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DATE News (chronologically)
04/11/08
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Walker Racing and Tagliani to bid farewell to fans  Walker Racing is proud to announce its entry in the upcoming Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, April 18-20.  The Indianapolis based squad will re-join forces with Canadian Alex Tagliani as they pay tribute to the loyal Champ Car fans and say farewell to the Champ Car World Series.

The 34th annual Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach will mark the end of Champ Car’s 29 years of racing.  The Champ Car World Series and the Indy Racing League signed an agreement on February 22, to unify open-wheel racing and now runs under the IndyCar Series banner.  This will be the final event for Champ Car and for the 750 horsepower, turbocharged, DP01’s.

Walker Racing is excited to have Tagliani back on board for one last race.  “We have many fond memories of our time in Champ Car.  The team is really geared up to have a good weekend.  Long Beach is our last chance to pay tribute to all of the loyal CART/ Champ Car race fans, officials and employees, who served and supported the series over these years.  It’s the end of an era and we are left with some great memories and are left to wonder what it could have been.  We thank our fans and sponsors who gave us the opportunity to be a part of it. I also want to thank Alex for volunteering to race with us this weekend as well,” commented Derrick Walker, Walker Racing owner.

Tagliani competed with Walker Racing, under the Team Australia partnership with Craig Gore, in 2005 and 2006.  He will pilot the #15 Walker Racing Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone entry. During his tenure with the team, the 35 year old Montreal, Quebec, Canada native recorded four podium finishes, (Monterrey, Toronto, Long Beach, Australia), five top-five finishes, and 12 top-10 finishes.  

In his eight years of Champ Car competition, Tagliani has finished in the top ten in the championship race six times (the last six consecutive seasons) in his career, placing a career-best seventh in 2004 and 2005.  He has also earned 76 top-10 finishes, including 32 top-five showings, 14 podiums, one win (Road America 2004) and five poles in 131 career starts.  Last year, Tagliani finished 10th in the championship with 205 points and qualified in the top 10 in 10 of the 14 races with a best starting position of fourth (Las Vegas, Long Beach, and Portland).  He finished in the top 10 in 10 of the 14 events with four top-five showings.

“I had a great relationship with all of the Walker Racing team and to be able to participate in the last Long Beach event under the umbrella of Champ Car and to compete with my friends is fantastic. There are definitely mixed feelings competing for the last time, it’s nice to be racing, but with regret.  Overall, it will be good to get back in the Champ Car for the last time, have a good race and most importantly have fun.  It will also be a good tribute to all of the loyal fans, sponsors and teams that have supported me over the years.  This is a thank you to them and to be doing it with the Walker Racing organization is a plus because they are near and dear to my heart and it’s my opportunity to prove what a strong organization Derrick Walker has,” stated Tagliani. 

The 34th running of the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach will get underway on April 18th.  The final Champ Car race will take place, Sunday, April 20, at 1:00 p.m. local time and will be broadcasted on ESPN 2 at 5:30 p.m. ET.
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