It’s time for Barracuda, Tagliani to catch a break

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We’ve written it before this year, and we’ll try it again going into the IZOD IndyCar Series’ race this weekend at Texas Motor Speedway. Can the racing gods give Alex Tagliani and Barracuda Racing a break?

Tagliani is the twice-defending pole winner at Texas, and could use any sort of golden horseshoe or lucky leprechaun appearance to turn around what has been an entirely frustrating year.

Pace in practice has often been masked by a poor draw for qualifying groups. Then in races, it seems as though there’s been a target on the back of the No. 98 Barracuda Honda for Bryan Herta’s team. That was evident last weekend in Detroit, when in both races contact from other cars sent him into the wall.

“It was a pretty disappointing and shocking weekend for Barracuda Racing in Detroit,” Tagliani admitted. “Having had a really good racecar, I have to say it’s probably one of the most heart-breaking weekends this team has had.

“We were involved in multiple incidents. We were always at the wrong place at the wrong time and we couldn’t really capitalize on how strong the Barracuda Racing car was. I guess we’re lucky in a sense, that Texas is right around the corner and we don’t have to wait too much to get back on track.”

That’s just more motivation to come out firing at the track where the winner shoots pistols from Victory Lane.

“I’m hopeful that we can have an amazing weekend at Texas Motor Speedway,” Tagliani said. “Last year we were on the pole. We think we know what to do to the car to make it even more competitive this year, so it should be an exciting weekend.”

Audi bids farewell to Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich upon retirement

Audi Sport
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Audi bid farewell to its iconic head of motorsport, Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich, at its end-of-season ‘Race Night’ event in Germany on Friday upon his retirement.

Ullrich took over the reins as Audi’s head of motorsport in 1993 and stayed in the role for 23 years, overseeing its arrival in the prototype class of sports car racing and domination of the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Ullrich stepped down from the position at the end of 2016, handing the reins over to ex-Audi DTM chief Dieter Gass, and attended his final racing event with the German marque at its first works Formula E outing in Hong Kong earlier this month.

Ullrich was honored at the Race Night event on Friday and thanked for his efforts in developing Audi into a force within global motorsport.

“In 566 factory-backed commitments during this period he celebrated 209 victories, 13 of them in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, eleven in the 12-hour race at Sebring and nine in the ‘Petit Le Mans’ at Road Atlanta,” a piece on Ullrich’s tenure for Audi’s website reads.

“31 driver titles in super touring car racing, in the DTM and in the sports prototype category are credited to him. 57 campaigners were Audi factory drivers during Wolfgang Ullrich’s era and he was responsible for 18 new developments of racing cars – an impressive tally.”