Rocketsports Racing's Alex Tagliani was left fuming after being taken out of Sunday's Grand Prix Americas in Miami by an errant Alex Sperafico while the Canadian born driver was on course for a possible podium finish.

In a crazy day at the tight 1.15-mile Bayfront Park street circuit Tagliani had kept his wits about him for 101 of the race's 135 laps, moving from tenth at the start to fourth in the process. However he was rudely taken out of the running when the young Brazilian rookie, making only his second career Champ Car start for Dale Coyne Racing, failed to spot the #33 Johnson Controls Lola-Ford whilst being lapped, chopped across Tagliani's bows and eliminated both from the race.

"What happened on the track today is difficult to accept," seethed the 30 year-old. "The team worked hard, made improvements to the car and it was the best it's been all weekend. I had a steady run for 101 laps and avoided any incidents. I moved from tenth to fourth and had 34 laps to go. This would have been a great boost in points for me and the Rocketsports team, who have worked so hard all season," reasoned Tagliani.

"What's most frustrating is that I was told by my team that Sperafico was going to let me pass at the restart, since he was a few laps down," added Tagliani. "Apparently Coyne (Dale Coyne, owner of the No.19 car) told Sperafico 'it's not for position, let him go by.' Somehow that message was not followed through on the track and he (Sperafico) didn't let me pass. I tried to get by him a few times, but he blocked me each time and then finally nailed me. I don't understand why he would destroy my race, when it's not for position. This is not the first time this sort of thing has happened this season and this kind of behaviour from drivers is disappointing."

With three races remaining in the 2003 Bridgestone Presents the Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford, Tagliani is ninth in the points table with 91 points.

 

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