Alex Tagliani and his new FAZZT Race Team made a promising debut in the IZOD IndyCar Series over the weekend, qualifying second to Dario Franchitti. However, his hopes for a debut win were dashed.
Tagliani ran second to Franchitti until lap 19, when he was passed by Ryan Hunter-Reay, and was still running in the top five when he was hit by Dan Wheldon's Panther entry following a restart from a full-course caution. The impact knocked the Bowers and Wilkins-backed car into the outside barrier and then into Tony Kanaan, ending Tagliani's race on the spot.
"We definitely came here and showed what we can do, but it's always a shame to finish like this - especially when it's out of your control - and a race incident that could have been avoided," Tagliani sighed, "I'm a little bit bummed out but I'm also relieved that we came here to our first race and we were on the front row. That is a huge accomplishment for everyone and a good tribute to all the work everybody has done."
The performance buoyed Tagliani's confidence as the series heads to another challenging street circuit in St Petersburg.
"We are anxious to go back and race again because we know we can do it and I think we will be pretty strong on the road and street courses like St Petersburg, Barber, and Long Beach," Tagliani said.
"It's very exciting and we can't wait to get back racing. I'm still just a little disappointed because the Bowers and Wilkins was a car to finish in the top three without doing anything special, so it's going to be a long two weeks to wait for St Petersburg and to get back to racing."