Alex Tagliani and Bryan Herta Autosport team are not off to a great start in the Izod IndyCar Series. They are looking to turn things around at the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach this weekend.
Tagliani finished 15th in the IndyCar Series season opener on the streets of St. Petersburg in Florida. He didn’t complete a lap and finished in 26th place in the race at Barber Motorsports Park in Alabama on April 1. The Lotus engine in Tagliani’s car lost power after the first turn on the track and he had to withdraw.
“After leaving the Barber weekend, we all felt the disappointment,” Tagliani said, “but finishing a weekend like that without being able to start the race makes the excitement to go to Long Beach even greater.”
Tagliani finished in ninth place and led four laps in the Grand Prix of Long Beach IndyCar Series race last year. He was seventh at Long Beach in 2008 and has finished in the top 10 in three of his past four IndyCar Series races at Long Beach.
“Long Beach is a great event and I’ve always been competitive there in the past -- I love the racing on that track,” Tagliani said. “This is going to be another street course and the Team Barracuda -- BHA car was fairly decent in St. Pete, so we’re looking forward to getting out there and continuing the progress with Todd [Malloy] and the guys.”
Tagliani, in his first year with Bryan Herta Autosport, is in 20th place in the Izod IndyCar Series standings after two races. The team is owned by Valencia’s Bryan Herta, a Hart High graduate. He also has a car entered in the Firestone Indy Lights race with Nick Andries as the driver.
Helio Castroneves leads the IndyCar Series standings, two points ahead of Scott Dixon. Mike Conway, who won last year’s Grand Prix of Long Beach race, is ninth in the IndyCar Series standings.
“We have a big weekend planned, both on and off the track, with lots of VIP guests from Barracuda Networks and Bowers & Wilkins,” Tagliani said. “We’re looking forward to enjoying a great, sunny weekend at the Motegi Racing hospitality suite in California with the team and our guests.”
Follow Tim Haddock on Twitter @thaddock .