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