Former IndyCar racer Alex Tagliani, now a regular in NASCAR’s Canadian Pinty series, is set to make his debut in the new China-based FRD LMP3 Series, which launches next month at the Zhejiang circuit. The French-Canadian will join Australia’s Greg Taylor in Craft-Bamboo Racing’s Ligier JS P3 LMP3.
Tagliani has over 200 races under his belt at the highest levels of North American racing, most of them in open-wheel racing, competing in IndyCar and CART/Champ Car. Taylor is a championship-winning GT driver who has found success in the Australian GT category and now heads to Asia to take on a new challenge in the FRD LMP3 Series.
“I am really excited about working with Craft-Bamboo and really thankful for the opportunity to race in this series,” said Tagliani. “Pairing with an Aussie teammate after being married to an Aussie girl is a perfect fit. This season looks like a lot of fun and I am really looking forward to driving the Ligier LMP3 as well. Everyone I know has great things to say about the Ligier, so driving a car like that on these amazing circuits with a team like Craft-Bamboo is awesome, and I am really enthusiastic about the start of the season.”
Backed by the Automobile Club de l’Ouest (ACO), the FRD LMP3 Series will consist of five rounds in China, with a second race at Zhejiang in July, two races at Shanghai in July and August, and a finale at Zhuhai in September. It is aimed at providing a steppingstone to Le Mans for Asian-based teams, with the series champions receiving free use of a Ligier JS P2 LMP2 car as well as free entry into the Asian Le Mans Series for the 2017-’18 season. Winning the Asian LMS title in turn, brings an automatic invitation to the 24 Hours of Le Mans for the following year.
“The excitement for racing in Asia comes from knowing that I will be driving for a professional team that will provide us with the right equipment, and this is always a very difficult thing to find in racing,” added Tagliani. “It is the tracks and cars that brings me the most excitement, so looking at the calendar, I feel this series will become very popular and it is what made me accept the deal and want to race here. The big thing in sports car racing is your teammate and I’ve heard great things about Greg and I think that the pairing becomes a big part of the decision. These were all a factor in choosing to race with Craft-Bamboo and I can’t wait to get started.”