RSPORTS hoping to smell the roses in Victory Lane this weekend EAST LANSING, Michigan (June 6, 2007) -- The first three races of the season were just a taste for what is ahead for the RSPORTS team and the Champ Car World Series, as they prepare...
RSPORTS hoping to smell the roses in Victory Lane this weekend
EAST LANSING, Michigan (June 6, 2007) -- The first three races of the season were just a taste for what is ahead for the RSPORTS team and the Champ Car World Series, as they prepare for a demanding summer filled with racing excitement which kicks off this weekend in Portland, Oregon.
During the first three races back in April, the RSPORTS clan demonstrated their ability to be a fierce competitor in this year's talented Champ Car field. The duo of Alex Tagliani and Justin Wilson were seen many times during practices and qualifying session running amongst the top five quickest drivers on track. In the first three races, the team has accumulated three top-four starts with the best qualifying effort of third achieved by Wilson on the streets of Houston, and three top-five finishes seeing both drivers earn a 2007 team-best finish of fourth, Tagliani at Las Vegas and Wilson at Long Beach.
After a month off it is now it is time to go racing again, but the wait has been worth it. The team took advantage of the open gap on the schedule to go testing in preparation for the bulk of the season that will see six of the remaining 13 races in 2007 contested in the next eight weeks. They made their first appearance this season in Portland during the first week of May, logging some miles and preparing for the upcoming race at Portland International Raceway. The team also headed north of the border to the historic Circuit Mont-Tremblant, future site of the inaugural Grand Prix of Mont-Tremblant, June 29 -- July 1, for additional testing time at the end of the month to continue their preparations for the upcoming six road courses on the Champ Car schedule. Feeling more confident after the first three races and tests, the team is ready to show the world what they have learned as they continue to fight for the coveted Vanderbilt Cup in 2007.
The Portland race weekend festivities will get underway on Friday, June 8 with a morning practice session and the first round of qualifying that afternoon. Saturday will host final qualifying at 2:00 p.m. local time, which will determine the starting lineup for the Mazda Champ Car Grand Prix of Portland Presented by Joe's Sports and Outdoor. The green flag for the Champ Car World Series will drop again on June 10 for Round 4 of the 2007 season at 1:00 p.m. PDT, kicking off an exciting summer of open-wheel racing throughout the United States, Canada, Europe, Australia, China, and Mexico.
Alex Tagliani #8 LXN2 Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone
"I am very excited to get back to racing. The RSPORTS team has really gelled together between the first three races and the tests we ran in May. We were able to learn lots on the car, so now we are ready to get back into racing mode. There is a big difference from when you go testing and when you go racing. When you are testing, the team is really working hard to follow the learning curve process, but when you go racing, we are just focusing on finding speed and going all out.
I am feeling confident because we made some great progress during our test at Mont-Tremblant which will be applicable to the race in Portland. Portland International Raceway is a challenging and unique track for the drivers, so it will be rewarding to have a good finish here. We are sitting fourth in the championship standings right now, so that is not bad, but our goal is to get into the top three and fight to win the championship. I think that we have a shot, fair and square; we just have to be perfect on everything. We are getting there and we hope that Portland will be the start to a summer full of great results."
Justin Wilson #9 CDW Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone
"It is going to be good to get back to racing again, so I am looking forward to this next race in Portland. I am also looking forward to racing on a road course, after the first three races this season were on street courses. I enjoy the Portland venue, it has been a track that I have been quick at in the past, so I hope that I can continue to be strong there and get a win in the #9 CDW/RSPORTS car. It has been beneficial to have this break since our last race in Houston, as we have had the chance to get in some very valuable testing time to continue our learning process on the new Champ Car DP01. Overall, I have a positive feeling going into this race. I feel that we have made some good progress and I think that we are in a good position to achieve better results in the upcoming races."