Following today's announcement that Team Rahal will depart the Champ Car World Series, Rahal's Champ Car driver, Michel Jourdain, Jr., has announced his intention to remain in Champ Cars.
"I will always be grateful for the opportunities and successes I had with Team Rahal," Jourdain said today. "I am sad to see them leave but I am excited about the future of the Champ Car World Series. It is extremely important to me to be able to continue to race in my homeland of Mexico in front of the passionate Mexican race fans."
Jourdain is a eight-year veteran of the former CART series and has spent the last two seasons with Team Rahal, supported by a full lineup of Mexico-based sponsors. His primary sponsor, Gigante, a large grocery retailer, will not be going with Bobby Rahal's team to the Indy Racing League, but have not yet revealed their plans for 2004.
After struggling for competitiveness in the early years of his Champ Car career, Jourdain broke through to become a front-runner with Team Rahal. Paired with Jimmy Vasser for the 2002 season, Jourdain's performance improved greatly over his previous results. Last year, in a one-car effort, Jourdain ran up front all season.
Jourdain's first career win came last June at the Milwaukee Mile, followed by another victory in Montreal. He finished the season in third place, just four points behind series runner-up, Bruno Junqueira.
Jourdain has not revealed what team he will drive for in 2004, but he expects to be at Long Beach on April 18 when the green flag waves to begin the 2004 Champ Car World Series season.