Tagliani all revved up

DEAN MCNULTY, QMI AGENCY

, Last Updated: 10:29 AM ET

Alex Tagliani is hoping that when the IndyCar Racing season goes green March 14 in Sao Paulo, Brazil, his new team will have secured all the sponsorship it needs to run the entire 17 events on the 2010 calendar.

Yesterday, the 37-year-old from the Montreal suburb of Lachenaie, took a big step to making sure that can happen with the unveiling of its first IndyCar Dallara livery adorned with the colours of B&W Audio Engineering in Montreal.

Tagliani's FAZZT Racing team -- that lists Hollywood actor Jason Priestley among its principals -- plans two other launches in the lead up to Soa Paulo to introduce other team backers.

Tagliani said a telephone interview with The Toronto Sun that one of his goals right from the team's inception was to keep Canada's open-wheel racing heritage alive.

"I am very proud that we have been able to bring so many Canadian companies to our team," he said. "It's important to showcase our country."

Included in that group is Sun Media -- The Sun's parent company.

Tagliani said he is as excited as he has ever been about the start of a new season.

"I feel like a rookie who is looking forward to his first race," he said.

FAZZT recently purchased several Dallara racing chassis, a shop in Indianapolis and other race equipment from Roth Racing, that had been owned by Toronto's Marty Roth.

The team has been on the track already, with two days of unofficial testing last week at Homestead Miami Speedway in south Florida.

"We only intended to sort of have a shake down of the team, from mechanics, to engineers to truck drivers," he said of the HMS test. "But I was blown away by how race-ready we seem to be already."

Tagliani will test some more at Sebring, Fla., later this month and he will do so knowing he has the security of a multi-year contract he signed with the team prior to yesterday's launch.

If it comes together as planned, 2010 will be Tagliani's first full IndyCar season after an eight-year-career in the former Champ Car World Series.

In other Canadian racing news yesterday, the Primetime Race Group has signed 19-year-old Barrie native Kyle Marcelli to co-drive with team owner Joel Feinberg in the 2010 American LeMans Series in the LeMans Prototype Challenge class (LMPC).

And Paul Tracy is expected to shed light on his 2010 plans next week during the Canadian Motorsports Expo at the International Centre in Toronto.

DEAN.MCNULTY@SUNMEDIA.CA


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