Tagliani confirmed at Conquest for Indy
As a kid at the age of 10, when his grandfather bought him his first go-kart, Alex Tagliani never thought that he would one day sit in an Indy car at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Now, 26 years later, when he straps himself into his Conquest Racing Dallara on May 5 for rookie orientation, that long time dream will become a reality.
The Canadian driver, who was confirmed today by Conquest Racing as the driver of its #34 entry for the 2009 Indianapolis 500, will be turning his first laps around the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway oval as he begins preparations for this year’s race.
“It’s every drivers dream to be at the Indianapolis 500. As a kid I never thought I would make it here and even later on in my career because of the split, so it has always remained a dream of mine. It’s the one race that has always sat atop my list.
“Finally, more than nine years after my first start in a major open-wheel series race, I will get to experience all that surrounds the famous ‘Month of May’, and get to experience it during the kick off of the Centennial Era Celebrations, which makes it even more memorable,” expressed Tagliani. “I know that the first few laps around the track tomorrow will be quite special and I’m super excited and really looking forward to it.”
While Tagliani has plenty of open-wheel experience under his belt, he will be returning to rookie status this month, as is the rule for any driver competing in his first Indianapolis 500.
“I’ll be sporting my rookie status with pride this month,” added Tagliani. “No matter how much experience you have behind the wheel, when you race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the first time I think it’s easy to feel like a rookie. It’s such a unique track, there’s nothing else like it.”
One of two Canadians at this year’s race, Tagliani will only be the fourth rookie driver to hail from Quebec, Canada since Jacques Villeneuve took part in his first Indy 500 in 1994.
The talented veteran open-wheel driver will look to continue his strong form during May. The Las Vegas resident put in impressive runs at St. Petersburg and Long Beach in the first two races of the season before different incidents cost him top-five finishes. Despite the setbacks in both races, the Canadian demonstrated his perseverance and fought back to give the team two top-ten finishes.
Conquest Racing and Tagliani will be on track Tuesday May 5 at 2 p.m. eastern time for the IndyCar Series’ Indianapolis 500 Rookie Orientation Program. Sponsorship for the #34 Conquest car will be announced shortly with the unveiling of its new livery on Tuesday at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. (See related News item)