CHAMPCAR/CART: Milwaukee: Rocketsports Friday report

Tagliani earns his fourth Champ Car pole and a first for Rocketsports at the Milwaukee Mile. Bridgestone Presents The CART Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford Milwaukee Mile Qualifying Results Friday May 30, 2003 Alex Tagliani in the ...

Tagliani earns his fourth Champ Car pole and a first for Rocketsports at the Milwaukee Mile.

Bridgestone Presents The CART Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford Milwaukee Mile Qualifying Results Friday May 30, 2003

Alex Tagliani in the #33 Johnson Controls Lola earned his fourth career pole with a 20.882 second lap on the historic 1.032 mile Milwaukee oval. Tagliani posted the 177.914 mph (286.324 km/h) fast lap during the Friday afternoon practice session under clear skies and strong winds. Later in the day, rains and the threat of a tornado forced CART Champ Car officials to cancel the night time qualifying session and revert to practice session times to determine the grid order for tomorrow's race.

In anticipation of the rain, Tagliani ran the Lola to secure his position on the starting grid. "All the teams feared the rain and gave it their best shot in practice. We competed and definitely earned our place up front with a 20.882 lap and four-tenths lead," said Tagliani.

Round six of the Bridgestone Presents The CART Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford is the sixth race for the Rocketsports team, which has entered the series with outstanding determination. "We came here this weekend with a good car and plan. We were very methodical about the set-up and everything has been going as we expected," explained Tagliani. "The Rocketsports team earned this pole, and definitely deserves it."

Tagliani typically drives hard and knows what to expect from the car he helps set up. "It's been easy to work with the Lola," reported Tagliani, "to find its potential on the track and in changing conditions. The wind was fluctuating a lot, but we got that perfect lap with no wind this afternoon. The track was clean and the car had a good set-up with the right wing package."

The Milwaukee skies changed drastically between the practice and expected qualifying session, and even within the practice session. "There were strong winds in turn one and I had to work hard to get some down push. I didn't expect to have a lot of grip, but held on and drove about ninety-five percent flat out," said Alex.

Tagliani was especially eager to please the home-crowd of primary sponsor Johnson Controls. "It's great to have this pole here in Milwaukee, the Johnson Controls Headquarters. There are 500 Johnson Controls employees here tonight and I appreciate their support," Tagliani said gratefully.

Fast Facts -This is Tagliani's fourth career pole and a first for the Rocketsports Champ Car team -Tagliani took his first pole in the second race of his rookie season (Brazil, 2000) followed by two more in 2001 (Fontana and Vancouver) -The Saturday night race will be Tagliani's 65th career start and the sixth start for the first-year Rocketsports Racing team -Prior to Milwaukee, Rocketsports' best start was third in both Long Beach and Monterrey, Mexico where Tagliani claimed a remarkable third place finish

Catch The Milwaukee Mile Pre-Race (8:30 pm ET) and Race (9 pm ET) on Speed Channel and Fox Sports Espanol - Saturday May 31

-rsr-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Alex Tagliani