Herta team happy to shed Lotus

Alex Tagliani now happy to shed Lotus

Alex Tagliani won't be racing in this weekend's Izod IndyCar Series event in Sao Paulo, Brazil, but he's had an uplifting week.

When Bryan Herta Autosport was confirmed to leave the struggling Lotus engine program, Tagliani suddenly got an adrenaline rush for next month's Indianapolis 500.

"The good news is, I'm going to have a shot at the pole again," he said.

Tagliani led the surprising feel-good story of last May as Indianapolis-based Sam Schmidt Motorsports upstaged Team Penske and Ganassi Racing in qualifying and the race. The partnership that included Bryan Herta's team earned three of the top six starting spots and won the race with Dan Wheldon driving for Herta.

Herta has said it couldn't have won without Schmidt's organization — and the late Wheldon.

Herta Autosport is expected to become a Honda team before the 500, which opens for full practice May 12. Honda's single-unit turbocharger is expected to be well-suited for the fast corners at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Tagliani's concern now is getting the engine choice to his Montreal-based helmet designer, LS Designs. Right now, the question is what logo to put on it. Each engine manufacturer has different guidelines regarding placement.

"He's freaking out," Tagliani said of Luc Sauriol. "We normally do 10 in a year, but the first four (Lotus-logo) helmets are back on the shelf." Indy Star

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