After so many rumors over the years, three-time CART champion, Bobby Rahal, will finally be leaving CART and moving to Formula One for the 2001 season. But not only is Rahal a three time champion - he is also the owner of Team Rahal, a top CART...
After so many rumors over the years, three-time CART champion, Bobby Rahal, will finally be leaving CART and moving to Formula One for the 2001 season.
But not only is Rahal a three time champion - he is also the owner of Team Rahal, a top CART team, and the interim CEO of CART Inc. And with his driving days well behind him, hee will be taking over the reins at Jaguar Racing.
"Bobby Rahal's driving career speaks for itself," said Neil Ressler, the chairman of Jaguar Racing. "I have come to know and respect Bobby. His knowledge of racing at the highest level, together with his business acumen and demonstrated leadership capability, uniquely qualifies him to join us at Jaguar Racing."
Rahal begins as the Jaguar CEO on 01 December, taking over the team originally founded by Jackie Stewart, and subsequently purchased by Ford in 1999. He will be guiding the team with Ressler, who remains as the chairman, and overseeing the team's 2001 challenge with drivers Eddie Irvine and Luciano Burti.
The challenge for Rahal will be to transform one of the best-funded F1 teams into a winner: in recent Grands Prix, the team has been at times battling with the likes of Minardi and Prost at the back of the field.
"When I went to the facility," said Rahal,"it was crowded, but it's fully capable of doing what needs to be done. It just seems like there's a disconnect somewhere in the organization that's preventing all of the capabilities of coming together and producing what's needed."
Rahal started his career in Formula Atlantic, competing with future Formula One stars like Gilles Villeneuve and Keke Rosberg, and also competed in two Grands Prix, driving in the 1978 US and Canadian Grands Prix with Wolf-Ford. In addition to his three CART championships (in 1986, 1987 and 1992), Rahal won a total of 24 victories and 18 poles during his CART driving career.
Team Rahal (and its predecessor, Rahal-Hogan) has built up seven victories to date: four by Rahal himself, two by Bryan Herta and one by Max Papis.