Rahal signs up Rice

JAGUAR RACING boss Bobby Rahal last weekend said that he has taken up an option on the 2000 Toyota Atlantic Champion Buddy Rice for next year. Rice is not currently racing because of lack of money but Rahal says that next year he will run the youngster in a third car alongside Kenny Brack and Max Papis if he can find the right deal. This year Rice will be following Team Rahal around the CART races, seeing how the team works and learning about the engineering involved.

The most interesting thing about the signing is that Rahal makes no secret of the fact that he wants to find an American to race in Formula 1 in the future. Rice was planning to move to Europe this year to try his hand in Formula 3000 but the deal fell through. Rahal may be planning to run Rice in CART for a year or two and then if he proves to be good enough to switch him across to F1.

At the same time Rahal is planning to test a couple of Americans in the Jaguar Formula 3 team later this year. Rahal says he wants to run Danika Patrick and Inside F1 Young Driver of the Year Patrick Long when the team has some testing time available.

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