Toronto, ON (March 5, 2014)- After showing encouraging competitiveness and speed, and with ultra-quick adaptation to a brand new race car, Montreal’s Alex Tagliani is ready for his next TUDOR United SportsCar Championship assignment.
Driving one of Paul Gentilozzi’s RSR entries, “Tag” will take on one of the oldest sports car races in North America, the 62nd Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring, fueled by Fresh from Florida, March 15th.
To prepare for the second event in the 2014 TUDOR United SportsCar championship at the extremely challenging course in Sebring Florida, Tagliani will run a full test with the RSR team in the # 08 Automaxusa.com Oreca FLM 09 at Sebring on March 8.
Despite having never driven the car before arriving at the Series’ previous event, the Rolex 24 at Daytona back in January, “Tag” got comfortable immediately and qualified fifth in the Prototype Challenge class. The Canadian set a fast lap time of 1:42:187.
So Tagliani, the 2011 Indianapolis 500 pole winner, is very excited about what they should be able to do at Sebring in the test and the race, based on their speed and numbers at Daytona.
“We have a good car and a team capable of winning every race. We have a pretty full test plan in preparation for the Sebring race. It’s great to have the Daytona times as a base, but we feel we still have room for improvement”, Tagliani commented.
Sharing the driving duties in the # 08 RSR Oreca with Alex for the Twelve Hours of Sebring will be 2013 Driver’s Championship runner-up and fellow-Canadian Chris Cumming of Vancouver, and Rusty Mitchell of Midland Texas.
The RSR team’s sister car, the # 09 Lino’spresso Oreca FLM09, anchored by fellow former ChampCar driver Bruno Junqueira, was also very quick at Daytona. Tagliani believes with the information and feedback between the two teams, they have a definite chance to win a very tough and physically demanding race.
“Working with my old friend Bruno on the RSR team is a great situation. We know each other so well. We are two very competitive drivers. Since both team cars are identical, we can really gain an advantage when we debrief together and exchange information and ideas. That was huge for me getting comfortable in the RSR car at Daytona since I had no time in the seat before practise. At Sebring, we take all we learned at Daytona into the pre-race test March 8 that should mean even better car preparation and results in the Twelve Hours on the 15th, so I’m very excited about this next run with RSR!”, Tagliani offered.
The Twelve Hours of Sebring goes green Saturday March 15th at 10:30 AM eastern, and is checkered 12 Hours later at 10:30 PM. Tagliani says starting in daylight and finishing in the dark makes this race and this race course one of the toughest in the sport!
“More than a few drivers with some of the best teams in sports car racing will tell you the Twelve Hours of Sebring is one of the most gruelling endurances races on any schedule. The 17 corner full track is very bumpy and extremely challenging because you’re turning a lot. It’s very tough on drivers and equipment. Not only that, it’s not as brightly lit as Daytona. You have to be able to navigate at speed with over 60 cars out there in some pretty dark sections relying totally on your headlights! I have experience testing on the shorter “Indy” portion of the Sebring track, and I will be familiar with that section of the circuit. But the addition full-track distance adds almost a full minute to the lap times. It’s longer, tougher!”,Tagliani added.
PC endurance sports cars are another addition to an already impressive list of racing machinery on Tagliani’s resume of success that includes IndyCars, NASCAR Nationwide and Canadian Tire Series stock cars and V-8 Supercars.
The Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring fueled by Fresh from Florida will be televised on FOX Sports 1 and IMSA.com.
From: Erik Tomas/ Media/Public Relations, Tagliani Autosport
O: 905-892-0411 C: 289-407-4410
Max d’Orsonnens/ Relations médias, Tagliani Autosport