CART leaders on a roll

Max Papis finally broke into the winners circle at the first round of the CART championship, a victory that came on the crest of a wave of results for Team Rahal

CART leaders on a roll

Three-times CART champion Bobby Rahal's team has now had five consecutive top four results in the series, and will go to Nazareth for round two expecting to extend this record.

"I think now that Max has broken through and won his first race, the proverbial floodgates will open and he will be even tougher. Max has been consistent finishing races and finding a way into the top-five. Now he knows not only how it feels to win, but how to win and that makes him a stronger driver," said Rahal.

Papis came close to his first victory on several occasions last season, notably at Michigan when the Italian ran out of fuel on the last lap and surrendered the lead to Tony Kanaan.

"The win at Miami validates everything that we have felt since the middle part of last year, that we are capable of being successful in this series," added Papis.

Rahal's new driver Indy 500 winner Kenny Brack also had a promising CART debut - the Swede was only the second driver to lead a CART race on his opening event.

"We have to keep our focus and keep knocking on the door and one of these weekends, the door will open," claimed Brack, the former IRL champion confident of adding to his successes in CART.

"I was disappointed that we weren't able to make it to the finish line in the opener, but I have been around racing long enough to know you don't win them all," he added.

This is the first time team Rahal has led the series, and the first time it has won a season opener.

The Reynard-Fords of Brack and Papis mean to continue that championship lead in what is potentially Team Rahal's most competitive season ever.

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