday's Gran Premio Tecate Presented by Banamex.

There will be another 75-minute practice session tomorrow morning beginning at 10:15 a.m. local time, followed by the final round of qualifying at 2:00 p.m. CT. Round 14 of the 2007 Champ Car World Series will take the green flag on Sunday, November 11, at 1:00 p.m. The race can be seen live in the United States on ESPN2 with coverage from Mexico City beginning at 2:00 p.m. ET. Fans can also follow the Rocketsports team on the internet by logging onto www.champcar.ws and signing up for Race Director. For more information, check out www.rocketsportsracing.com.

Alex Tagliani #8 Rocketsports Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone "There is not much that I can say; the #8 Rocketsports car is just not where we need it to be right now. We were off to a positive start this morning, finishing 6th overall, but things just didn't work out as we planned for this afternoon. We will sit down and figure out where things went wrong with the goal going back out on track tomorrow with a better car."

-credit: rsr

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Alex Tagliani