HILLIARD, OH . . . Team Rahal owner Bobby Rahal and General Manager Scott Roembke announced today the promotion of five key members of the race team for the 2000 CART FedEx Championship Series.
Assuming new positions within the race team will be Larry Ellert who becomes the Race Team Manager and Jim Prescott who becomes the Shop Manager. In 2000 the both of Team Rahal's race teams will be under the guidance of new chief mechanics as Sean Hanrahan and Ricardo Nault will assume those duties for the Miller Lite and Shell race teams respectively. Finally Ray Leto will shift from his duties as a race engineer to become the Technical Coordinator for the team.
"These promotions show the depth of Team Rahal," said owner Bobby Rahal. "When opportunities present themselves we are usually able to find the best people for the position within our own organization. Giving these opportunities to individuals already within our team helps us build an impetus that will lead to additional success in the years to come."
Team Rahal General Manager, Scott Roembke agreed. "We feel the strength of our organization is found in the quality of our people. To keep quality people you have to give them additional responsibilities and challenge them. Each of these individuals has earned these promotions and the increase in responsibility that goes with these new duties."
Larry Ellert an eight-year veteran of Team Rahal and the chief mechanic for the Shell car since 1996 takes the role of Race Team Manager replacing Tim Cindric whom resigned in October. Ellert will be responsible for overseeing all aspects of Team Rahal's race operations and serving as the team's chief liaison with CART officials at the track.
Ellert will work closely with Jim Prescott, a 17-year veteran of champ car racing who has been with Rahal's racing efforts for nearly 20-years. Prescott, the Miller Lite chief mechanic since the mid-90's, has been promoted to Shop Manager where he will oversee the preparation of the cars and coordinate all race shop activity as related to the team.
Replacing Ellert and Prescott as the crew chiefs of the Shell and Miller teams are Ricardo Nault and Sean Hanrahan. Nault will lead Kenny Brack's Shell crew for 2000. Nault first joined Team Rahal in 1994. The Detroit native began his racing career in 1989 working in the Indy Lights circuit. Hanrahan was elevated to the chief mechanic role for Max Papis' Miller Lite crew. Hanarhan like Nault first joined Team Rahal in 1994 after having worked in Indy Lights and GTP competition.
In his new role as Technical Coordinator, Ray Leto, will coordinate the team's wind tunnel and aerodynamics program and the ten-person engineering staff. Leto will work closely with Team Rahal's race engineers Tim Reiter and Don Halliday.
Halliday rejoined Team Rahal in mid-November after a five year hiatus during which he pursued other projects. During the last two seasons Halliday worked for Team Green as the race engineer for Dario Franchitti.
In the alignment, Team Coordinator Bill Van de Sandt will also see increased responsibility. He will continue to coordinate Team Rahal's travel and test programs among other duties.