INDIANAPOLIS (January 17, 2003) - Three-time Trans-Am champion Paul Gentilozzi knows a thing or two about racing talent, having seen - and beaten - much of America's top road racers during his storied driving career. Therefore, when he looked...
INDIANAPOLIS (January 17, 2003) - Three-time Trans-Am champion Paul Gentilozzi knows a thing or two about racing talent, having seen - and beaten - much of America's top road racers during his storied driving career.
Therefore, when he looked for a man to pilot his new Rocketsports Racing entry in the Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford, he reviewed some of last year's action and found one of the most promising drivers in the paddock was available and willing to join the club.
Friday afternoon, Gentilozzi and Rocketsports Racing announced that it had signed Alex Tagliani to run for the rookie team in the 2003 Champ Car World Series, tabbing the former Player's/Forsythe Racing driver to carry his squad's banner into its first season.
"I've watched Alex and he races with great spirit. I appreciate that enthusiasm," Gentilozzi said. "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."
Tagliani will begin his fourth year in the series this season and has done everything in the series except taste victory. A veteran of 59 Champ Car starts, Tagliani finished a career-best eighth in last year's championship, amassing 111 points. Along the way, he scored runner-up finishes at Motegi and Road America and ran off a team-record string of 10 consecutive points-paying finishes. The Canadian driver has three career poles to his credit including one on the high-speed California Speedway oval in 2001 and started his career with three straight years of top-five finishes in the CART Toyota Atlantic Series.
"I'm very excited to join Rocketsports Racing," Tagliani said. "I was impressed the first time I met Paul because we had talked about cars and racing aspects, not just business. Paul has joined Champ Car for the right reasons and not just for parades or fun. He's put a great team in place."