GRAHAM RAHAL TO DRIVE IN LIBERTY CHALLENGE DURING USGP AT INDY Son of 1986 Indianapolis 500 winner to make Indy Pro Series debut INDIANAPOLIS, Thursday, June 8, 2006 -- Graham Rahal, son of legendary open-wheel driver and 1986 Indianapolis 500...
GRAHAM RAHAL TO DRIVE IN LIBERTY CHALLENGE DURING USGP AT INDY
Son of 1986 Indianapolis 500 winner to make Indy Pro Series debut
INDIANAPOLIS, Thursday, June 8, 2006 -- Graham Rahal, son of legendary open-wheel driver and 1986 Indianapolis 500 winner Bobby Rahal, will drive for Kenn Hardley Racing in the Indy Pro Series Liberty Challenge on July 1 on the 2.605-mile road course at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Rahal, who will be 17 years, 178 days old July 1, will become the youngest competitor in Indy Pro Series history. He is not subject to the minimum age requirement of 18 because the IndyCar Series is not running at the event. The 25-lap event is part of the support series lineup for the United States Grand Prix Formula One event.
Rahal already made history earlier this year when he became the youngest winner in Champ Car Atlantic series history, winning at Monterrey, Mexico.
"We're excited to have Graham on board for this great race," team owner Kenn Hardley said. "With Bobby Wilson as Graham's teammate, we have a very strong team and are looking for great results from both drivers."
Kenn Hardley Racing drivers have won two of five Indy Pro Series races in 2006, with Wilson winning from the pole June 4 on the 3.37-mile, 11-turn Watkins Glen International circuit.
"I think it will be challenging, but I'm with a great team and can't wait to test later on this month with the guys at Kenn Hardley Racing," said Rahal, who will participate in an Open Test on the circuit June 20. "My goal is to reach the highest level as a professional race car driver. The Indy Pro Series will give me a very valuable experience which will help me move up the ladder in open-wheel racing."
The Indy Pro Series is the premier ladder series for drivers, teams and sponsors striving to compete in the IndyCar® Series and the Indianapolis 500. The 12-race schedule in 2006 features six races on ovals and six races on road courses, including competing on both circuits at the famous Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Teams compete for $3 million in prize money in cars that generate 420 horsepower and speeds in excess of 190 mph. The races are telecast to more than 88 million homes in the United States on ESPN2.
Rahal competed in the final three rounds of the inaugural season of the A1 Grand Prix last year with A1 Team Lebanon and is set to compete in the 2006-07 A1 Grand Prix series starting this October.
He began his racing career at age 12, racing 80cc shifter karts. In 2003, he captured his first national championship race with the ICC main event win at Road America. In 2004, Rahal made his debut in the inaugural Formula BMW Series at the age of 15. He finished third in the Formula BMW USA Rookie of the Year battle, and seventh overall in the championship. He competed in the two Formula BMW races at IMS during the 2004 United States Grand Prix, finishing ninth and 10th.
Last year, Rahal finished fourth in Star Mazda, winning at Portland International Raceway in Portland, Ore., to become the youngest race winner in the history of the series at the age of 16. He also scored six podiums in 12 events.
2006 USGP tickets: Tickets are on sale for the 2006 United States Grand Prix, scheduled for Sunday, July 2.
Fans can order tickets online at www.indianapolismotorspeedway.com, by calling the IMS ticket office at (317) 492-6700 or (800) 822-INDY outside the Indianapolis area, or at the ticket office at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Parking and camping information also can be obtained through the ticket office.
Hours for phone orders and the ticket office are 8 a.m.-5 p.m. (EST) Monday-Friday, while online orders can be made at any time.
A three-day "Season Pass" for the event is only $60. The pass is good for admission to IMS for all three days of on-track activity, Friday, June 30-Sunday, July 2. All seating Friday and Saturday is general admission, and the pass provides general admission access to the Viewing Mounds, Infield, First Turn Terrace, South Terrace and Tower Terrace (Sections 39-77) on Sunday, July 2.
Reserved seats for Race Day, Sunday, July 2, start at $75.