CHAMPCAR/CART: Portland: Rocketsports preview

Tagliani and Philippe Looking for Results in Portland PORTLAND, Ore. (June 16, 2004) -- Rocketsports drivers Alex Tagliani and Nelson Philippe anticipate a good show and positive results to close out the first quarter of the season at the Champ...

Tagliani and Philippe Looking for Results in Portland

PORTLAND, Ore. (June 16, 2004) -- Rocketsports drivers Alex Tagliani and Nelson Philippe anticipate a good show and positive results to close out the first quarter of the season at the Champ Car Grand Prix of Portland set for June 20, 2004. Driver of the No.8 Johnson Controls Lola, Tagliani hopes to better his 2003 third-place finish in Portland, while Philippe in the No.17 LeasePlan Lola, looks to build on his solid finishes with more significant results.

Currently eighth in the Champ Car World Series standings with 46 points, Tagliani is looking to climb the championship ranks with a strong finish this weekend. "I look forward to getting back to the track and banking good results in Portland. Rocketsports was on the podium here last year. We're looking to build on our 2003 success and get back on a roll this season," said Tagliani, who earned Rocketsports its second of three Champ Car trophies in Portland.

"The Portland track is physically demanding and interesting with fast corners and chicanes," continued Tagliani, "especially the part where the chicane goes flat out in 6th (gear) - that makes it a good challenge. It's a high downforce track and fun. It's a track where I can keep pushing the limits and go further; demand more of the car and myself," Tagliani explained enthusiastically.

17 year-old rookie, Nelson Philippe has had three trouble-free races and solid finishes in his debut Champ Car season. Philippe continues to demonstrate his maturity and competence among the international cast of talented drivers and Champ Car champions. "I'm working more closely with the engineering department to communicate what I'm getting and need from the car, and building my confidence," said Philippe. "The crew has been great with excellent pit stops all season, and we plan to keep it up.

"We've been consistent and consistency is good, but now it's time for better results," added Philippe, who is 16th in the season standings with 26 points. "We have realistic expectations for the Portland race and I'm excited about racing there. It's a fast track, especially the back stretch, where I'm flat out. One of my favorite parts is the fast section after the first chicane. This should be a good weekend for us," said Philippe.

Rocketsports tested at Portland International Raceway earlier this season, and are confident as they head into Round Four of the Champ Car World Series. "Since our tests here in Portland we've had experience on three different types of courses and developed the cars. We have more data to use and are stronger as a team," confirmed Philippe, who also raced at PIR with the Barber Dodge Pro Series in 2003 (start 9th /finished 7th).

Catch Philippe and Tagliani in the Champ Car Grand Prix of Portland broadcast on SPIKE TV -- Sunday June 20, 2004 at 4:00 p.m. (ET).

-rsr-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Alex Tagliani , Nelson Philippe