American motor racing legend Bobby Rahal has announced he will join Masters Historic Racing for the 2009 season.
Rahal, 55, the winner of the 1986 Indianapolis 500 and three-times ChampCar champion (1986, 1987, and 1992) has previously raced in European historic events. He has been a regular at the Le Mans Classic in both a Lola and a Porsche 917 – “one scary ride” – and at Spa in a historic F2 race. In addition, Rahal is an occasional Goodwood Revivalist in touring and GT cars.
Later this season, Bobby plans something of a Masters campaign, firstly with a Chevron B16 FVC in World Sportscar Masters starting at the Silverstone Classic, and then in Masters Proto70s races in a Lola T290-BDG, which he will be taking to Portugal for the Festival at the new Algarve circuit for Masters season closer in October.
Ron Maydon founder of Masters said: “To have a driver of Bobby’s skill and achievements racing with us is a huge honour. The fact that he is a great historic enthusiast and fun to spend time with, will mean that his fellow Masters’ members will really enjoy having him out with us. To see him race in our spectacular evening 90 minutes at this year’s Classic will be a sight which Silverstone spectators and TV viewers, who so enjoyed the race last year, can really look forward to.”
Bobby Rahal said: “I really do enjoy European historic racing, and I know of Masters’ reputation for quality management at quality events under the control of Ron Maydon and Christopher Tate. We hope to be quick in both WSM in the Chevron B16 and in Proto70s with the Lola, but that is not to under-estimate the opposition. The standard of both car preparation and of driving in Masters is renowned as very high. Above all, I just want to be part of an enjoyable group of like-minded racers.”
Bobby Rahal briefly raced in Europe in 1978 in Formula 3 before tackling two Grands Prix for Wolf. Formula 2 followed in 1979 with Chevron before Bobby moved to CanAm and then to his hugely successful IndyCar career. In 2000 he became CEO of CART and then took on the role of the Jaguar F1 team principal for 2001. His first outing with Masters Historic Racing will be at the Silverstone Classic on July 25-27 in the World Sportscar Masters 90-minute endurance race that runs into dusk.