Rahal backs Irvine despite poor start

JAGUAR CEO Bobby Rahal has backed under-fire driver Eddie Irvine and hit out at critics that have questioned the Ulsterman's commitment to the cause.

Irvine suffered a blown engine on lap 43 as he was forced into his third early exit in four races, but Rahal said that his driver had shown great enthusiasm throughout a difficult time.

Rahal said: "I feel Eddie has shown great commitment to the team, this year in particular. People may say he doesn't show enough commitment, but that is not right. I can tell you earlier in the year he did it all.

"There was one time when there was a tire test and someone else was scheduled to do it and the phone rang and it was Eddie saying 'I should be doing the tire test'.

"That is a guy who cares and he has been like that throughout. He is demanding and I think a driver should be demanding of a team."

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