CHAMPCAR/CART: Vancouver: Rocketsports Racing race report

Tagliani Finishes Seventh, Gidley Finishes 11th in Molson Indy Vancouver VANCOUVER, BC (July 25, 2004) -- Alex Tagliani, in the No.8 Rocketsports Johnson Controls Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone finished seventh in the Molson Indy Vancouver. Memo...

Tagliani Finishes Seventh, Gidley Finishes 11th in Molson Indy Vancouver

VANCOUVER, BC (July 25, 2004) -- Alex Tagliani, in the No.8 Rocketsports Johnson Controls Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone finished seventh in the Molson Indy Vancouver. Memo Gidley started fifth on the grid and finished 11th in the No. 17 Rocketsports Air Force Reserve Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone.

Alex Tagliani sat in ninth position on the starting grid and quickly advanced to as high as fourth, passing the series' point-leader, Sebastien Bourdais. Following his second pit stop, Tagliani re-entered the battle on track in seventh spot, his ultimate top-ten finish position. Tagliani now ranks fifth in the Champ Car World Series standings with 120 points.

Memo Gidley brought the No. 17 Rocketsports Air Force Reserve Lola to its highest qualifying position of the season, and started fifth on the grid for the Molson Indy Vancouver. Gidley ruled in fifth, until lap 18, when he slipped back to 18th position. Gidley clawed his way back to finish 11th. In his two starts with Rocketsports, Gidley has earned 15 points and ranks 19th in the Champ Car World Series standings.

Alex Tagliani - No.8 Rocketsports Johnson Controls Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone

"The Johnson Controls team gave me a fast car. It was great in the straightaway, at high speeds and in the chicane. I was consistent in the first stint and managed to move ahead a few positions. Once the tires wore in the second stint, after my second pit, I struggled with push and we concentrated on adjusting tire pressures. There's always a lot of action and usually more yellows on the Vancouver course. Strategy is important and it's hard to predict what may happen. We did our best. The Rocketsports guys worked hard and made a great effort with good pit stops. We scored some points, and hope to keep moving ahead in the standings."

Lead Engineer, Brian Ma

"Rocketsports is very competitive for such a young team, and we're determined to learn and improve. Alex's (Tagliani) feedback is valuable and helps us learn from our experiences on the track. We look at changing track conditions and try to fine-tune the variables that could give us speed and an advantage in the competition. Preparing for races we look at data and try to refine dampers, suspension and geometry. We're always trying to improve our mechanical and aerodynamic package to gain the maximum potential out of the Bridgestone Potenza tires, to get better grip and go faster. This weekend our car was good in practice, but we didn't get a chance to show what it could do in qualifying to get a good starting position. We're always evaluating our moves, developing our strategy and improving as a team."

Memo Gidley - No.17 Rocketsports Air Force Reserve Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone

"This has been an awesome weekend with Rocketsports. To qualify fifth in the second race with Rocketsports is satisfying and felt great. It was nice to see the crew happy about their efforts and the work they've put into giving me a competitive car. At the start I really thought I had a shot at a podium finish in the No. 17 Air Force Reserve Champ Car. I had some trouble, locked the rear tires in turn four or five and lost it. Up until then, I held on to that fifth position and we were very competitive. We tried a different strategy with our pitting to regain the positions lost, and we were looking for a break to get back up there, because the car had the power to do it, but it was tough to pass out there and that break didn't come. The Rocketsports Air Force Reserve crew was awesome. They gave me great pit stops, and a fun, satisfying race. Robin (Hill-crew chief) and Alain (Clarinval - engineer) helped bring out the best in all of us, the car and the team."

Crew Chief, Robin Hill

"The No. 17 Rocketsports car made its strongest start of the season. We lost some positions on the track and tried our best to get Memo (Gidley) back up front. It was great to qualify two Rocketsports cars in the top-ten and a boost to the competitive effort of the team, which was determined to recover despite the set-back in the race."

No. 17 Car Engineer, Alain Clarinval

"This weekend we put together a great racecar and are getting closer to having a very competitive package. We're catching up to our rivals and becoming more of a challenge because of the participation, feedback and teamwork of the driver and crew. Memo (Gidley) has a way of enhancing what people do and encouraging the team."

From Major Greg Pachman of the Air Force Reserve

"This has been a great weekend with Paul Gentilozzi and the Rocketsports team. Memo (Gidley) was effective and worked so well with the team. The No. 17 Rocketsports Air Force Reserve car qualified in the top-five and the spirit of this competitive crew was topped-up as well. We had an incident on track and it was hard to regain our position, but it didn't detract from the rest of the weekend, and this extraordinary experience with the Rocketsports Champ Car team."


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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Memo Gidley , Alex Tagliani , Paul Gentilozzi , Sébastien Bourdais