CHAMPCAR/CART: Tagliani tapped to drive Rocketsports entry

Tagliani tapped to drive Rocketsports Champ Car entry. Lansing, MI - Rocketsports Racing team owner Paul Gentilozzi has tapped open wheel specialist Alex Tagliani to be the newest driver in the Rocketsports stable. The three-time Trans-Am Series...

Tagliani tapped to drive Rocketsports Champ Car entry.

Lansing, MI - Rocketsports Racing team owner Paul Gentilozzi has tapped open wheel specialist Alex Tagliani to be the newest driver in the Rocketsports stable. The three-time Trans-Am Series champion had previously announced that Rocketsports Racing would campaign a one-car effort in the 2003 Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford season with Johnson Controls as the primary sponsor.

Tagliani, who drove the No.33 Player's Ltd./Indeck Ford Reynard with Player's/Forsythe Racing, is coming off a strong showing in his third season of Champ Car racing. Finishing a career-best eighth in the championship points standings in 2002, Tagliani stood on the podium twice finishing second at Twin Ring Motegi and at Road America. He backed up his podium performances with three additional top-five outings and finished in the top-ten 13 times in 19 starts.

"I've watched Alex and he races with great spirit. I appreciate that enthusiasm," explained Gentilozzi. "He brings with him good, solid Champ Car experience and, even more importantly, a desire to succeed. To be successful, you must have an ego and the only food for that ego is success."

"I'm very excited to join Rocketsports Racing," said Tagliani. "I was impressed the first time I met Paul because we talked about cars and racing aspects, not just business. It was a very cool feeling.

"Paul has joined Champ Car for the right reasons and not just for parades or fun," Tagliani continued. "Paul will definitely help a young driver achieve his goals and he's put a great team in place. I'm looking for more consistency this season; I'd like to finish in the top-five every weekend. You have to have the competitiveness to win, but you need consistency. That is the key to success in this series."

Tagliani, who resides in both Las Vegas, Nevada and Lachenaie, Quebec, Canada, earned his first three Champ Car podium finishes in the 2001 season after capturing his first pole position during his 2000 rookie season at Rio de Janeiro. Previously, he competed in the CART Toyota Atlantic Championship in four consecutive seasons, finishing in the top-five in the championship points standings between 1997-1999.

A karting enthusiast, Tagliani began racing at the early age of 10 when his paternal grandfather introduced him to karting during a trip to Italy.

The Champ Car World Series kicks off its 2003 season with its first appearance in the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg on February 21-23.

-rsr-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Alex Tagliani , Paul Gentilozzi