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.
Michael Carter was selected as the winner of the 2018 Mazda Road to 24 Shootout.
Carter was one of four drivers who competed for the honor and a $100,000 scholarship that went along with it. Matthew Dirks, Hannah Grisham and Loni Unser also competed.
With the scholarship, Carter will compete in the 2019 Battery Tender Global Mazda MX-5 Cup.
“What a journey this has been,” said Carter in a press release. “The reason I started racing a Mazda was because of the Mazda Road to 24 Shootout. It was our one single goal all along and to finally accomplish that is surreal. The process begins next week of getting ready for next season, for the series test at Barber, and to put together a good season in the Global MX-5 Cup.”
Carter was invited to the Shootout largely because of his 2018 performance in SCCA. He finished second in the SCCA Hoosier Super Tour Points Championship, won the Spec Miata Challenge and won in Spec Miata at the American Road Race of Champions.
The 18-year-old Carter had his eye on the Road to Mazda early.
“Each year, it is exciting to see the next batch of talent that is in the pipeline,” said John Doonan, Director, Mazda Motorsports. “I heard something from Michael and his father that really hit a chord with me which was that they built a Spec Miata with the sole purpose of going up the Mazda Road to 24 ladder.
That really speaks to the challenger spirit at Mazda, to why we have the Shootout, and to the family that we have at Mazda. Michael is the driver today who walks away with the scholarship, but we had four families come together here who have all gone racing together. For all of us at Mazda, it’s very rewarding to give these families a chance to go racing together. We look forward to watching Michael take the next step in his career in next season’s Global MX-5 Cup.”