Team Penske Tagliani Autosport Road America review

Team Penske Tagliani Autosport Road America review

22.06.2014: Photo : Alex Tagliani a décroché une deuxième pole position consécutive en série NASCAR Nationwide




Photo : Alex Tagliani a décroché une deuxième pole position consécutive en série NASCAR Nationwide sur le circuit routier de Road America au Wisconsin. En course, il a mené la Ford Mustang Discount Tire no 22 de Team Penske au deuxième rang.



Gardner Denver 200 à Road America
Circuit routier de 6,49 km - 4,05 milles, Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin
Ford Mustang No 22 Discount Tire pilotée par Alex Tagliani
Samedi, 21 juin, 14 h 45, heure de l'Est   
14e étape de la série NASCAR Nationwide




Après avoir décroché la pole en NASCAR Nationwide à Road America, Alex Tagliani effectue une remontée de 22 positions lors des deux derniers tours de la course pour terminer deuxième avec la Ford Mustang Discount Tire de Team Penske


Montréal, 21 juin 2014 - L'équipe Penske a pris un gros risque en n'effectuant pas un arrêt aux puits lors de la troisième neutralisation de la course au 37e tour pour permettre à Alex Tagliani de conserver sa première position.


Après avoir décroché la pole position, le Québécois filait vers sa première victoire en NASCAR Nationwide avec un tour à faire dans une épreuve qui devait en compter 50, lorsque sa Ford Mustang Discount Tire no 22 s'est immobilisée un peu avant l'entrée des puits du circuit routier de Road America.


 Les officiels venaient juste de déployer le drapeau jaune signalant une quatrième neutralisation. Comme le stipule le règlement, un vert, blanc et damier signalerait la fin de la course à la reprise des hostilités.


Reparti des puits au 23e rang sur des pneus lisses au 51e tour alors que le reste du peloton roulait toujours sur des pneus de pluie, Tagliani a remonté 22 de ses adversaires en deux tours pour terminer deuxième, à huit dixièmes de seconde du vainqueur Brendan Gaughan, qui a signé sa première victoire en 98 départs. Kevin O'Connell a terminé troisième devant Chase Elliott et J.J. Yeley.


« Au début, c'était très difficile de trouver une ligne de course, a déclaré Tagliani à l'issue du Gardner Denver 200. Tous les pilotes cherchaient de l'adhérence, mais nous étions partout sur le circuit. La deuxième partie de la course sous la pluie a été plus intéressante.


L'équipe a pris le risque qu'on pourrait rallier l'arrivée sans faire ce troisième ravitaillement, mais nous sommes tombés en panne sèche, même si j'ai tout fait pour économiser du carburant. Si le premier pari n'a pas fonctionné, le second risque que le directeur de l'équipe Jeremy Bullins a pris en posant des pneus lisses a failli nous donner la victoire. »



La course

La course a été longuement retardée (59 minutes) à cause d'une bruine intermittente. Une partie de piste était humide et les voitures ne peuvent pas chausser des pneus de pluie si la piste n'est pas complètement détrempée. L'inverse est aussi vrai avec les pneus lisses qui ne tiennent absolument pas quand elle est humide.


Dès le départ sur des pneus lisses, Tagliani joue de prudence au premier virage et il se retrouve troisième derrière le meneur Sam Hornish et Dylan Kwasniewski. Au terme du premier tour, il est cinquième. Le pilote de Lachenaie entre aux puits au troisième rang avec les meneurs au 12e tour.


Au 18e tour, une fois le ménage fait en doublant les voitures qui étaient hors séquence, Tag reprend sa troisième place. Au passage suivant, il est deuxième, puis perd un rang à Regan Smith au 24e circuit.


La pluie intermittente s'abat de nouveau au 25e passage, et les voitures doivent circuler à la file indienne derrière la voiture de tête durant trois tours avant que NASCAR n'oblige toutes les voitures à entrer aux puits pour chausser des pneus de pluie à la fin du 27e tour. Lors de son arrêt, l'équipe Penske prend quelques secondes de plus pour modifier la suspension, et Tag sort quatrième.


À la relance au 29e tour, Tagliani gagne deux positions pour se retrouver dans le parechoc du meneur Sam Hornish. Au passage suivant, il passe en tête pour mener les 19 tours suivants avant la panne sèche. Quatre pilotes se sont échangé la tête à sept occasions. Tagliani a mené 20 des 53 tours.



Deuxième pole en deux courses Nationwide pour Tagliani


Lors de la qualification de cette 14e étape de la série NASCAR Nationwide qui s'est déroulée plus tôt en matinée, Tagliani a été le plus rapide des 38 inscrits, parcourant le circuit routier de 6,49 km en 1 minute, 48,420 secondes pour une vitesse moyenne de 174,485 km/h.


 Il a devancé Dylan Kwasniewski par seulement 63 millièmes de seconde. Pour le pilote québécois, c'était sa deuxième position de tête en Nationwide, sa première remontant à 2012 sur le circuit Gilles-Villeneuve, qui était également sa dernière présence en Nationwide. 



Prochaine étape dimanche en prototype à Watkins Glen


Tagliani sera de retour en piste le dimanche 29 juin à Watkins Glen dans l'état de New York pour y disputer la cinquième manche du championnat TUDOR United SportsCar Championship (USCC) en catégorie Challenge Prototype avec l'équipe RSR Racing de Paul Gentilozzi.


Le pilote de Lachenaie sera de retour au Québec le week-end du 4 au 6 juillet pour la présentation du Grand Prix ICAR sur le circuit routier de 3,4 km situé à Mirabel.




Max d'Orsonnens, photo : NASCAR/Jeff Zelevansky

Permanent-URL: http://www.automobilsport.com/nascar-team-penske-tagliani-autosport-road-america---124684.html

22.06.2014 / MaP

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