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Conquest to miss Kansas race

When Conquest Racing team owner Eric Bachelart's post-Long Beach quote contained the line 'everybody on the team has done a fantastic job and we have been competing with the best organisations for two races in a row - we just need a break', he was referring to fortune - but he might as well have been looking ahead to round three of the IndyCar Series.

The team's post-race release had already hinted that it would not be seen again until the 'Month of May' kicked off in preparation for the Indianapolis 500, and the subsequent entry list published ahead of this weekend's RoadRunner Turbo Indy 300 all but confirmed that the distinctive orange Conquest Dallara would indeed be missing.

No reason has been given for the absence, but Conquest was known to be struggling for sponsorship during the off-season, and only managed to contest the two street races in St Petersburg and Long Beach after inking a last-minute deal with the organisers and promoters of the Edmonton round, which saw veteran Alex Tagliani make an even later return to the cockpit.

The Canadian is not renowned as an oval racer, although he is no mug either, and it is not as odd as it seems that the team is choosing to skip the first oval of the year when Indianapolis is next. The Kansas track bears little relevance to the Brickyard, and Conquest is not expected to be a such a disadvantage at Indy thanks to less track time in the build-up to the blue riband race.

If it is a lack of sponsorship behind the team's absence, however, it underlines the need for the recently-agreed partnership with Rubicon Sports Agency to come up trumps if the team is to continue the rest of the season after back-to-back tenth place finishes for Tagliani.

"Creating a successful commercial platform for your race team is critical to long term survival in today's environment." Rubicon co-owner Jim Freudenberg wrote at the time of the deal, "Jason [Priestley] and I are appreciative of the opportunity Eric has given us to bring our sponsors and platform to Conquest and build for the future."

Conquest's two entries for the Indianapolis 500 currently have TBA in place of named drivers, suggesting that Tagliani's chances of returning hang in the balance, while there may be opportunities for monied replacements.


Related Pictures

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Indy Racing League. 3-5 April 2009. Honda Grand Prix of St. Peteresburg. St Petersburg, Florida. Alex Tagliani.
Ryan Briscoe, Graham Rahal and Alex Tagliani (Photo by: Jim Haines for IndyCar Media)
Alex Tagliani at IMS (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media.)
Alex Tagliani in action during qualifying for the MAVTV 500 2013 season finale at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana California. (Photo Credit: John Cote for IndyCar Media.)
Alex Tagliani during practice for the MAVTV 500 2013 season finale at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana California. (Photo Credit: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media.)
Alex Tagliani during practice in Detroit - Friday, May 31 2013. (Photo Credit: John Cote for IndyCar Media)
Alex Tagliani during practice in Detroit - Friday, May 31 2013. (Photo Credit: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Alex Tagliani heads out on Pole Day at Indianapolis Motor Speedway - Saturday May 18, 2013. (Picture Credit: Michael Roth for IndyCar Media)
Alex Tagliani on the fifth day of practice at Indianapolis Motor Speedway - Wednesday May 15, 2013. (Picture Credit: Bret Kelley for IndyCar Media)
Alex Taglinai at Barber Motorsports Park (Photo Credit: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Alex Tagliani during practice at St Peterburg, Flodica - March 2013, (Photo Credit: John Cote for IndyCar Media)
Bryan Herta Autosports` Alex Taglinai waits in the cockpit of the #98 at St Petersburg, Florida - March 2013. (Photo Credit: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Pole Winner Alex Tagliani and the Bryan Herta Autosport team (c) 2012 Michael L. Levitt LAT Photo USA (Photo Credit: INDYCAR/LAT USA)
Ana Beatriz #25 Team Ipiranga Andretti Autosport Conquest Racing during practice at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. 12-17 May, 2012, Indianapolis, Indiana USA. (c) 2012 Dan R. Boyd LAT Photo USA. (Photo credit: INDYCAR/LAT USA)
Conquest owner Eric Bachelart [Photo Credit: Ron Mcqueeney for IndyCar Media]
The new `12 OAK-Pescarolo designed for the LMP2 class in the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón. [Photo Credit: Conquest Endurance/OAK Racing]
The new `12 OAK-Pescarolo designed for the LMP2 class in the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón. [Photo Credit: Conquest Endurance/OAK Racing]
The new `12 OAK-Pescarolo designed for the LMP2 class in the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón. [Photo Credit: Conquest Endurance/OAK Racing]

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