Alex Tagliani is one of the most versatile Canadian racing drivers ever. Since the beginning of his career in 1996, he mostly competed in the open-wheel racing series, but also gained an experience in the stock car racing, sports car racing with GT cars and prototypes, touring car racing and rallycross.
He recorded most starts in the Champ Car and IndyCar Series, participating in more than 200 races between 2000 and 2016, including eight participations at Indianapolis 500. He scored one win and fourteen podiums but his most notable result was a pole position at 2011 Indy 500.
Career-start in the Toyota Atlantic Championship
Alexandre Alex Tagliani was born on October 18, 1973, in Lachenaie, Quebec. He started racing in 1996, participating full season in the Toyota Atlantic Championship and finishing seventh in the points.
He stayed in the series for three more seasons, driving for the Forsythe Championship Racing. He scored six wins in three seasons, finishing best in 1997 when he was third in the points.
2000 - entering CART Series with Forsythe Racing
In 2000, Alex progressed to the CART FedEx Championship Series, continuing to drive for the Forsythe Racing alongside compatriot Patrick Carpentier. In his rookie season, Tagliani's best result was fourth place at Long Beach. He finished 16th in the points, third among rookies.
In the next two season, Tagliani scored three poles and five podiums but no wins, finishing 11th in 2001 and 8th in 2002, so he was replaced by veteran Paul Tracy for the 2003 season.
Only Champ Car victory at Road America
In the 2003 Champ Car World Series season, Alex joined Rocketsports Racing. In the first season with #33 Lola-Ford, he was in the third place three times, finishing tenth in the points.
His first and only Champ Car victory came in August 2004 at Road America, where he was driving the #8 Rocketsports' car. He finished 7th in the final classification what was his career-best result.
Two Champ Car season with Team Australia
For 2005 season, Tagliani joined newly formed Team Australia. With two podiums, he finished seventh in the points, equaling his career-best result. In the second season with the Team Australia, Tagliani scored two more podiums and finished 8th in the final classification.
While driving for the Australian team in the Champ Car World Series, Tagliani also visited Australia to participate in two races of the V8 Supercars Championship, at Sandown and Bathurst. His co-driver was Marcus Marshall. They finished 22nd at Sandown 500 and 13th at Bathurst 1000.
For 2007 Champ Car season, Tagliani rejoined Rocketsports Racing, in a fact he was driving for the RSPORTS, the new team founded as a result of the alliance between Rocketsports and RuSPORT. His best result was 4th place at season-opening Las Vegas Grand Prix and he finished 10th in the points.
2007 - debut in the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series
During 2007, Tagliani expanded his racing activities on two new competitions – NASCAR Canadian Tire Series and Grand American Rolex Series. In the Canadian NASCAR, he participated in two races for Jacombs Racing. In the Grand American Rolex Series, he was driving the #15 Ford Mustang Cobra for Blackforest Motorsports. He participated in five races, including Daytona 24h, where he didn't reach the finish.
In 2008, after a merger of the Indy Racing League and Champ Car World Series, Tagliani participated in just four races of the IndyCar Series. He finished seventh at Long Beach Grand Prix driving for Walker Racing and then joined Conquest Racing for the last three races of the season. His best result was 4th place in Surfers Paradise.
On the other side, Tagliani expanded his schedule in the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series, participating in nine races with Jacombs Racing's #7 Ford and scoring his first victory at Edmonton.
2009 - debut at Indianapolis 500 with Conquest Racing
In 2009, Tagliani participated in six IndyCar races with Conquest Racing, including his debut at Indianapolis 500. He failed to qualify the #34 car but replaced Bruno Junqueira in the team's #36 car. Tagliani started 33rd on the grid and finished 11th. In the rest of the season, his best result was 9th place in Toronto.
Other Tagliani's commitments in 2009 included two races in the Canadian NASCAR and his debut in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, driving the #81 Dodge for MacDonald Motorsports in Montreal and Phoenix.
In 2010, Tagliani returned full-time in the IndyCar Series with the FAZZT Race Team, in which he was one of three co-founders. He scored his best ever finish at Indy 500 (10th place) and added four more Top 10 results, to finish 13th in the points. Beside IndyCar races, his only racing effort in 2010 was a participation at V8 Supercars races at Surfers Paradise, together with Jason Bargwanna in Kelly Racing's Holden.
2011- pole position at 100th anniversary of Indianapolis 500
After a successful 2010 season with FAZZT Race Team, the team was purchased by Sam Schmidt and became a part of Sam Schmidt Motorsports. Tagliani joined the team, together with his sponsors, to compete full 2011 IndyCar season in the #77 SSM car. He took sensational pole position at Indianapolis 500 but in the race he touched the wall and retired, being classified as 28th.
Tagliani participated in few NASCAR races in 2011, both in the Canadian Tire Series and Nationwide Series, scoring the second place at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Penske Racing's #12 Dodge. He repeated the participation in Gold Coast 600 races of the V8 Supercars Championship, sharing Kelly Racing's Holden with David Reynolds.
Two last IndyCar seasons with Bryan Herta and Barracuda Racing
Tagliani's team in the 2012 IndyCar Series was Bryan Herta Autosport. He competed full season in the #98 car, finishing best in the fifth place at Edmonton Indy race. During the year, he accepted a new challenge, participating in four races of the Grand American Rolex Series with Starworks Motorsport's Riley-Ford prototype. His co-drivers were Alex Popow and Ryan Dalziel. Together with Dalziel, Tagliani took one podium, finishing third at Laguna Seca.
Tagliani returned to the Grand American Rolex Series in 2013, but this time in GT class. He joined R.Ferri/AIM Motorsport in three races, sharing the #61 Ferrari with Jeff Segal. Tagliani's main competition in 2013 still was IndyCar Series, driving the #98 Dallara - Honda for Bryan Herta's Barracuda Racing. After 13 races with Barracuda Racing, Tagliani joined Chip Ganassi Racing for the season-closing race at Fontana.
Alex left IndyCar Series, returning only to Indy 500
The 2013 season was his last full-time season in the IndyCar Series, since then he returned only to participate three times at Indianapolis 500 and one time at Indianapolis Grand Prix. In 2014, Tagliani participated in six races of the IMSA United Sports Car Championship, driving the Oreca FLM09 for RSR Racing in the Prototype Challenge class.
Versatility all over the world
Since leaving IndyCar Series, from 2014 to 2016, Tagliani tried some other racing disciplines and competitions, participating in few races of the Canadian Touring Car Championship with Ford Mustang Boss, one race of the Blancpain GT Series with Mercedes-AMG GT3, one race of the 24H Series with Porsche 911, but also in the RX Lites class of the World Rallycross Championship.
2016 - third place in the Canadian NASCAR
While changing numerous teams and disciplines in recent years, Tagliani was most active in NASCAR competitions, driving for his own team in the Canadian Tire Series, for Team Penske in the Nationwide/Xfinity Series and for Brad Keselowski Racing in the Camping World Truck Series. In June 2015, at Sunset Speedway, he scored his second victory in the Canadian NASCAR, finishing ninth in the points at the end of the season. In 2016, Tagliani added three more wins on his account and finished third in the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series classification.
For all his achievements, Tagliani was inducted into the Canadian Motorsports Hall of Fame in 2015.