Alex Tagliani arrives in Australia for next weekend's Lexmark Indy 300 at Surfers Paradise as one of a group of drivers looking to claim a place in the top seven in this season's final Bridgestone Presents the Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford points table with the first year Rocketsports Racing team.

Tagliani has battled for a position among the top-ten in the championship all season and currently ranks ninth with 91 points in the #33 Paul Gentilozzi-owned Johnson Controls Lola-Ford. Tagliani has claimed two poles, three podiums and ten top-ten finishes for the first year team and goes into the penultimate round of the 2003 season just 17 points behind sixth place Oriol Servia in the driver's standings.

Between Servia (108 points) and Tagliani, former Surfers Paradise winner Adrian Fernandez is currently eighth overall with 104 points while rapid rookie Darren Manning is only four points adrift of the Canadian born driver in tenth spot with 87 markers.

Another reason behind Tagliani's love of Australia is the happy memories it evokes of when he met his wife Bronte, an Adelaide born sports model, who he met during the 2001 Lexmark Indy 300 weekend. Forever grateful to Australia for his find, Tagliani happily returns to Surfer's Paradise hoping to score on the 2.795-mile temporary street course on Sunday, October 26th.

Last year in Surfer's, Tagliani qualified with a time of 1:32.300secs, 109.014 mph), started 13th and finished sixth.

"Australia is a special place because of the great racing and exciting atmosphere. It is also where I met my wife, Bronte, so it will always be home and a special part of our lives," said Tagliani. "I enjoy driving this track and look forward to a good weekend."

"It is very important for me and the Rocketsports team to do well there. We've had some unfortunate incidents in the last few races and really need a boost in the series standings to reflect all the hard work we have put into this season. I have had some good finishes in Australia in the past, with a podium finish two years ago and sixth last year. I am looking to qualify well and hang in there for a good finish this year," he concluded.

 

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