Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Scheckter, Tagliani bicker like babies

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EDMONTON -- Four days after they collided in Toronto -- for the second time in two years -- and a day before they're back on the track for Honda Edmonton Indy practice today, IndyCar Series drivers Alex Tagliani and Tomas Scheckter aren't about to shake hands and become friends.

This appears to have more chance of becoming an ongoing feud, like the one Paul Tracy and Sebastien Bourdais carried on in their Champ Car days.

"That depends on how he thinks," Scheckter said, again denying the accusation that he deliberately caused the crash at last weekend's Honda Indy Toronto. "He needs to come speak to me and we can speak like two grown men. He went to speak to some of my team and said he was going to retaliate. To me that's just ridiculous.

"It's me in the car, not the team, come speak to me like a grown man and we can agree or disagree on it, but at least we've spoken To go threaten my team is immature and cowardly."

Tagliani, the Lachenaie, Que., native who earlier called on the Indy Racing League to take a harder stance on driving standards to ensure feuds don't escalate on track, said he had spoken to the 29-year-old South African.

"I did already," he said. "I went to see him in Toronto face to face and I found out exactly what I thought I would find out. There's nothing more I can get out of him. His attitude, his comments, what I got was what I knew already."

Tagliani claimed Scheckter told him the incident was "payback" for a collision in Toronto in 2009.

"He was like actually happy that he didn't finish the race and he took us out. Pretty long time to keep a grudge."

Ridiculous, said Scheckter.

"I would never -- ever -- do that. First of all endangering anybody's life. Second of all it's my income. I get paid on a sliding scale of where I finish. I was in a top-seven position, possibly a top-five position, for me to throw something like that away, for payback from something a year later is ridiculous. It's absurd."

Scheckter said there was an opening and he felt he had a good run at it.

"It was an aggressive move, probably more aggressive than I should have been, but that's racing. For him to go and speak to the press that I deliberately took him out is ridiculous."

"The risk was wrongly calculated by him and it cost us a great result," said Tagliani.

-- Postmedia News

 

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition July 23, 2010 C5

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