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NOVEMBER 26, 2001

Rahal releases Buddy Rice

TEAM RAHAL had an option on rising US star Buddy Rice but it seems that this has been allowed to lapse and Rice is now expected to go testing with Team Cheever. The Indy Racing League team has landed backing from Red Bull, which is planning a big sales push in the United States of America, and wants to get some young US drivers involved in the program. Eddie Cheever is just coming up to his 44th birthday and so it is fair to say that he is not the youth he used to be, although he can probably go on racing for another five to 10 years.

Rice is one of the most highly-rated young drivers in the US but the 25-year-old Arizonan who won the 2000 Toyota Atlantic Championship did not race in 2001. Bobby Rahal says that he wants to run two Americans in 2002 and has signed up Jimmy Vasser and is talking to both Alex Barron.

"I'd like to give a young American the same opportunity that Jim Trueman gave me," said Rahal.