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Rahal confirmed at Jaguar

AS we predicted recently, CART team owner Bobby Rahal has been named as the new chief executive of Jaguar Racing. He will start working with the team at the start of December. The current chief executive Neil Ressler will remain with the team as chairman.

"This is the first building block," Ressler said in Indianapolis. "There will be more to come."

Rahal has a three-year contract with the team but Ressler says that he hopes it will be the start of a much longer-term relationship.

Rahal is not underestimating the task ahead of him. "It is going to take time, effort and commitment to turn Jaguar into a winning team," he commented. "I don't think that there are any easy solutions to any of this. One person does not make a team. This is going to take a tremendous effort across the whole company to create the success that we all want. It is easy to say you want success, and you can wish for it. But if you wish for it, it will never happen. You have to go out an earn it. My task is to take the organization, work with various components within the organization, and to assist in turning it into a winning team. My job is to create that team. Believe me, I have no illusion about the immensity of this task. Irrespective of whether I had F1 experience in the last several years or not, this is a huge task." Rahal will be moving his family to England.

The move is a very significant one for Ford - the owner of the Jaguar team - as Bobby Rahal has been the leading exponent for racing teams using the Ford Motor Company's Advanced Engineering Center in Dearborn, Michigan. This is an amazing facility with extraordinary computer simulation capabilities, particularly in the area of computational fluid dynamics and thermal and aerodynamic systems engineering. There are also highly advanced hydraulic road simulation rigs and systems for creating rapid prototypes.

These facilities have not yet been properly used by Jaguar Racing but will eventually prove to be useful both in terms of getting better performance but also in faster production processes to speed up development. Rahal's connections within the racing world will also help the team to build up a stronger team.

Bobby Rahal will continue in his role as president of Team Rahal in CART although the running of the operation will be left to general manager Scott Roembke.

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