Earlier this month, Alex Tagliani kicked-off Food Allergy Awareness Month with youth from Toronto's Kimberley/Beaches Alternative School who helped him modify the livery of his new "Picasso style" #18 Chevrolet EpiPen-RONA/St Hubert race car with decals, which will be unveiled to the public this weekend at CTMP. Racing for the cause in the season opener, Tag has invited 20 youngsters who suffer from food allergies trackside to watch the car they designed perform on the road course.
"In last year's season opener at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, I was leading the race with three laps to go when the car suffered a mechanical breakdown," said Tagliani, "and in the August round, we won the NASCAR Pinty's race. So, I have a great feeling about this year's opening race. It's very important to start the new season on a strong note so that we don't end up chasing the point's leader all season long like we did last year following a disappointing finish in the first race of the season.
"It's a new season, and the series has come out with an important change with the introduction of a new tire manufacturer that is offering us an improved compound base tire that will enable us to run more than two seconds faster on tracks like CTMP. This new racing rubber should increase the level of performance and give fans a better show. However, all teams will have to change their race strategies because these new softer tires could wear out more quickly that the old ones. The last laps of the races should be more exciting and will be full of shockers.
"Something also new for Team 22 Racing #18 Chevrolet EpiPen/RONA/St Hubert is that we will now be using a new Spectra Premium radiator that will give us better performance. We are ready to fight for the championship with all our might and I am eager to start the season," concluded the 2015 Canadian Motorsport Hall of Fame inductee.
Last year's series runner-up, who tested the new General Tires compounds on April 25 and 30 at CTMP, was pleased with the new rubbers, but thinks that all drivers will need to modify their driving style in order to save their car's tires so there will still be some performance left in them at the end of each race.
Twenty-one cars are entered in the Clarington 200. Practice will be held at 11:55 am on Saturday, followed by qualifying at 5:15 p.m. Green flag on Sunday, May 19 at 1:30 pm.