CHAMPCAR/CART: Team Rahal Track Talk Australia

SURFERS PARADISE, AUSTRALIA . . . Having clinched the year 2000 Jim Trueman CART Rookie of the Year award, Kenny Brack heads to Surfers Paradise in Australia for the Gold Coast 300. Brack became Team Rahal's first Rookie of the Year by finishing...

SURFERS PARADISE, AUSTRALIA . . . Having clinched the year 2000 Jim Trueman CART Rookie of the Year award, Kenny Brack heads to Surfers Paradise in Australia for the Gold Coast 300. Brack became Team Rahal's first Rookie of the Year by finishing the Grand Prix of Houston with an insurmountable lead of 58-points over Oriol Servia. The most highly anticipated newcomer to CART since Nigel Mansell in 1993, Brack joins an impressive list of Champ Car legends and series champions who have won the honor in Bobby Rahal (1982), Arie Luyendyk (1985), Mansell (1993), Jacques Villeneuve (1994), Gil de Ferran (1995), Alex Zanardi (1996) and last year's winner Juan Montoya. It is an honor that Brack takes pride in. "Anytime you win a performance based award you have to be happy," said Brack. "When I began to set my goals for this season this wasn't on my list because you can't plan to win this kind of honor. This award is a reflection of the fact we have had a successful season. My goal at the start of the season was to win a race or two and to build our consistency to where we were a factor week in and week out. The only goal we haven't met is a victory and we have been close on several occasions and the season isn't over yet." Brack will be making his debut in Australia this weekend. "Until last week I had never even been to Australia but I took some time and have really enjoyed seeing the country. It is obvious that the people of Australia are passionate about their motorsports and that is reflected in the excitement and buzz surrounding the race in Surfers Paradise. All year people have been telling me what a great weekend this is and now I finally get to experience it all firsthand." PAPIS LOOKING FOR A PODIUM REPEAT AT SURFERS

Miller driver Max Papis finished second in the 1999 Gold Coast 300 at Surfers Paradise. Papis and his outgoing manner are crowd favorites in Australia and he looks for a return to the podium this weekend as the FedEx Championship Series heads to Surfers Paradise on the Gold Coast in Queensland, Australia. The runner-up effort at Australia was one of three podium results Papis posted in 1999 and was at the time a career best finish.

The 2000 race will mark Papis' fourth trip to Australia to race in what has become one of his favorite stops on the CART circuit.

"It is hard to match the atmosphere that surrounds this race," said Papis. "Australia is a beautiful country and I always try to take a couple of extra days around this race to enjoy the people and the country. It has been a long hard year but this race always provides a chance to recharge my batteries."

KENNY BRACK - WORLD TRAVLER/RACER

When he takes the green flag on Sunday for the Gold Coast 300, Kenny Brack will be racing competitively on his sixth continent. This year Brack has added races in South America (Rio), Asia (Japan) and now Australia "I have been fortunate in my career to visit a lot of great places and race in some unbelievable locations. The only trouble with those trips are they are business and I end up seeing more of the track and the airport than I do of anything else. Ask me about the airports of the world and I can give you a great description."

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Arie Luyendyk , Gil de Ferran , Max Papis , Bobby Rahal , Alex Zanardi , Oriol Servia , Kenny Brack , Nigel Mansell