CHAMPCAR/CART: Portland: Rocketsports Friday report

Tagliani eighth in day one of qualifying in/1/ G. I. Joe's 200 at the Portland International Raceway. Portland, Ore. June 20, 2003 - Sun showers and grim clouds teased Alex Tagliani in the ...

Tagliani eighth in day one of qualifying in/1/ G. I. Joe's 200 at the Portland International Raceway.

Portland, Ore. June 20, 2003 - Sun showers and grim clouds teased Alex Tagliani in the #33 Johnson Controls Lola out onto the track where he finished eighth in the first session of qualifying for the G. I. Joe 200. With a fast lap of 59.935 and a speed of 118.268 miles 190.334 km/h Tagliani ended the session in ninth place, but was then bumped to eighth after Ryan Hunter-Reay failed technical inspection and was dropped from second position.

"My strategy was to try and stay out front since the car felt good and fast," said Tagliani. "It was an interesting session, different from what we've had in the past. Everyone went out early trying to beat the heavy rains." Tagliani had more than showers to dodge while aiming for his fastest lap. A spark plug problem forced him into the pits halfway through the session, but was quickly remedied.

Tagliani's damp qualifying session was almost complete and he was planning to enter the pit lane when he was hit from behind and sent sailing off the track. Paul Tracy in the # 3 Player's/Indeck car made contact with the tail of the #33 Johnson Controls Lola and both drivers were penalized for the incident which brought out the red flag. "It was an unfortunate way to end the session," said Tagliani, who lost his fastest lap (59.775) but did not lose his position.

Background Information

-Last season in Portland Tagliani qualified fourth and finished 12th

-In Portland, 2001 Tagliani qualified 20th and finished 12th

-Tagliani currently sits in 11th position in the 2003 Champ Car World Series standings, with 32 points

-rsr-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Paul Tracy , Ryan Hunter-Reay