Rahal switches to Lola for 2001

The Team Rahal Champ Car outfit has announced it will be using Lola chassis next year instead of those built by current supplier Reynard.

Rahal switches to Lola for 2001

Team Rahal is the third front-running team to make the switch within the last year, after Newman-Haas Racing and Chip Ganassi Racing.

The team is owned by three-time CART champion Bobby Rahal, who is the acting chief executive officer of the Champ Car series. The move means that current drivers Kenny Brack and Max Papis will drive Ford-powered Lolas in 2001 - the same engine-chassis combination raced by championship leader Michael Andretti.

"We're going to run Lolas," said Team Rahal team manager Scott Roembke. "They've battled back and shown great potential, and we want to help them develop a good car. Reynard did an outstanding job for us, but healthy competition is good for the series."

Lola clearly welcomes the decision: "It's a wonderful catch for us," said Lola boss Martin Birrane. "If you'd asked me earlier in the season which teams I wanted, Bobby's would have been top of my list."

Birrane is hopeful of increasing the number of teams running the Lola chassis to five in 2001, from the current tally of three. There are 15 teams using the rival Reynard chassis in this year's Champ Car series.

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