CSOT: Champions prepare for Team Rahal Atlantic test

HILLIARD, Oh. -- Final preparations are underway for this week's Team Rahal Toyota Atlantic test of 2003 Champ Car Stars of Tomorrow champions Bobby Wilson and Robbie Pecorari. Each of the 2003 champions will participate in a half-day test on ...

HILLIARD, Oh. -- Final preparations are underway for this week's Team Rahal Toyota Atlantic test of 2003 Champ Car Stars of Tomorrow champions Bobby Wilson and Robbie Pecorari. Each of the 2003 champions will participate in a half-day test on Wednesday and Thursday at Carolina Motorsports Park in Kershaw, South Carolina in the Team Rahal Argent Mortgage Toyota/Swift.

Team Rahal co-owner and three-time CART series champion Bobby Rahal will be on hand, as well as Team Rahal's Toyota Atlantic driver Danica Patrick. Rahal and Patrick, along with the entire Team Rahal Atlantic team, will work with the young drivers as they make their debut in the Atlantic car.

"We at Team Rahal are pleased to present the testing opportunity to Bobby and Robbie, an opportunity that they both richly deserve," said Rahal. "They both had fantastic seasons in their respective divisions and they both have a bright future ahead of them. I have always been a big supporter of the Champ Car ladder system of which the Stars of Tomorrow program is the inaugural step. Team Rahal has been involved with the Stars of Tomorrow program from the first year and we are proud to continue our involvement in helping develop the next generation of racing champions."

Bobby Wilson, a 22 year-old native of Dousman, Wis., captured the 125cc ICC category championship with five national Stars race wins in addition to a victory in the Grand Prix of Windsor. The winner of the 2003 Jim Trueman Scholarship Award, Wilson is already committed to running the 18-race Formula Ford 2000 Zetec championship for Cape Motorsports of St. Petersburg, Florida, as part of his 2004 racing program.

"The chance to test the Team Rahal Toyota Atlantic car is awesome," said Wilson. "I've always wanted to drive one of those cars and it is great that the Stars of Tomorrow program gives a karting racer the opportunity to get behind the wheel of that kind of machine."

The second recipient is Robbie Pecorari, a 16 year-old native of Aston, Pa., who captured the 100cc ICA category championship with five Stars national wins, including four of the first five events of the season. Pecorari failed to finish on the podium only once in nine events this season.

"I am really excited to drive the Toyota Atlantic car," said Pecorari. "It has been one of my goals to get into one of those cars and this chance should be a thrill. Now that I am moving into cars next year, this opportunity will be very good experience. I want to thank Team Rahal and the Stars program for this chance."

Both drivers recently visited the Team Rahal shop in Hilliard, Ohio for a seat fitting and a briefing with the team's Atlantic engineering staff.

The Champ Car Stars of Tomorrow represents both the pinnacle series in the sport of kart racing and the first step to a career in motorsports. As the initial step in the Championship Auto Racing Teams Driver Development Ladder System, Stars gives racers the chance to move onward, ultimately to driving a Champ Car. Likewise, the racers in the Stars of Tomorrow series are among the most talented, promising upcoming drivers, and warrant attention in their own right.

Team Rahal is now in its second decade as one of the leading open-wheel racing teams in North America. Based in Hilliard, Ohio, the team is co-owned by three-time CART champion and 1986 Indianapolis 500 winner Bobby Rahal and CBS LATE SHOW host David Letterman. Currently the team campaigns cars in the Indy Racing League's IndyCar Series, the Bridgestone presents the Champ Car World Series powered by Ford, and the Toyota Atlantic Championship.

-tr/csot-

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