Tagliani owner urges IRL pit closure rules

UPDATE With all this talk about what to do to make the racing better in IndyCar because it has become obvious that fast front-running cars get bottled up behind much slower cars, usually on an alternate fuel strategy, they have decided to open the tech rules on what has been heretofore ‘spec’ regulations by allowing teams to run different parts, configurations, etc. This will of course benefit the teams with the money to take advantage of the new ‘open regulations’ and this will result in the top teams being able to get around the cars fielded by teams that can’t afford those upgrades, etc. How about something that is much simpler and doesn’t cost any money but would absolutely achieve the result desired? Institute mandatory fuel pit stop windows like they had for a number of years in Champ Car. This would eliminate ‘off strategy’ fuel conservation runs and keep those slower cars in their ‘real’ place on the track. It would result in all drivers going as fast as they can for the entire race, as it would eliminate ‘lucky’ and ‘strategy’ runs resulting in unearned track position and finishes. Mark C.

07/15/09 The owner of Team Tagliani — Conquest Racing's Eric Bachelart — is urging Indy Racing League boss Brian Barnhart to change the pit closure rules before next week's Rexall Edmonton Indy.

Bachelart still is steamed that the IRL rule forcing cars to line up behind the pace car when a yellow flag comes out, cost Canadian Alex Tagliani at least the chance to win the Honda Indy Toronto.

Tagliani was in first place on Lap 58 when Graham Rahal and Ed Carpenter collided. If Tagliani had been allowed to pit right then, he likely would have retained his position with the other leaders, who has just completed what would be their final stop.

As a result, the No. 34 Edmonton Northlands/King Tut team had to form up behind the pace car putting Tagliani back to ninth place at that time.

"It's hard to accept that we can lose a race, when we have been dominating the whole time, because of a yellow," Bachelart said.

"I really think that the officials should have a hard look at their rules. I think that too many times we have seen the leader lose the race because of a yellow.

"The current rules do not always reward the best car and driver on the track and it becomes a bit of a gambling exercise."

Tagliani, who has a well-earned reputation — hello Paul Tracy — for wearing his emotions on his sleeves also has popped off that the yellow flag rule is and was unfair.

"It's very unfortunate to dominate like this in a race and lose it by a 'pits are closed' rule," he said. "We were kind of the victim of our own performance. The car was great on tires and fuel.

"I was driving a really good race, and I didn't have the need to pit. Guys were pitting behind us and when the yellow came out because of an incident, I couldn't pit to keep the advantage I had."

Tagliani, however, did see some positives in the incident even though he was certain that it cost him and the team a victory.

"That rule really destroyed our whole race," he said. "It's a shame to see it slip away between our fingers. But in the end, we came (to Toronto) and we showed that we could be faster than anybody else." Toronto Sun

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