Alex Tagliani's 75th career Champ Car start will be his second around the streets of Miami but the first in which he has had the chance to meet music legend Elton John.

After a four-week break in the Champ Car World Series schedule, Tagliani is rested and ready to jump back into the cockpit of the No. 33 Johnson Controls Rocketsports Racing Lola-Ford. Tagliani, who is currently eighth in the championship standings with 91 points, has spent his time between races gearing up for the Grand Prix Americas in Miami, where he started fifth and finished fourth in the inaugural 2002 race.

"I am very excited to start racing again. It's been a long break after an intense sequence of races. I've used the 'down-time' to train and focus on the final four races," reported Tagliani. "I'm eager to see the track for the Grand Prix Americas. Last year was my first experience on the tough street course and I know many changes have been made to it, so I am anxious to see what it is like this year. The Rocketsports engineers and I have planned the set up for the Lola based on last year's track and hope it (the car) meets the demands of the track this year. Like every other team, we'll just have to wait and see."

The 'breather' between races also allowed Tagliani some time to evaluate the progress of the first year team. "Rocketsports has come on strong all season and we've accomplished great things in our first year," reflected Tagliani. "We've been on the pole twice and on the podium three times."

"We've had highs and lows, and have learned a lot as a team. We're still working and have more to achieve this season, as well as prepare for next year," explained Tagliani.

As Rocketsports progresses, so does the Champ Car World Series, as it unveils its new 'Cars, Stars and Guitars' profile.

"It'll be cool to see the first Champ Car - Motorock event come together in Miami. I'm the 'Rocket Man' on the track, but I'm stoked to see the Rocket Man, Elton John, on stage," confessed Tagliani. "Race fans know the thrill of being at a race and how it is something you see, hear and even feel as the cars race by and shake the ground under your feet. The party atmosphere and the concerts will continue to rock fans well after the on-track activities are done," concluded Tagliani.

In addition to the 135 lap blast around the reconfigured 1.5-mile Bayfront Park circuit, Tagliani and the Rocketsports team will also take part in filming for CBS crime drama CSI: Miami during the weekend.

 

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