CHAMPCAR/CART: Team Rahal options Buddy Rice

Bobby Rahal revealed Friday that he has signed Buddy Rice, the 20000 Toyota Atlantic Champion to a first-option contract. Rahal is seeking funding for a third team for the Cart FedEx 2002 series. "I've studied Buddy's career and I'm impressed...

Bobby Rahal revealed Friday that he has signed Buddy Rice, the 20000 Toyota Atlantic Champion to a first-option contract. Rahal is seeking funding for a third team for the Cart FedEx 2002 series.

"I've studied Buddy's career and I'm impressed with him as a racer and as a young man," said Rahal "We've got the first option on him for next year and we're both working hard trying to find sponsorship.

"A three-car team is pretty daunting but it's beginning to look like a popular thing."

Phoenix native Rice tested a Formula 3000 car during the off season in hopes of landing a ride for 2001, but no ride materialized.

But CART is the series Rice wants to be in. "This is the series I was groomed to run in and I want to run in and I can't thank Bobby enough for trying to make it a reality," said Rice. "We started talking last summer and decided this was something we both wanted to pursue.

"I'm going to hang out with his team this season and learn as much as possible."

Rahal remembers being in a similar situation, when a car owner signed a Bobby Rahal

"I didn't have much going until Jim Trueman came along and took a chance on me. Without him, who knows what would have happened to my career. I just want to try and give Buddy the same opportunity I had because he deserves it."

-motorsport.com

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Bobby Rahal , Buddy Rice