Alex Tagliani Returns to No. 61 R.Ferri/AIM Motorsport Racing with Ferrari 458 Italia

Alex Tagliani Returns to No. 61 R.Ferri/AIM Motorsport Racing with Ferrari 458 Italia

04.09.2013: ...and Jeff Segal This Weekend at Laguna Seca Tagliani and Segal Reunite for Continental Tire Sports

...and Jeff Segal This Weekend at Laguna Seca





Tagliani and Segal Reunite for Continental Tire Sports Car Festival after Near- Domination in Kansas


R. Ferri / AIM Motorosport AIM Autosport Team FXDD RACING WITH FERRARI



Alex Tagliani returns to the No. 61 R.Ferri/AIM Motorsport Racing with Ferrari 458 Italia and co-driver Jeff Segal for this weekend’s Continental Tire Sports Car Festival at Mazda Raceway, September 7 – 8, after the debuting duo’s near-dominating performance one race ago at Kansas Speedway.


The 11th and penultimate round of this year’s 12-race GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series schedule, the featured event of the Continental Tire Sports Car Festival can be seen live on FOX Sports 1, Sunday, September 8, at 5 p.m. EDT/2 p.m. PDT.


Tagliani debuted in the No. 61 R.Ferri/AIM Ferrari at Kansas and promptly topped both practice sessions, won the pole and joined Segal in leading a race-high 61 laps in the SFP Grand Prix at Kansas. Only a stuck fuel nozzle in the team’s final pit stop prevented a victory, but Segal, who set the fastest GT race lap, still managed to charge back to a sixth-place finish.


“I am very excited about being back again with R. Ferri/AIM Motorsport Racing with Ferrari,” Tagliani said. “We obviously had a great weekend going in Kansas, and this is kind of a dream come true to be able to be in the Ferrari family and go racing. I am very passionate about the brand.”


Tagliani, the popular IndyCar racing veteran from Quebec, was the second consecutive Canadian driver to step into the No. 61 for regular team driver Max Papis this season. One race earlier, Ontario-based driver Kenny Wilden replaced Papis when “Mad Max” drove in the first of back-to-back NASCAR races in early August.


Combined, the Canadian duo of Tagliani and Wilden brought a great deal of additional local exposure and awareness to the Toronto-based Remo Ferri Group of Automobiles, which operates Ferrari dealerships in Toronto, Ontario and Alberta. Continuing with a Canadian driver was a primary decision in sticking with Tagliani for the rest of the season.


“Being a Canadian team, part of our approach has been to grow our program using Canadian drivers when possible,” said R.Ferri/AIM Team Principal and Owner Remo Ferri. “We had that opportunity with Kenny Wilden at Elkhart Lake and continued it with Alex Tagliani in Kansas. We were extremely strong in both races and we will continue with this approach at Laguna and Lime Rock with Alex Tagliani. We’re also already looking at the 2014 season with Alex on board.


“I discussed this approach with Max at the beginning of the season and he was supportive of our possible attempts to use Canadian drivers,” Ferri added. “Max Papis is a longtime friend and a true professional, and he continues to be an integral part of the R.Ferri/AIM Motorsport team.”



Segal, the two-time and reigning GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series GT Champion has a series-leading four career victories in the Ferrari 458 Italia.


“I am really looking forward to having Alex return to our team at Laguna Seca,” Segal said. “Our first weekend together at Kansas was incredibly productive, and if not for the issue on our final fuel stop, I think we had the rest of the GT field pretty well covered. Alex was on the pace immediately at Kansas, and I'm looking forward to seeing what we can deliver together with that race experience under our belts.”


The significance of a French-Canadian race car driver competing for the famous “Prancing Horse” brand is not lost on Tagliani.


“My first idol in racing was Gilles Villeneuve, who was racing for Ferrari, and I always kept that passion,” Tagliani said. “Ferrari is putting a lot of dedication into the North American program in GT, and I am honored to be one of the guys that represent them.”


A two-day event, the Continental Tire Sports Car Festival begins with a pair of practice sessions Friday before GT qualifying that afternoon at 5:25 p.m. PDT. Race-day Saturday’s only GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series action is the featured 2-3/4-hour race that begins at 2 p.m. PDT.


“Laguna Seca is one of the events that I really look forward to on the schedule, as it is a phenomenally challenging track with more than a few high speed corners, challenging elevation changes, and a relentless layout with very little rest,” Segal said.


 “It is generally very difficult to pass on this track without incident, so we will definitely be focused on putting together a solid race from start to finish, hoping to qualify toward the front and stay there.”


Tagliani is looking forward to making up for the victory that slipped away at Kansas when the series hits the legendary 2.238-mile, 11-turn road course in Monterey Saturday and Sunday.


“We are going to try to start the weekend at Laguna where we left off in Kansas, very competitive, and work toward trying to win the race,” Tagliani said. “That is the plan, we will try to help the team technically, give them good feedback so we understand the car and do the best that I can. If we can do all of that, then mission accomplished.”


About R.Ferri/AIM Motorsport Racing with Ferrari: Led by Remo Ferri, R.Ferri/AIM Motorsport Racing with Ferrari is in its first full season of GT competition with co-drivers Jeff Segal and Max Papis. This team is a collaborative commercial and technical effort with top Canadian road racing organization AIM Autosport.


Founded in 1991, R.Ferri Motorsport is a professional Canadian racing team headquartered in Vaughan, Ontario and races in partnership with the Remo Ferri Group dealerships and Ferrari of Ontario, Toronto and Alberta. R.Ferri Motorsport also provides technical, racing, and logistical support for selected clients who take part in the North American Ferrari Challenge and exclusive customer track events. Learn more at www.remoferrigroup.com.


AIM Autosport: Established in 1995, AIM Autosport is a professional Canadian sports team campaigning Ferrari 458 Italia GT race cars in the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series. AIM will defend its 2012 GRAND-AM Rolex Series GT Championship by entering two Ferrari 458 Italias for the full 2013 season.


AIM’s success has been achieved through the dedication of its employees and the continuous support of team’s commercial and technical partners. Away from the track, AIM Autosport’s technical and administrative headquarters are situated in the Toronto suburb of Woodbridge, Ontario.




Conrad Italiano  Photo credit / H. Pitman / MotorSportMedia

Permanent-URL: http://www.automobilsport.com/alex-tagliani-return-ferri-aim-motorsport-racing-ferrari-458-italia-laguna-seca---115180.html

04.09.2013 / MaP

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