Another of the paddock’s worst-kept secrets was finally confirmed today as veteran driver Alex Tagliani was announced as the driver of the #98 Bowers & Wilkins-sponsored entry for Bryan Herta Autosport in its first full season in the IZOD IndyCar Series.
On paper it reads as the perfect combination, especially come May and the Indy 500: last year’s pole-sitter driving for last year’s winning team. But Indianapolis does not deliver storybook fairytales like that, and the new venture is cautious, yet optimistic as the new season approaches.
“We are very proud to have Alex Tagliani join our team for our first full season of IndyCar competition. He brings a wealth of experience and enthusiasm to the program, and is the perfect fit for us and our sponsor partners,” stated team owner and open-wheel race winner himself, Bryan Herta.
Tagliani is one of the prize driving assets available for his technical prowess, race experience and overall proficiency in setting up a race-car. Already confirmed as a factory works Lotus engine partner, the team’s new car will run in the iconic black-and-gold Lotus livery.
The first job for Tagliani will be to guide his team through testing of the new Lotus powerplant, which is yet to hit the track for testing, and is well behind the respective programs of engine rivals Honda and Chevrolet despite extensive dyno testing.
Other teams confirmed to be utilising Lotus power on either a factory or customer basis are Dreyer & Reinbold, Michael Shank Racing and naming partner team Lotus-HVM Racing team.
[Image via LAT]