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Tagliani takes control of his career
Alex Tagliani
Alex Tagliani is in the best shape of his life, but most noticeable is the absence of the anxiety he's endured during the last couple of years while trying to pursue his car racing career.

It's amazing how becoming the owner of his team, which is set to make its debut in the 2010 IndyCar Series, has changed things.

"I'm very pleased and at the same time I feel very emotional, because this is a dream that's finally become reality," Tagliani, 36, said yesterday. "Stability. Longevity. Having a team where you can go race and win.

Focus on driving. For a long time, I had forgotten what racing was really all about.

"Now I'm enjoying every second," he said. "I'm proud to be involved with a team that is going to try to contribute to the long tradition of racing in Canada." After the spending the better part of the last two years uncertain about his future in racing, virtually going door-to-door begging for rides, the Montrealer is one-third owner and only driver with the new FAZZT Racing Team.

The only Canadian race team with a Canadian driver will compete full time on the 17-race IndyCar Series starting March 14 in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Other stops include the Indianapolis 500 on May 30, Honda Indy Toronto, July 18, and Rexall Edmonton Indy, July 25.

"We're doing a lot of things, spending a lot of money on parts to make sure the car is fast, but we're getting these parts made in Canada and Quebec," Tagliani said. "So every time the car goes quicker, people will feel proud about it.

"As a driver, I no longer have the headaches of having to look for sponsors," he continued. "I only think about driving now. It's one of the reasons I'm so fit, because for the last six months all I've done is lift weights and run. So it is exciting and I'm ready." Tagliani, who competed for Forsythe Racing on the CART circuit from 2000 to '05, has partnered with longtime racing and business executive Jim Freudenberg, chief operating officer of Indianapolis-based Rubicon Sports Agency, his partner and Canadian actor Jason Priestley, and Montrealer Andre Azzi, a self-made entrepreneur in the financial services and CEO of the new team.

Rubicon and Azzi Race Division announced last August it would field a team this year. In addition to Tagliani, as a partner and on a five-year contract as a driver, they bought all the equipment of Roth Racing and also brought on board Walker Racing veteran Rob Edwards as team manager. More at Montreal Gazette

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