HILLIARD, OHIO . . . Three-time Championship Auto Racing Teams (CART) champion and Team Rahal owner Bobby Rahal today announced the management line-up that will guide the Hilliard, Ohio-based Champ Car team into the 2001 season. Rahal has...
HILLIARD, OHIO . . . Three-time Championship Auto Racing Teams (CART) champion and Team Rahal owner Bobby Rahal today announced the management line-up that will guide the Hilliard, Ohio-based Champ Car team into the 2001 season.
Rahal has elevated Scott Roembke, the longtime general manager of Team Rahal, to the position of chief operating officer of the team. Roembke, who has served as GM of the team since it's inception, will oversee an expanded management staff that will handle the daily operations of Team Rahal for Rahal and team partner David Letterman.
"Scott Roembke is one of the top racing executives in the country today," said Rahal. "Team Rahal could not have grown to where it is today with out the countless hours of work that Scott has put in for this organization. I know with Scott's involvement that the best days of Team Rahal are ahead."
For the first time since Team Rahal and it's predecessor Rahal/Hogan Racing was formed in 1992, Rahal will focus primarily on the strategic positioning and long term planning of the team and not the daily operations of the organization. Rahal assumed the role of CEO and Team Principal for Jaguar Racing in December at the request of Team Rahal partner The Ford Motor Company. Rahal remains actively involved charting the course for the team, which includes an enhanced working relationship with Ford-Cosworth the team's engine supplier.
Former Precision Preparation, Inc. (PPI) Motorsports vice president of operations Mark Johnson has joined Team Rahal as director of operations. Johnson will coordinate all aspects of the team's 2001 race operations with the race team and shop managers and the team technical coordinator. Johnson comes to Team Rahal with an extensive and successful background of team management in CART, NASCAR, Off Road Racing, and in AMA Superbike. During Johnson's 17-year tenure with Kawasaki Motors Corp., he guided the Kawasaki race program to 24 championship titles in various series.
"Scott [Roembke] and I took an objective look at our team at the end of the 2000 season and asked ourselves to evaluate what we saw," said Rahal. "The challenge to our team is to improve as an organization. Our stated goal at Team Rahal is to not only be the best team in our series, but one of the premier operations in all of auto racing. If we can reach that level the championships and the race wins will come as the payoff for the dedication, hard work and effort. These management moves would have been made even if I weren't adjusting to a new role with the team. This is simply a case of utilizing the strengths of the individuals we already have and supporting them with other quality personnel."
"This has been as aggressive an off season as we have had since I joined Team Rahal," said Roembke. "Bobby is making the moves that are critical in an effort to make this a championship team. Our switch to Lola chassis, the hiring of new key management personnel to augment the current personnel and the planning of a multi-million dollar expansion to the race shop are all steps that are being taken to become a championship team. When we assessed our team at the end of last season we felt like any organization that we had our strengths and weaknesses. The new staff that has been added addresses what we felt were our shortcomings. I can't recall a time when I have felt we have had this much depth as a team. We are in the business to win races and subsequently championships. This team captured a championship in 1992 and every move made since then has been designed to return us to that elite status."
Larry Ellert, the former Shell car chief mechanic who was elevated to team manager prior to the 2000 season, will continue to be responsible for the daily at-track operations of Team Rahal. Ellert is entering his tenth season with Team Rahal.
Ray Leto, the former race engineer for the Shell car, will enter his second season as technical coordinator of Team Rahal's engineering department. The team's highly respected engineering department is comprised of 12 engineers focused on an aggressive array of aerodynamic and mechanical engineering projects.
Veteran Champ Car race engineer John Dick, who spent the last two season's at PPI Motorsports engineering Scott Pruett and Oriol Seriva, has been hired to handle the race engineering for Max Papis and the Miller Lite team. He will join Don Halliday, who engineered 2000 CART Rookie of the Year Kenny Brack and the Shell team to a fourth-place finish in the CART Championship.
Tim Reiter, longtime Team Rahal race engineer, is now leading Team Rahal's extensive research and development program.
Jim Prescott served as Rahal's chief mechanic for most of Rahal's historic 17-year CART career. He became the shop manager at the end of the 1999 season and is responsible for overseeing operation of the team's race shop and working with the crew chief and chief mechanics in preparation of the team's six Ford-Cosworth/Lola cars for testing and competition.
Veteran Champ Car mechanic Bobby Golasinski has joined the team as crew chief and will coordinate the efforts of both race team's chief mechanics. He will work closely with Prescott and Team Rahal's chief mechanics Sean Hanrahan (Miller Lite team) and Ricardo Nault (Shell team) in maintaining the team's fleet of Champ Cars.
Team Coordinator, Bill van de Sandt, will continue to negotiate the logistical maze for the 90-member organization, including coordinating the aggressive preseason testing schedule and serving as the liaison for Ford-Cosworth on all engine-related matters.
Team Rahal is a franchise member of Championship Auto Racing Teams (CART). Headquartered in Hilliard, Ohio, the team co-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 Kenny Brack in the CART FedEx Championship Series. The 90-member team enjoys primary sponsorship from Miller Brewing Company and the Shell/Texaco Alliance with the Shell brand.