Open-wheel racing veteran Alex Tagliani will be back behind the wheel of the #98 Barracuda Bryan Herta Aurosports Honda for the 2013 IndyCar Series, the team has announced.
The CART/IndyCar veteran had a mixed 2012 season, which started poorly as the team kicked off its campaign with the awful Lotus engines, before managing to negotiate an early release and a switch to the more competitive Honda powerplant.
From that point on, the French-Canadian was a regular frontrunner in qualifying, making the top-six shootout for pole in all but two events for the remainder of the season. His highlight was a pole position at Texas Motor Speedway.
That qualifying success did not always translate to the best finishing results, however. Tagliani was at times guilty of overdriving the Dallara DW12 in race conditions, and he clumsily collided with eventual title-winner Ryan Hunter-Reay at Sonoma, an incident which had serious implications for the American’s championship prospects at the time.
However, team owner Bryan Herta believes that the continuity that Tagliani will bring will be instrumental in making the team more competitive in the upcoming season.
“Having Alex return would give us our best chance to win races and compete on every type of track the IndyCar schedule throws at us,” he said.
“The expectations are higher this year for Alex, our partners, and ourselves. It is great to see all the pieces coming together, everyone on the Barracuda Racing program are excited about this season.”
The 2013 season kicks off with the Grand Prix of St Petersburg on March 24.