CHAMPCAR/CART: Toronto: Rocketsports Racing preview

Tagliani and Philippe to "Toronto the Good" for the Molson Indy TORONTO, Ont. (July 8, 2004) -- Hoping to continue the momentum of top finishes in Cleveland last weekend, Champ Car drivers Alex Tagliani and Nelson Philippe approach the 19th...

Tagliani and Philippe to "Toronto the Good" for the Molson Indy

TORONTO, Ont. (July 8, 2004) -- Hoping to continue the momentum of top finishes in Cleveland last weekend, Champ Car drivers Alex Tagliani and Nelson Philippe approach the 19th annual Molson Indy Toronto, looking for good results in the city known as, "Toronto the Good."

Canadian driver, Alex Tagliani in the No. 8 Johnson Controls Lola, delivered Rocketsports its first podium of the 2004 season in Cleveland last weekend, adding to his nine Champ Car career podium finishes. Tagliani, who currently ranks fourth in the Champ Car World Series with 86 points, is enthusiastic about the performance of the No. 8 Johnson Controls Lola, and the potential of the second year organization to challenge the series' leaders.

"The Rocketsports/Johnson Controls team is ready for Toronto and a summer of racing. We got back on the podium, where we belong, in Cleveland and are confident we have a fast car for the Toronto course. The Ford-Cosworth engine never lets us down, and Bridgestone always comes through with the performance of the Potenza tires and their track support. The team is working well and developing good setup and race strategies. We're communicating, trying new things and constantly learning," surmised Tagliani.

"We had a fast car in 2003 and have a lot of experience in Toronto. It's important for us to well here (in Toronto), as well Vancouver and Elkhart Lake, to catch up to the series' leaders in points. We plan to be consistent, just as the Newman/Haas team has been all season, and challenge for a top finish in the championship. The Toronto Indy promises to be a great show for fans and good race for us," concluded Tagliani, who will make his fifth Champ Car start in Toronto, where he finished second in 2001. Tagliani made his best Toronto start last season with Rocketsports, qualifying fourth with a time of 59.261. Tagliani won on the Toronto street course in 1998, racing in the Toyota Atlantic Series.

17 year-old, Nelson Philippe, in the No. 17 LeasePlan Lola, continues to impress with his consistency, solid driving and maturity, both on the track and in the paddock. The young Frenchman will make his sixth Champ Car start this weekend, and while everything is new in his rookie year, Philippe gained valuable experience on the various Champ Car circuits in his year with the Barber Dodge Pro Series and enjoys the Toronto course.

"I like the Toronto track. It's fast and bumpy, and reminds me of the Rock Island street course in Illinois, where I won King of the Street," recalls Philippe. "I also enjoy the city of Toronto. It's fun and cool, with good people. Returning as a Champ Car driver to a city where the event is so popular and people are so enthusiastic is exciting."

Philippe has earned two top-ten finishes and has successfully completed each race ahead of his starting position - and in a number of events, ahead of veteran drivers. Driven and methodical about his success, Philippe is the youngest driver in Champ Car history. "Heading to the Toronto Molson Indy coming off a top-ten finish (Cleveland) is a good feeling, but I'll be trying for better results," said Philippe, determined to build on his 43 points and position (16th) in the Champ Car World Series standings.

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Alex Tagliani , Nelson Philippe