Tagliani Competing in FWT Karting This Weekend

In the weeks leading up to the start of the IZOD IndyCar series 2011 season, the FAZZT Race Team's Alex Tagliani will be participating in the Rotax Max Series as part of the Florida Karting Winter Tour along with some of the top karting racers in North America.

Starting with this weekend's event in Orlando, Fl. (Jan 21-23), Tagliani will take the wheel of the Bowers & Wilkins TorcUp BIREL kart with a Rotax engine to compete in the DD2 Masters class with the SRA Karting International team. Tagliani will also compete in the February 25-27 tour stop at Palm Beach International Raceway.

The Formula Kart Productions Florida Winter Tour is one of the longest running, largest and most geographically diverse kart racing series in the Americas. The 2010 edition of the tour featured 482 unique competitors representing 23 countries, 25 American states, and five Canadian provinces.

"I am of course excited to add Alex Tagliani's name to a list of top level drivers participating at 2011 Florida Winter Tour," says Bill Wright owner and promoter of the FWT. "Also, taking part are Formula 1's Rubens Barrichello, NASCAR's AJ Allmendinger and fellow IndyCar driver, Dan Wheldon. Participation by drivers of this caliber is good for karting, the series, and the drivers who race with us."

Tagliani, who began his professional driving career with karting when he was ten years old, looks to support and connect with young kart drivers and aficionados as the new generation of IndyCar drivers and fans. He also plans to use the opportunity to compliment his fitness regime by competing in these events as a preparation for the IZOD IndyCar 2011 season, which begins March 27th in St. Petersburg, Florida.

"I'm really happy to go back to my roots in karting and am really excited and grateful for the opportunity to join (Team Manager) Michel Boisclair and the SRA karting team for these events," says Alex Tagliani. "It's a lot of fun, a great way to get ready of the IndyCar season as testing is so limited, and the off season is so long I have a strict fitness regime but it's not the same as being in a car to tune up my reaction time and my car fitness and karting in the Florida Winter Tour Series really helps me get ready."

Not only are the other SRA karting drivers looking to do well in their respective classes but they are hoping for the chance to represent their country at "The Olympics of Karting", the Rotax Grand Finals that will take place in Al Ain, United Arab Emirates in 2011. Florida Winter Tour will send one driver from the Rotax DD2, Rotax DD2 Masters, Max Senior and Max Junior categories to the finals.

With that added incentive, Tagliani will take to the track with SRA teammates Jan Velez, former ICC champion (DD2 class). Christophe Boisclair, multiple Canadian champion, and Jean-François Lafontaine (Rotax Max class) and Olivier Bédard (Rotax Max Jr.), for two qualifying sessions on Friday, Jan 20th, while Saturday and Sunday will be the racing days at the Orlando Kart Center.

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