CART hero Rahal returns to racing

Bobby Rahal, three-times CART champion and current team owner, returned to the tracks last weekend in a vintage sportscar event - two years after retiring from frontline Champ Car racing

CART hero Rahal returns to racing

Demonstrating that the racing bug never dies even when competition at the highest level is no longer possible, Rahal drove a Lola T298 open top sports car at Sears Point Raceway in a Classic Sports Racing Group event.

True to form, the veteran ex-CART star qualified the black machine on pole, with a lap of 1m37.275. Incredibly, early in the race he bettered this, with a 1m36.342 on lap 3. Sadly for Rahal, the race around the 2.5 mile track was to become more problematic, when mechanical problems intervened a lap later.

He was classified 14th, but would have had a strong chance of victory had the Lola held out, as he led every lap before retirement.

Speaking of the classic series, Rahal admitted an emotional attachment.

"These cars are grass roots for me," Rahal said. "I started my racing career in these types of cars and this is a good way for me to re-live my youth. I enjoyed these cars as a child and it's a way to keep that active and within me."

Rahal also enthused about the classic Sears Point track, a circuit he competed on many times earlier in his career.

"I've always thought this was a great track because it was so challenging," Rahal said. "It attracts great crowds and I know the racers have always felt it was a track that tested all of their skills. It's a tough circuit."

Ed Swart took the victory in the series allowing sportscars from 1932 to 1968.

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