Tagliani enjoying the FAZZT company

By Dave Lewandowski

When the concept for FAZZT Race Team was unveiled last July, Alex Tagliani said it would be the perfect situation. “I can just focus on driving.”

That would be novel for the 37-year-old Canadian, who annually knocked on the doors of potential sponsors to bring to CART/Champ Car World Series teams. Tagliani recorded a victory, four poles and 29 top-five finishes in eight full seasons in 2000-07. He transitioned to the IZOD IndyCar Series on a part-time basis in 2008-09 with Conquest Racing before joining fellow Montreal native Andre Azzi in forming FAZZT Race Team.

Tagliani has netted four top-10 finishes entering the Honda Indy Edmonton, where he’ll compete this weekend in the No. 77 Bowers & Wilkins/Hot Wheels car.

“What a difference a year makes,” Tagliani said. “I’m very fortunate and very happy I didn’t give up. It’s a tough sport, but when you love it so much you have to keep working at it. We’re fortunate now we’re investing a lot of our time and our energy into making a pretty good commercial team with some innovative ways of bringing in sponsorship for our team.

“It’s a dream come true. We have an amazing group of people. It’s kind of back to what racing was all about and I’m enjoying it more than ever.”

Tagliani and Azzi are seeking to spearhead a rebirth of a Canadian driver development program, which Tagliani came through in the mid-90s, for the IZOD IndyCar Series.

“This country has a wonderful history in motorsports,” Azzi said before the Honda Indy Toronto last weekend. “I still remember watching Gilles Villeneuve and admire how his achievements brought so many Canadians, and people from other nationalities, together. After careful reflection, I have made a decision to spend the next years building a Canadian race team and driver development program that ensures that young drivers in this country get the support they need to reach the higher echelons of the sport.

“No one can do this alone, so I will be reaching out to corporate Canada to join me in filling this important need. As Canada’s only team in IndyCar racing, we can offer sponsors ratings, a full schedule of events, exciting spokespersons, solid fan base and, here in Canada, an uncluttered business platform. We are passionate and confident about our vision, and are well under way.

“Canada is showing hints of a racing renaissance. “We now have a Canadian team thanks to our sponsors Bowers & Wilkins, Hot Wheels and others, and leading organizations are starting to reinvest in a variety of racing properties. I am committed to making FAZZT Race Team a driver of this renewal.”

source http://www.indycar.com

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