Rahal Teams With Shift Kart, Birel And Moosespeed For 2002 (Mount Lake Terrace, WA) - Shift Kart head Paul Zalud announced today that Graham Rahal, will campaivgn the 2002 season on a Birel chassis under the Shift Kart banner. "We are very ...
Rahal Teams With Shift Kart, Birel And Moosespeed For 2002
(Mount Lake Terrace, WA) - Shift Kart head Paul Zalud announced today that Graham Rahal, will campaivgn the 2002 season on a Birel chassis under the Shift Kart banner. "We are very excited to have Graham running for us this season. He is an enormously talented young drive with an endless amount of potential. We're looking forward to working with him this season to help develop that talent." Paired with Rahal is top-rated tuner Sean Mossgrove, working out of his Moosespeed shop in the Columbus, Oh area.
The association is showing early signs of success as Rahal has shown solid progress in the two Florida Winter Tour events. At Homestead, Rahal qualified off-pole and had a heat win on his way to a second place finish in the feature. Last weekend's Ocala race saw Rahal taking the pole and carding his first SKUSA victory over a strong field of young racers.
Rahal, the 13 year-old son of Indy 500 Champion and 3 time CART Champion Bobby Rahal, will run a schedule set to include both divisions of the SKUSA ProMoto Tour aboard a Birel/Honda CR-80 and the NAKA/Stars of Tomorrow program driving a Birel/RotaxMax. "When my Dad and I talked about racing this season, we knew we needed to get involved with people who have been around the series," said the younger Rahal. "When I first me Sean, I really liked him. He's a cool guy and I know I can learn a lot by working with him."
Zalud has a proven record as an early spotter of young talent. Past drivers for Shift Kart include 2001 SKUSA Champion Scott Speed along with Team USA driver AJ Allmendinger and emerging star Alex Speed. "Any time you get a chance to work with someone like Graham Rahal, you jump on it," Zalud said. "He has all the ingredients he needs to be a great race driver, it's a matter of combining those ingredients and helping him reach his potential."
The elder Rahal is equally enthused, "I realized we needed to work with people who really had the ability to work with a young driver. Having spoken to several people familiar with Paul and Sean, they quickly came to the top of the list."
For Mossgrove, this represents the first project for his newly formed "Moosespeed Racing." Long known for his meticulous preparation of race karts, Mossgrove offers pro-level kart prep to club and regional level racers. "The 'Ultra Tuned by Moose' is my guarantee that your kart was professionally prepared," said Mossgrove. "The same attention to deal goes into every kart I build. I will not allow a kart out of the shop until it's 100% ready for the ProMoto Tour, even if that kart will never race on the Tour." Mossgrove has established relationships with several importers and offers his expert preparation for a number of chassis along with track-side tuning.
Shift Kart is the newest Birel importer in North America. Zalud believes that on-track results and superior track-side support are the key to building solid customer programs. "We're the new guys coming into the market with Birel," said Zalud. "There is no getting around the need for track-side support. You can't get around the need to have quality young driver professional-quality drivers representing your company."
The Rahal race effort for 2002 also has support from Rainier Construction, Sparco, Bell Helmets, the Bobby Rahal Automotive Group and Bridgestone.