CHAMPCAR/CART: Rahal and Rice look to the future

HILLIARD, OH . . . Three-time CART Champion and Team Rahal owner Bobby Rahal announced today that Team Rahal has taken an option with 2000 Toyota Atlantic Champion Buddy Rice for the 2002 season. The option allows Rice to race for another team...

HILLIARD, OH . . . Three-time CART Champion and Team Rahal owner Bobby Rahal announced today that Team Rahal has taken an option with 2000 Toyota Atlantic Champion Buddy Rice for the 2002 season. The option allows Rice to race for another team this season but give Team Rahal first rights on his services for the 2002 season."

"We have taken an option on Buddy Rice in hopes that we can run him for Team Rahal in 2002," said Rahal. "We are searching for sponsorship and taking the necessary steps to make that happen. Buddy had a brilliant season in 2000 in winning the Atlantic championship and he has a bright future ahead of him in racing. He will be around the track this season as an observer, shadowing our engineers and learning the inner workings of a Champ Car team. If the opportunity arises for Buddy to drive for another team this season we will support him in those efforts."

Rice will be observing Team Rahal on various race weekends, working with both the Shell and Miller Lite teams and gaining valuable experience off the track.

"This is a wonderful learning opportunity for me to be around the staff of Team Rahal," said Rice. "Bobby has always gone out of his way to help me and I appreciate the advice and suggestions he has given to me in the past. While I am obviously disappointed that I am not driving competitively at this point this year, the opportunity to work with Team Rahal and gain insight into the workings of a Champ Car team allows me to stay involved and continue my development as a driver. I am also working with Bobby and the team in an effort to secure sponsorship for next season and to make this opportunity a reality."

Team Rahal is a franchise member of Championship Auto Racing Teams (CART). Headquartered in Hilliard, Ohio, the team owned by three-time CART Champion Bobby Rahal and CBS LATE SHOW host David Letterman, currently fields a pair of Championship Cars for Max Papis and 2000 CART Rookie of the Year Kenny Brack in the CART FedEx Championship Series. The 90-member team enjoys primary sponsorship from the Shell/Texaco Alliance and Miller Brewing Company.

-Team Rahal

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Max Papis , Bobby Rahal , Buddy Rice