F1

CHAMPCAR/CART: Rahal drives BMW Sauber in Las Vegas

GRAHAM RAHAL COMPLETES FOUR DAYS OF EXHIBITION RUNS IN BMW SAUBER FORMULA 1 CAR HILLIARD, Ohio (January 11, 2008) -- The grin belied his indifferent pose as Champ Car star Graham Rahal returned to Central Ohio today, fresh off of four days...

GRAHAM RAHAL COMPLETES FOUR DAYS OF EXHIBITION RUNS IN BMW SAUBER FORMULA 1 CAR

HILLIARD, Ohio (January 11, 2008) -- The grin belied his indifferent pose as Champ Car star Graham Rahal returned to Central Ohio today, fresh off of four days of exhibition runs in the BMW Sauber F1 Team racing car.

"Oh, it was OK," Rahal reported. "Pretty fun, but long days."

Then came that familiar Rahal grin, as he thought for a second about what it was like to have full control over a multi-million dollar F1 car for the first time.

Rahal participated in the BMW Sauber F1 Team Pit Lane Park exhibition earlier this week in Las Vegas in an elaborate display of motorsports muscle held in conjunction with the Consumer Electronics Show (CES). Graham contributed four times a day to the maelstrom of power by firing the engines on the BMW Sauber machine and joyfully turning donuts in a section of the parking lot surrounding the city's convention center.

"It was a real thrill for me to experience the Formula 1 car even though it wasn't on a proper racing circuit," Rahal said. "BMW and F1 have always held a special allure for me and it was an honor for me to have had my first experience in an F1 car in a BMW Sauber machine."

Graham made four exhibition runs in the F1 car each day from Monday through Thursday of this week, sprinting up a small straight before turning donuts to the delight and awe of the crowds that gathered each day. The Pit Lane Park display also contained simulators, interactive displays where fans could change tires and test their reaction times against those of the BMW Sauber F1 team.

The 19-year-old native of New Albany, Ohio earned his shot in the F1 car after a strong rookie season with Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing in the Champ Car World Series. Rahal became the youngest driver in the 98-year history of the series to earn a podium finish when he placed second at Houston. He finished fifth in the final championship standings, becoming the youngest driver to ever earn a top-five season result in the series.

-credit: rahal.com

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