Tagliani looking forward to Mustang GT debut Champ Car pilot Alex Tagliani is looking forward to a busy 2007 season, which he will kick off with his debut run in the prestigious Rolex 24 At Daytona on January 27-8. Tagliani has signed with Blackforest Motorsports to run a select 2007 schedule co-driving with Tom Nastasi in the new Ford Mustang Cobra GT in the GT class of Rolex Sports Car Series competition.
The 45th running of the Rolex 24 has once again brought out a roster of all-stars and champions from across the sport, and with the Fox Channel carrying the opening ninety minutes of live coverage into over 111 million homes, the race is expected to reach the largest audience in its history.
Tagliani will have his work cut out for him, as the sole Mustang Cobra GT entry will carry the flag for Ford against 40 other GT-class entries while also sharing the track with nearly 30 Daytona Prototypes. The new Mustang Cobra GT has shown well in early pre-season testing, consistently posting times in the top five of the ultra-competitive class, and even though the 2007 24 will be his first, Tagliani knows that outright speed rarely wins this race.
“I’m looking forward to being a part of this Mustang effort and making my first start in the 24,” said Tagliani. “It’s going to be a busy week for me, testing the new Champ Car and then coming over to Daytona for the 24, but I can’t wait. This is a brand-new car, but the team is very experienced in this kind of race, and we’ve been pleased with how the car has performed right off the trailer. This is an entirely new kind of challenge for me as a driver, but I am really looking forward to it.”
The Rolex Sports Car Series 2007 schedule will also feature the Series’ debut running at the famed Circuit-Gilles Villeneuve on August 3rd, something Tagliani is looking forward to as he keeps his long streak of driving Ford-powered machines going.
“It is a great opportunity for me and for the Rolex Series to be racing in Montreal,” said the Quebec native. “I really think people are going to enjoy the racing and I’m really excited to race in front of my home town fans again, nothing pumps me up like a Canadian crowd.”
Tagliani won’t be just serving to spool up his home-town crowd this season, as his skills as a test and development driver will be put to use as he works with Blackforest Motorsports head Brian Nott to get the most out of their new package.
“We’ve really enjoyed working with Alex,” said Nott. “Alex really has a fantastic mechanical ability and I can relate to him so easily. That’s why we work together so well and we can achieve our goals a lot faster by working with him.”
During the Daytona Test Days, Tagliani also took the chance to get reacquainted with another Mustang, the FR500c Koni Challenge machine he qualified on the front row in last years Grand Prix du Trois Rivières. It seemed like old times, as Tags took the Mustang to the top of the timing sheets his first time out as he made the most of the opportunity to get even more familiar with the 3.56-mile layout at Daytona International Speedway.
The 45th running of the Rolex 24 At Daytona will start at 1:30 PM EST on January 27th. The Fox broadcast will open with ninety minutes of coverage at 1:00 PM before the race coverage is continued live on Speed Channel, which recently added 500,000 new homes to reach nearly 70 million subscribers in the US and Canada.
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