Hunter-Reay Chosen to Participate in the CART Mentor Program with Team Rahal at Mid-Ohio. (August 9, 2002) Irvine, California Rookie sensation, Ryan Hunter-Reay, driver of the ...
Hunter-Reay Chosen to Participate in the CART Mentor Program with Team Rahal at Mid-Ohio.
(August 9, 2002) Irvine, California Rookie sensation, Ryan Hunter-Reay, driver of the #1 Andor Capital Management/Medlock Ames Winery/Toyota/Swift for Hylton Motorsports in the CART Toyota Atlantic series, will participate in the CART Mentor Program this weekend as a guest of Team Rahal at their home event, the CART Grand Prix of Mid- Ohio.
Hunter-Reay, a three-time race winner and four time pole sitter in the 2002 Atlantic championship will spend the weekend observing both the technical and promotional side of Team Rahal and its drivers, Jimmy Vasser (#8 Shell/Ford/Lola) and Michel Jourdain Jr. (#9 Gigante/Ford/Lola). The newly created mentor program is designed to provide up and coming Toyota Atlantic drivers with an insider's view of a Champ Car team during a CART FedEx Championship Series race weekend. Hunter-Reay was offered the opportunity because of his proven record as a race winner at every level of the CART ladder in which he has won over $600,000.00.
"As the CART Toyota Atlantic season concludes with three races this month, I am starting to focus on opportunities at the next level on the ladder, Champ Cars. Driving in Champ Cars has been a goal of mine since my first days in karting and this weekend will be an incredible opportunity to familiarize myself with what it takes to compete and win at the highest levels. I have a great deal of admiration and respect for Mr. Rahal who is a living legend having won the Atlantic Championship I am trying to win, three Champ Car Championships, competing in Formula One, winning the 24 Hours of LeMans, as well as the Indianapolis 500 when it was at it's most competitive. Team Rahal is consistently the one to beat as proven again last year by winning more races than any other team. Mr. Rahal's tireless work for charities, and the CART community in general, is well known and his history of stepping up, as he is here, to help aspiring drivers is just one more reason he is a role model for so many young drivers like myself."
Currently ranked third in the 2002 CART Toyota Atlantic Championship, and second in the Rookie points battle by two points, the most experienced rookie field ever, Hunter-Reay is the most successful example of the CART Ladder System and a testament to CART's vision in providing real opportunities for deserving drivers. A nine time WKA National Karting Champion, the first winner of the CART Skip Barber Karting Scholarship, the first Skip Barber Formula Dodge National Champion, as well as a recipient of the Skip Barber Big Scholarship, a fully sponsored drive in the CART Barber Dodge Pro Series in which he won Rookie of the Year. He joined Hylton Motorsports, the 2001 CART Toyota Atlantic Champions in January, and wasted no time adjusting to the technically sophisticated Swift 014.a as he started breaking track records on his third day with the team and leads this years Atlantic Series in Fast Times, Track Records, Poles, Laps Led and is tied for race wins with three races remaining.
The action gets under way at the CART Grand Prix of Mid-Ohio Friday with Champ Car practice and provisional qualifying, followed by final qualifying Saturday and the race Sunday. Round 11 of the 2002 FedEx Championship series will be shown live on CBS at 12:30 pm EDT. Hunter-Reay will continue his quest for the Atlantic Championship next Sunday, August 18th at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin.