Alex Tagliani (AIM Autosport photo)

Tagliani to run with Segal in Ferrari at Monterey this weekend

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Alex Tagliani’s one-off drive with the R.Ferri/AIM Motorsport Racing with Ferrari team at Kansas, has in fact, turned into additional outings.

The French Canadian will again team with Jeff Segal in the team’s No. 61 Ferrari F458 Italia for this weekend’s GRAND-AM Rolex Series race at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in Monterey. He’s also planned to be in the car for the GRAND-AM season finale at Lime Rock Park on Sept. 28.

Tagliani has five open-wheel starts at Monterey, with a best finish of sixth in 2004.

R.Ferri/AIM, jointly run and operated by Remo Ferri and Andrew Bordin, had Max Papis in the seat for the first eight races of the season alongside Segal, and the pair won their first race at the Brickyard at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

However, Papis was unavailable for the GRAND-AM/American Le Mans Series joint weekend at Elkhart Lake’s Road America as he subbed for Tony Stewart in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Watkins Glen. Kenny Wilden filled in there while Tagliani was in Trois-Rivieres, Quebec; Tag filled in at Kansas and promptly stuck the car on pole.

In an interview with MotorSportsTalk a couple weeks ago, Tagliani raved about the opportunity to drive a Ferrari and hinted future outings were possible.

NHRA: Brittany Force cleared to race this weekend in Phoenix after bad wreck 2 weeks ago

Photo: John Force Racing
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Drag racing is a Force family tradition. So, too, is not keeping a Force family member down.

Just 12 days after the most serious wreck of her six-year drag racing career, Brittany Force and John Force Racing announced late Thursday afternoon that the defending 2017 NHRA Top Fuel champion has been medically cleared and will indeed race in this weekend’s NHRA Arizona Nationals at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park in suburban Phoenix, Arizona.

“I flew into Phoenix early this (Thursday) morning and headed straight out to the race track to meet up with my team,” Force said. “I suited up and got belted back into my car that I ran all last season.

“It honestly felt good to be strapped back in and I was surprised how comfortable I was. I’m looking forward to getting back in my car tomorrow (Friday’s first two rounds of qualifying) and getting back in the swing of things with my guys.”

The 31-year-old Force, one of four daughters of 16-time NHRA Funny Car champ John Force, suffered a concussion and bruising after the hard crash she was involved in on February 11 in the first round of eliminations of the season-opening NHRA Lucas Oil Winternationals in Pomona, California.

Shortly after leaving the starting line in a race vs. Terry Haddock, Force’s dragster crossed from the right to left lanes, impacted the retaining wall with a very hard lateral crash, bounced off, spun, went on its side and briefly caught fire after crossing the finish line wheels-up.

While she is still recovering from the bruising, Force feels strong enough to get back behind the wheel. Getting back in the race car could be the best medicine of all, since she has three runner-up finishes in Phoenix, including back-to-back second-place showings in both the 2016 and 2017 national events.

The three-day event kicks off Friday with qualifying rounds at 4 and 6:30 p.m. ET, the same times as Saturday’s qualifying. Final eliminations begin at 1 p.m. ET Sunday.