Detroit, Michigan (August 30, 2008) - It was a late night and a hectic morning for the Conquest crew as they were busy fitting Alex Tagliani into the ...
Detroit, Michigan (August 30, 2008) - It was a late night and a hectic morning for the Conquest crew as they were busy fitting Alex Tagliani into the #36 car, as a substitute to the injured Enrique Bernoldi. Despite a very short night of sleep, Tagliani put in a more than respectable performance during qualifying today for the Detroit Indy Grand Prix considering he only had 22 laps under his belt aboard the Conquest Dallara before heading into the qualifying session. The Quebec-born driver took the 21st spot on the grid, with his teammate Jaime Camara placing himself right behind him in 22nd.
With about only 40 minutes of practice time during the morning session, Tagliani posted a best lap of 1:14.7917 during qualifying. Unfortunately for the Canadian, his two quickest lap times were erased for causing a yellow flag at the end of the segment. Best time or not, Tagliani is 21st on the grid for tomorrow's race based on the IndyCar Series qualifying procedure, which grids the drivers according to their place in their individual groups and not on their lap times.
Tagliani and teammate Camara will get another 30 minutes of track time during the morning warm-up Sunday before taking part in the Detroit Indy Grand Prix Presented by Firestone which gets underway at 3:45 p.m. eastern time. The race will be broadcast live on ABC starting at 3:30 p.m. eastern time.
Conquest Racing Quoteboard
Alex Tagliani #36 Sangari Dallara/Honda/Firestone
"There's a lot to learn in so little time. I was rusty a little bit getting back behind the wheel of an open-wheel car. But I feel good in the car, it was just very little time to get ready for all of this. Plus, it's a very difficult street course, and different from what I raced on in 2001. But I think it's a good start to the weekend. My goal is to get the best out of the car and give as much information as I can to help the team. It's a great team and they are doing a fantastic job and I'm really thankful to Eric (Bachelart) for giving me this opportunity."
Eric Bachelart, Conquest Racing Team Owner
"We are impressed with the way that Alex has adapted to the car and with the feedback he was able to give us after just a few laps. We made a lot of changes between sessions and we managed to improve the car significantly with basically no time. The time on the board doesn't reflect his performance and we will keep on working through the weekend to have a good car by the start of the race. Jaime keeps on improving and I'm sure he can learn a lot from Alex this weekend. We know there was more speed in him in qualifying but unfortunately the session was very short due to yellow flags and he got the checkered flag one lap before everybody else. Finally, I want to thank the crew who has been outstanding. They worked long hours last night just to make things happen today."