CHAMPCAR/CART: Mexico City: Rocketsports Racing preview

Rocketsports Races Off to Mexico City for Champ Car World Series Season Finale MEXICO CITY, Mexico (November 3, 2004) -- Lansing-based, Rocketsports Racing heads to Mexico City for the Gran Premio Telmex-Tecate Presented by Banamex. Drivers,...

Rocketsports Races Off to Mexico City for Champ Car World Series Season Finale

MEXICO CITY, Mexico (November 3, 2004) -- Lansing-based, Rocketsports Racing heads to Mexico City for the Gran Premio Telmex-Tecate Presented by Banamex. Drivers, Alex Tagliani and Guy Smith enter the final Round (Fourteen) of the Champ Car World Series hoping for great race results and a positive end to the 2004 season.

Currently sixth in the Champ Car World Series championship standings, Tagliani is looking for a career-best season finish with the competitive second-year Rocketsports team. Tagliani sits 20 points behind fifth place, Mario Dominguez and four points ahead of American rookie A.J. Allmendinger, and expects a heated battle for overall position. The five-year veteran has had one of his most consistent seasons, and has earned ten top-ten finishes this season, including his first career win in Round Eight at Road America. Focused and confident, Tagliani will make his 90th career start in the No.8 Johnson Controls Lola on the 2.78 mile Mexico City circuit.

"The Mexico City circuit in the Autodromo is a very challenging course. It's demanding and drivers need to be prepared for the tight twists and turns," warned Tagliani. "Drivers also need to be in top physical shape because of the high altitude of the city. I've been training hard in Australia and back home in Las Vegas to be physically prepared.

"We struggled, but learned a lot about the track and set up in Mexico City last year, which we hope will help us for better finish this weekend. The Rocketsports/Johnson Controls team has been very consistent and better prepared this season. We've worked hard and finished each race up until Australia, which was unfortunate, but we're focused and will do our best to compete with the top teams in the series. We're shooting for a top-five finish to the season and will go for it in Mexico City," vowed Tagliani.

Sportscar veteran, Guy Smith has had a diverse and interesting racing career. He tasted victory on the podium of the 2003 Le Mans 24 Hours and made his return to open-wheel racing for Rocketsports after a four year absence. In a shortened season, Smith is approaching his seventh Champ Car start and aiming for his best race finish. He's felt the sting of electrical and mechanical problems this year, which robbed him of three potentially strong finishes, but the Champ Car rookie has managed three top-ten finishes and is looking to improve on his Champ Car career-best ninth-place finish.

"I expect the Mexico City race will be very fun. I've never been there before and look forward to seeing it for the first time," said Smith. "I know Champ Car is very popular in Mexico and there's always a huge turnout for the race. It'll be exciting to be part of the action.

"I understand the circuit is fast and very challenging, with a great mix of corners," explained Smith. "I'm looking forward to the race and hope we can continue to improve on our ninth place finish in Australia. It would be great for the No.17 Rocketsports car to have a strong finish in the season finale."

Catch Smith and Tagliani in the Gran Premio Telmex-Tecate Presented by Banamex on Spike TV on Sunday, November 7, 2004 at 4:00 PM (ET).

-rsr-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Guy Smith , Alex Tagliani , Mario Dominguez