CHAMPCAR/CART: Road America: Rocketsports Racing Friday report

Airborne and Exasperated, Tagliani Could Not Qualify Today for the Mario Andretti Grand Prix at Road America Rocketsports' driver Alex Tagliani could not qualify this afternoon for the Mario Andretti Grand Prix at Road America. Contact ...

Airborne and Exasperated, Tagliani Could Not Qualify Today for the Mario Andretti Grand Prix at Road America

Rocketsports' driver Alex Tagliani could not qualify this afternoon for the Mario Andretti Grand Prix at Road America. Contact during pre-qualifying open practice put the No. 33 Johnson Controls Lola out of commission. Tagliani hopped out of the damaged car unhurt, but sore from the spoiled session

At the end of the ten minute open practice prior to the 40 minute qualifying session, Tagliani was coming over the ridge on turn 13 when he came upon the No. 34 Mi-jack Conquest car and the No. 7 Fittipaldi-Dingman car. The No. 7 car was off-course on the right, while the No. 34 car was slowing on the track. Tagliani came in at speed, made contact and was even airborne at one point, sailing over the rear left of the No. 34 car.

"Unbelievable," was Tagliani's initial reaction to the incident. "I was coming up over the ridge on a blind corner at full speed. Monteiro was trying to pass Haberfeld and went off course on one side of the track. Haberfeld slowed on the other side of the track. He must have been in first gear," said an exasperated Tagliani. "I locked up the brakes and tried to turn, but had nowhere else to go. I don't know why he (Haberfeld) was slowing. It's incredible; I've had it with these (Mi-jack Conquest and Fittipaldi-Dingman) teams," concluded Tagliani, baffled by the moves of the two rookie drivers.

The Rocketsports team worked quickly to get the No. 33 X Johnson Controls back-up car ready for the second session of qualifying for the Mario Andretti Grand Prix at Road America tomorrow. Tagliani, who was seventh quickest in morning practice with a time of 1:46.583 (136.727 mph, 220.041 km/h) was happy with the set-up of the original car and is confident of good results in Sunday's race.

Road America Fast Facts

-As a rookie, in 2000, Tagliani qualified third with a time of 1:40.260 (145.350 mph) and led the first 16 laps, but a broken drive shaft put an early end to his race (finished 13th)

-In 2001, Tagliani qualified second with a time of 2:03.674 (117.832 mph) and finished eighth

-In 2002, Tagliani qualified third 1:42.684 (141.919 mph) and finished second earning his fifth career podium

-Road America permanent road course length: 4.048 miles

-Race length: 60 laps, 242.880 miles (13 lap pit interval)

Catch The Mario Andretti Grand Prix of Road America Live on HDNet All times in Eastern Standard

Saturday, August 2 Champ Car Practice - HDNet Live 11:00 am
Saturday, August 2 Champ Car Qualifying - HDNet Live 2:45 pm

Sunday, August 3 Speed GT race - HDNet Live 12:00 pm
Sunday, August 3 Mario Andretti Grand Prix at Road America presented by Briggs and Stratton - HDNet Live 3:00 pm Sunday, August 3 Mario Andretti Grand Prix at Road America presented by Briggs and Stratton - Fox Sports Espanol Live 3:00 pm

-rsr-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Alex Tagliani , Mario Andretti