INDIANAPOLIS – When Scott Sharp and Alex Tagliani drove on the recently reconfigured Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course for the first time Thursday during a TUDOR United SportsCar Championship series test, it didn’t take long for them to develop a positive impression.
“It’s pretty cool,” Sharp said. “It’s got a great mixture of corners, with some real fast stuff with obviously some really slow stuff. We’re in sixth gear in a number of spots on the track and then we go down to second gear, and when you slow the car down that much, it really creates some great passing opportunities. I think for our cars here, with 50-something cars, it’s really going to be an action-packed race.”
Sharp and Tagliani will compete in the third annual Brickyard Grand Prix at IMS on July 25, with racing taking place simultaneously in two prototype classes and two production-based GT classes: Prototype, Prototype Challenge, GT Le Mans and GT Daytona.
A 14-time starter in the Indianapolis 500 with five top-ten finishes, Sharp will drive his No. 1 Tequila Patrón-sponsored HPD LMP2 car for Extreme Speed Motorsports during the Brickyard Grand Prix.
Tagliani, who in six Indianapolis 500 starts posted his best performance in 2010 when he finished tenth, was equally impressed following his first opportunity to drive on the IMS road course.
“I was pretty excited to try this new road course, and I really love it.” Tagliani said. “It’s a lot of fun for the prototype cars with the carbon brakes that we have going down into Turn 1, and I really believe that with the aero package it’ll make for an amazing race. I expect a lot of passing and dicing because of the long straightaway and the multiple places for passing, so it’ll be a lot of fun.”
After finishing 13th in the 2014 Indianapolis 500, Tagliani is looking forward to his return to IMS next month when he’ll drive his RSR Racing AutoMaxUSA.com ORECA FLM09 car during the Brickyard Grand Prix.