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Conquest keen to retain Tagliani

Conquest Racing boss Eric Bachelart remains optimistic that he can hang on to Alex Tagliani for the full 2009 IndyCar season, although at present their deal only covers this weekend's opening round in St Petersburg

Tagliani drove for the team in the final three races last year and hoped to stay on, but as the global financial crisis affected Conquest's sponsorship options, it took until this week to secure what is currently a one-event deal.

Bachelart had previously admitted that the team was considering sharing its car between several drivers depending on the available funding, but he said the current plan is to find new sponsors for Tagliani.

"This deal is just for the first race in St Pete, but the plan is to keep Alex in the car and not share this car with somebody else," said Bachelart.

"We still have some work to do and some ways to go, so we're working on Long Beach, and then (trying to) keep going from there.

"We believe that we have some good leads that could help us for the rest of the season that came up a few weeks ago, and in the meantime it's just to find some ways to keep going.

"I think that once we create some good momentum with St Pete we can work on that and develop and create a burst in Canada, as well.

"Alex is the only Canadian driver, and we have two big Canadian events, so we need Alex in the series. And I believe that there are a lot of Canadian companies that are looking to support us, and we're talking with a bunch of these companies."

Conquest's future was uncertain for much of the winter as it struggled to find new funding, but Bachelart said he always remained optimistic and will continue to do so.

"It's been tough," he said. "We're funded to do the first race now, so we're not set for the whole season yet. It's not easy, but I think it's feasible and definitely we want to look at it in a positive way.

"For the whole winter we never doubted that we'd be there, and the good thing is we've managed to keep all the people together, and we're going to St Pete with everything we need."

He added that the team could still return to a two-car line-up later in the year.

"Keep in mind that we had two cars last year, so we have the possibility for a second car, as well, if another driver is interested to do something with us, and we had some discussion in that regard," said Bachelart."

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