Rahal Confirmed as Jaguar Boss
|By Timothy Collings||Wednesday, September 20th 2000, 12:00 GMT|
Bobby Rahal, one of the most successful drivers in U.S. motor racing, was confirmed chief executive and team principal of the faltering Jaguar Formula One outfit on Wednesday.
Rahal, 47, will start his new job on December 1 when his current commitments in the U.S.-based CART series end.
He was appointed by Jaguar Racing chairman Neil Ressler near the end of a disappointing debut season for the grand prix team.
Ressler said: "His knowledge of racing at the highest level together with his business acumen and demonstrated leadership capability uniquely qualifies him to join us at Jaguar Racing."
Rahal is the current CART president and owner of a two-car team contesting the series. He will hand over the reins to Scott Roembke as he embarks on his new challenge.
His exploits as a driver have made him famous throughout North America. When he retired from the track two years ago he had won three CART championships, the 1986 Indy 500 and was fourth on the all-time CART winner's list with 24 triumphs. Only Michael Andretti, Al Unser Jr and Rick Mears headed him at the time.
But he has little experience of Formula One, racing in only two grands prix in 1978 for the now defunct Wolf team.
Rahal said: "This is a huge honour to be asked to take this role. I have no doubt of the immensity of the task in front of me. I feel strongly with the assistance of the fine people at Jaguar Racing that we can realise the potential that this effort represents.
"I am particularly grateful to Neil Ressler for his faith in me. As a young man, Formula One was my goal. Taking this new position is in no small way a realisation of that dream. I look forward to the challenge."
Rahal has to try to change the fortunes of a Jaguar team with only three world championship points to their credit so far this season.