IRL: Rahal inks increased IndyCar sponsorship

Mortgage lender Argent Mortgage Co. LLC announced today that it is expanding its partnership with Indy Racing League entrant Team Rahal, becoming a major sponsor of the Pioneer/Argent Mortgage Panoz G Force/Honda the team will campaign in the 2004...

Mortgage lender Argent Mortgage Co. LLC announced today that it is expanding its partnership with Indy Racing League entrant Team Rahal, becoming a major sponsor of the Pioneer/Argent Mortgage Panoz G Force/Honda the team will campaign in the 2004 IndyCar Series.

With primary driver Kenny Brack, 37, still recovering at home near Columbus, OH from injuries sustained October 12thin the 2003 season closer at Texas Motor Speedway, Team Rahal took this opportunity to confirm that Phoenix native Buddy Rice will substitute for the Swede in the first events of the 2004 IndyCar Series season.

The team has also changed its chassis selection since last season, choosing a Panoz G Force to carry its Honda engines. Team Rahal used Dallara chassis in its Indy Racing League debut season of 2003.

"The expansion of Argent's partnership with Team Rahal is extremely exciting," declared three-time CART champion and Team Rahal co-owner Bobby Rahal. "The alliance we enjoyed in 2003 with Argent and our Toyota Atlantic and Indy 500 programs proved to be a tremendous asset for both of us."

Argent served as primary sponsor for Team Rahal's Toyota Atlantic program with driver Danica Patrick. The 21-year-old Patrick made Toyota Atlantic history in 2003 by becoming the first woman to gain a podium slot when she finished second in Miami, FL and third in Monterrey, Mexico.

Patrick earned sixth in the final Toyota Atlantic point standings, the highest placing by a female driver in the 30-year history of the series. Argent will continue as primary sponsor of Patrick's Toyota Atlantic challenge in 2004, helping her up the Champ Car ladder system, which develops young drivers for the highest levels of open wheel racing, both in the United States and around the world.

In addition to its partnership with Patrick last season, Argent Mortgage backed Team Rahal's second entry in the 87th Indianapolis 500 Mile Race last May for veteran Jimmy Vasser, winner of the 1996 CART championship. The company also participated in race event sponsorship in the 2003 Toyota Atlantic Championship.

"Our opportunities in 2003 with Team Rahal were great marketing successes for Argent Mortgage," Wayne Lee, president of Argent revealed. "We are very pleased to expand our racing program for 2004.

"Auto racing is a unique forum for a company to express its messages and we feel that Team Rahal and Bobby Rahal, with Danica, Kenny and Buddy as our drivers, gives us an outstanding [marketing] vehicle," he said.

Buddy Rice, 27, is no stranger to Indy Racing League competition. The 2000 Toyota Atlantic champion made his IndyCar Series debut at Michigan International Speedway in July of 2002 and placed second. He has competed in 18 IndyCar Series races and will begin testing the Pioneer/Argent Mortgage Panoz G Force/Honda during the series' initial open test date at Homestead-Miami Speedway on January 28th.

Argent Mortgage is a national lender specializing in non-prime lending. As a wholesale vendor, Argent works with independent mortgage brokers and bankers throughout the United States. It is a subsidiary of Ameriquest Capital Corp., a leading financial services holding company.

Team Rahal holds the distinction of being the sole US-based open wheel team competing in three different racing series - it fields Patrick in the Toyota Atlantic Championship, Brack (and now Rice) in the Indy Racing League's IndyCar Series and Michel Jourdain Jr. in the Champ Car World Series.

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Jimmy Vasser , Bobby Rahal , Kenny Brack , Buddy Rice , Danica Patrick , Michel Jourdain