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Team Rahal Media Conference

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Open Wheel Racing Topics:  Team Rahal

Team Rahal Media Conference

Bobby Rahal
Scott Roembke
March 29, 2001


TOM BLATTLER: I'd like to welcome everybody today to our Thursday afternoon, and morning some places, teleconference with our guests today. We have two of our main principals with Team Rahal, Bobby Rahal and Scott Roembke. I'll briefly go through a bit of a background for you and then we'll begin our questioning. Of course, many of you know Bobby over his illustrious racing career, three-time CART champion, two-time Driver of the Year, and drove until 1998. He drove 265 CART events, also won at Daytona, 24 hours, Sebring, many other events. Bobby obviously off the track has been most recently in the news. Last June he was appointed interim CART CEO and until December 1 held that position until he took over as the Jaguar Formula 1 CEO. We have Bobby calling today from the garage area down at Brazil, Interlagos. Bobby, welcome.

BOBBY RAHAL: Thanks.

TOM BLATTLER: We're glad to have you. We know it's been a hectic week for you, being in New York, Detroit, now down in Brazil. In a minute we'll open it up for questions for Bobby. I'd also like to introduce Scott Roembke, who is the current chief operating officer of Team Rahal in Columbus, Ohio, just outside Columbus. Scott actually has been in racing for quite some time with the Patrick team in the '80s, was one of the key ingredients to the championship in '89, then came on board with Bobby's team when they joined with Carl Hogan in the end of '91, won the championship in 1992. Scott is in charge of about 90 people at Team Rahal right now. Scott, I want to welcome you. Thanks for coming on board.

SCOTT ROEMBKE: Good afternoon. Thanks, TB.

TOM BLATTLER: At this point I'd like to open it up for questions.

Q. Bobby, the question is about Michael Andretti going to Indianapolis. For so long, that was what made CART so strong, was that everyone was so united in not going there. Now people are. What are your thoughts about that in relation to how that's affecting CART?

BOBBY RAHAL: Well, I think it's very -- you know, I look at it in a very narrow context, I guess. You know, Michael is not too far away from the Big 4-0. For a guy who led so many laps, came so close so many times, I fully appreciate his sense that he needs to go there and try to win that race. Frankly, Ganassi went there last year, I think it was just a matter of time when more people would do it. Now Penske is going. I think next year you'll see even more people go. It's not the IRL they're going to, it's Indy 500. I think probably after six years, everybody is probably a little bit tired of the "them" and the "us". I think CART is going to go do what it wants to do, and the IRL is going to go do what it wants to do. Yet you still have this great icon of an event at Indianapolis. I think sooner or later, it will probably be just like it used to be, frankly, where it's going to be mostly CART guys in the end (laughter). It's just been the evolution of getting to that point, I suppose. Michael going, you know, fully understandable to me as a driver because, as I say, I don't know what his plans are as to how long he's going to drive, but certainly, you know, time is not on his side, and he obviously felt a great need to go there.

Q. Question for Scott. You said it wouldn't be that much different this year as opposed to last year with Bobby now being gone. Is it much different this year? Have you noticed any changes?

SCOTT ROEMBKE: Well, it's certainly different because of Bob being in England most of the time. The communication and the development and organization of the team, it's not been a lot different than when Bob was acting at CEO for CART. We're only one race in. Maybe you should ask me that question in July (laughter).

Q. This new job you have with Jaguar, is it going as you expected or a little harder than you thought at first?

BOBBY RAHAL: Well, I don't know if I quite knew what to expect. I think I had a pretty good idea. But I think that there are certain aspects that are no different than what I thought. Some are a little easier than what I thought they'd be; some are a little harder. You know, you're just under a much brighter spotlight here relative to the world, I would say, in terms of especially with the name Jaguar attached to you, there's a lot of hope and expectation on the part of many, many people. So every move you make is under considerable scrutiny. But in the end, I think, you know, we're making solid progress. So from that standpoint, I'm pleased. I think there's a lot of good things happening that many people can't see because it's more organizational than anything else. You know, from where we are at this stage of the game, you know, I'm generally pleased, although without question we obviously want to do a lot better than we're doing, and everybody's working hard to get there.

Q. Did it help going from the CART organization to Formula 1 or is it apples and oranges, a whole new system to learn? Are you starting from scratch or is there a lot of carryover?

BOBBY RAHAL: I think in the end, an organization is an organization. I mean, certainly the cars and the rules are different and everything else. But the scope of it is bigger than anything in the United States. You know, we have 350 people on the team, which is considerably greater. We've got 90 people on the CART team, and that's large by CART standards. But Formula 1, because you manufacture everything in-house just about, it's a whole different scope. But in the end, I do think it is racing. It's getting the best out of people, collecting the best people, putting them in the right places, asking them to do those right things. I mean, that's really I think fundamental to any situation, no matter where you go. So, you know, to put it I guess more succinctly, it's the -- the details are maybe a little bit different, but the big issues are the same.

Q. Bobby, having never been to a Formula 1 race myself, just knowing what I see on TV and reading the releases, it seems as though the attitude among a lot of teams has been for years, there's two teams at the top, then everybody else. How long is it going to take and what is it going to take to change that sort of attitude?

BOBBY RAHAL: Well, I don't know, that's just the nature of the rules that have created that. In Formula 1, just because of the flexibility of the rules, Dollars, Pounds, Deutschmarks, Lire, has an effect. In CART, at some point you're just wasting your money, I suppose. As a result, those teams with the greatest resources are winning. That's why you see so little turnover. There are a lot of teams that are working hard to match the standards set by Ferrari and McLaren. I don't believe for a second that the situation as it exists today will continue forever. There will be ups and downs for everybody. But the nature of the sport here allows for just almost unbridled technology in a lot of respects. The more technology, the better you are. Of course, that just comes down to money in the end.

Q. Does it take a special guy to be a successful owner/driver in the CART series? Do you think Adrian Fernandez has what it takes to make that work?

BOBBY RAHAL: Well, I'm not sure I'm the right guy to ask if it takes a special guy or not (laughter). But I do think, you know, when Adrian -- when this all came up with him last year, I just told him to be a driver. You know, I think in '92 when I won the championship, you know, my last one, Carl and Scott in particular did a lot of the grunt work, a lot of the day-to-day stuff. Later on, while Scott in particular continued to do a lot of that, as you go on, you feel like as a driver -- as an owner/driver, you can't help but have a sense of great obligation to the team and to the sponsors and everything else. You address things a little bit differently. I really don't think an owner/driver can do it anymore, like I did in '92. It's just gotten way too complex and demanding to do it, as we did it in '92. So I understand fully why Adrian did it, and I applaud him. He's, you know, making the investment for his future. He's obviously going to stay in racing for many, many years to come. But I just cautioned him or gave him my advice, and that was: "Just be a driver. Let Tom Anderson and whomever else he has there, John Ward, let them do all the work and you just go be a driver."

Q. Would the series have gone to Mexico without his involvement? After seeing how he was swamped down there by his countrymen, how important is a guy like this to the series for its continued success?

BOBBY RAHAL: Well, I think there's always been some interest from Mexico. Certainly Adrian is a national hero in Mexico. He became a lightning rod for that. Obviously, his sponsors had a lot to do with that event. His ex-team owner Pat Patrick had a lot to do with that. You have to look at Adrian being the moving force there. I'm sure Adrian was very glad when the race weekend was over. He must have been very, very tired by the end of that week. But without question, it's that kind of personality that grows a series. When you look at, you know, CART has a very evolving clientele. There's a tremendous sense of - what's the word I'm looking for? - You look at the crowds, and it's a very mixed group. It's not one specific, you know, social group. There's a tremendous Hispanic involvement in CART in particular. As the population of the United States changes, that diversity - that's the word I was looking for - that diversity is just going to become a bigger and bigger issue for the growth of CART, and other series for that matter. Guys like Adrian are just going to be huge, huge draws, continue to be huge draws. It's going to do nothing but help CART, as it is having Michael Andretti at Long Beach, Jimmy Vasser, any of those guys. The personality, the cult of personality is very important for the series.

Q. Bobby, I was curious as to whether Dario Franchitti is scheduled to test with you anytime soon? If not, do you expect that to happen?

BOBBY RAHAL: Dario was not scheduled a test. Right now, there's no plan to do so from our stage. You know, I personally like Dario a lot. I think he's a very talented driver. To be honest with you, I think we've got to get ourselves right before we start doing things of that nature, because it doesn't do anybody good if we don't really have our act together. We're getting it together. But I think -- I can't believe that we'd be the only people that have ever shown any interest in Dario Franchitti. I think he does have the talent, if that's something he really wants to do. That to me is the bigger question.

Q. Schumacher is coming up on Alain Prost's career wins. Where do you think he ranks?

BOBBY RAHAL: I think it's always a mistake to try to compare people from different eras and determine who is the best. The nature, environment of each era was very, very different. Without a doubt, Schumacher, he just didn't win in good teams, he won in mediocre teams, too. When he joined Ferrari, they were nowhere near to the level where they are today, and he still won races. I think what Schumacher will go down for, as much for his wins, is the fact that he drove teams, he really became the lightning rod, I guess I'll say that again, hate to use the term too many times, but for every team he's ever been in. While he's been extremely demanding of them, he's been extremely demanding of himself. It's that commitment that he exhibits that drives teams forward. Just on that basis alone, I think you'd have to say he's one of the greatest.

Q. As competitive as you are as a race driver, how tough is it to get the mindset that, "If we can finish fifth -- I was talking to Pablo Montoya the other day, he said the mindset among most of the team is, "We're running for fifth place unless something happens to the other two." How do you have to kind of gear yourself down and how you have to approach it?

BOBBY RAHAL: I think for everybody but Ferrari and McLaren, a fifth or a sixth feels like a win just because that's the nature of the sport currently. I mean, Ferrari in particular clearly are the best team out there. McLaren is a very, very capable team. You know, when we come into a race weekend, if we can get a fifth or a sixth, based just on performance, forgetting any kind of reliability issue, man, you'd think you'd done a lot. That is hard , especially when you've always thought that the only place to be was first, that's hard to come to grips with at times. You know, you also understand the situation that exists. We're a long way to getting to that point, but we're maximum effort to get to that point. You know, it can be done; it's just going to take a tremendous effort on all fronts. So it is a different mindset. It's the one you've got, and you just have to make the best of it, but keep pushing to achieve the kind of results you ultimately do want to have.

Q. I'm wondering, Bobby, you've seen it from pretty much every angle, what does it really take to run a successful team?

BOBBY RAHAL: The right people. That's for sure. You have to have all the elements in place. It's so competitive these days, particularly so in CART. All the planets have to be in alignment. That's very, very tough to do. The big thing is getting the right people. I frankly think that, you know, as Scott well knows, we brought Mark Johnson in as our team manager, really sort of the director of the racing side of the operations, and Mark came from Cal Well's team, he's come in with big demands on everybody. I think sometimes we get complacent. We don't really recognize it, but maybe we do. I think sometimes you have to shake things up. I've certainly seen that in this team over here. I guess I'm sort of the most obvious messenger of change here. But you've got to have the right people doing the right things, and that's not easy to do. It's not easy to find the right people or get all the people together with that same purpose to win. That's why so few people do win, and so many people don't. It's probably been a frustration for us over the years on the CART side because we've been close many, many times and missed out for whatever, we were on the wrong side of the tire war, the engine situation wasn't quite right. My last year, too, if I have to look back, we were competitive, but could a younger driver have done a better job more often? Perhaps. You know, with my going to this situation now, I think the message I gave to Scott, and Mark for that matter, "You create the organization as you see fit because I certainly don't think I have all the answers." Scott has been around a long time has a great insight. Mark is coming up with new demands, as well. I look forward to good things. I think certainly a pole position in Mexico is a great start for our year, but I think there's a lot more this team can achieve.

Q. Speaking of Long Beach, sort of a segway from your comment about Monterrey, obviously the team was very competitive, particularly Kenny in Monterrey, but it's also a very competitive field in CART. I wondered if you could just sort of give a thumbnail preview of what you expect at Long Beach and whether to some degree if you think Monterrey was a good indicator of what would happen or just what?

BOBBY RAHAL: Well, I hope it's a good indicator (laughter). I think Kenny, Max as well, but I know Kenny feels really strongly that he has the car he needs for this year. You know, last year he was new to Long Beach. I think he's looking to stamp his name on the series, frankly. I know Max, you know, is hungry. You know, he's had a tough go over the last, you know, six, eight races. I think he's just, you know, ready to go racing. You know, I feel as good as you can ever feel, I suppose. I feel pretty good about our chances there. But as you point out, it's awfully damn competitive. Who knows? I think we're starting from a good level, let's put it that way.

Q. Your team aside, what else did you see in Monterrey that you think may be kind of an indicator of what to look for at Long Beach?

BOBBY RAHAL: Well, I mean, you've got to say da Matta did a hell of a job. If (inaudible) made a mistake, he probably thinks he's a genius now (laughter). I look to the same players. I'm sure Penske will be tough, Penske team will be tough. As you well know, I mean, on any given Sunday, right? I don't see how that's going to change at Long Beach.

Q. On a different subject, the engine formula for 2003 continues to sort of loom on the horizon. I know that was something you were involved in last year during your stint as interim president and CEO. I think you probably still have the scars to prove it. As we know, it's as much a political as technical issue. I wonder if you could give any insight as to where things stand right now?

BOBBY RAHAL: Really, I can't. The only thing I know for sure is that we have a great guy in Jim Henderson. Most perfect guy I can think of heading up that committee, working with Dan Rivard, working well with all parties, irrespective of their political bent. I think, you know, everybody's not going to get everything they want, but I think they have a higher calling at some point. I think I probably made this point, you know, in Michigan in a press conference last year. I think in the end, the right thing will be done. Some people may not like it a hundred percent, but, you know, not everybody gets everything they want all the time. You just have to buckle down. Most of these manufacturers are used to rules changing dramatically. Formula 1 does it quite often. Nobody ever seems to say a thing. I think if it's right for the series, then all parties will support it.

Q. Bobby, kind of going along the same bent, talked to one of the manufacturers today, and he expressed surprise I guess that CART was focusing so much of their energy right now on the new engine formula when, in his words, so many other things were wrong with the series, talking about TV ratings, marketability. You're take on that idea?

BOBBY RAHAL: That sounds like Robert Clarke from Honda.

Q. I take the Fifth.

BOBBY RAHAL: You know, I guess what's so disappointing, people say things without really knowing all the facts. The fact of the matter is, there's a lot of issues, there's a lot of recognition of what needs to be done. The television package is being negotiated as we speak. I think the European package that was done answers a lot of concerns that people had about the European side of it. Obviously, an easier issue to get done, but nonetheless, by far the best -- just a hell of a deal for everybody. I think a like kind of situation will be presented, will be done domestically. I think there's good things on the horizon. There's certainly a recognition of a lot of the challenges. I guess what's so disappointing at times, I feel that everybody has an answer, but it never means that they contribute to the answer. It's like I've said to our people here, "If you have a criticism, that's fine, but come up with a solution, too." I don't see that a lot in CART. That's a disappointment. I do think there's a lot of things in the works. You know, not everybody knows these things because, frankly, they're confidential.

Q. With many of the big auto manufacturers pushing harder and harder to be leaders in F-1, what honestly is going to separate Jaguar from the rest of the teams in the coming seasons?

BOBBY RAHAL: Well, it's in the detail, isn't it? Everybody can spend money. Everybody can build cars. It's coming to come down to the quality of our intellectual capability. I mean, as I've said all along, you know, our core product is our intellectual capacity and capability. A car is just a reflection of all that. Anybody can go out and build the best wind tunnel, anybody can go out and build the best race shop. What is going to take us forward are the people that inhabit that and direct the company and make the investments, you know, make the determinations as to where we should be going. That's going to be tough because, to be honest, there's not a lot of people here. It's a very small world, yet there's far more money in the series now than there ever has been because of the manufacturer involvement. I think you're going to see a lot more cross-fertilization and ideas from people from the States over here, and conversely. There's always been people going to CART and NASCAR that came out of Europe. I think you're going to see increasingly more and more North Americans, what have you, people from other parts of the world come into Formula 1. All the answers aren't here. I think it's going to make it even more of a worldwide sport from that basis.

Q. Scott and Bobby, you're both wearing the same hats. You have different bosses. I know you're a little constrained on how you answer how you feel about CART coming to Germany and Britain. Ford has said they feel it's a waste of time because they have other series, like Formula 1, for their European marketing. How do you see it for the CART series?

BOBBY RAHAL: Scott, do you want to go?

SCOTT ROEMBKE: I think that CART has always said that a limited international exposure is good for not only the manufacturers, but the teams. I think they're trying to find that level now, whether it's four races, three races or five. Based on the interest shown in England and Germany, obviously the fans over there are looking forward to seeing what we have to offer. It's on the schedule, so we're going to be there.

BOBBY RAHAL: The way I'd say it is this. I don't think there's a uniform opinion in the paddock area of a CART race in terms of the sponsors. If you talked to Motorola or high tech companies, they'd say going to China and Japan and Europe, what have you, is the best thing that could happen for them. If you go to people like Miller, what have you, say, "Miller International is a big deal, but that's not really why we're in it. Yes, we get value for it, but we're more -- this is more of a domestic program to us." It's a little give and take on all fronts. FedEx loves the international exposure and they're our series sponsor. You're never going to please everybody. The point is that you're going to go to places internationally. You need to go places that make business sense and make sense for the growth of the series. That's why I've always said, you know, Japan makes all the sense in the world. I think Germany and England make all the sense in the world. If we got an offer to go to Mexico, it makes all the sense in the world. If we got an offer to go to South Africa, does that make sense? You'd have to argue that one pretty hard for me. I think you just can't go on one person's opinion or one group's opinion because they all have different objectives. A year or two ago when I was at CART as CEO, I had Toyota, Honda and Ford come in and present their cases to the board. Two of them, their objectives were pretty much the same. One had objectives that were 180 degrees from the other. What do you do (laughter)? You just can't please everybody. But you try to do what's right for every aspect of the series, not just one particular group.

Q. Since you're spending so of time in England these days, I want to know if they serve Miller Light at the local pub?

BOBBY RAHAL: They do. Not Miller Light, Miller Genuine Draft (laughter). A lot of Brits drink it. They think it's pretty good.

Q. Pedro de la Rosa, there's a lot of issues there. He gained recognition for his precision in car setup. Can you talk about what he brings to the team in his present role at Jaguar?

BOBBY RAHAL: I think he brings experience. He brings, as you say, a real sensitivity to a car so he can very accurately read changes, but he does it at very, very competitive speeds. That's one of the most important things. One of the reasons I wanted Pedro to join the team, forgetting the fact that he's a tremendous young man, very, very impressive young man just in his own right, and he worked hard to get where he is. He lived in Japan for several years. He's come up the hard way. He's earned his stripes, so to speak. But the big thing with Pedro was his pace and the quality of his feedback. We've seen it already in the tests that he's done. That's what we needed. You know, as much as like Thomas Schechter, he's a bright young light for the future, he's got very little experience in a Formula 1 car, and we needed to have people who could give us accurate reads on what we were doing because time is not on our side. Pedro brings to us not just experience, but he brings to us pace and a real wisdom as to what he feels we need to do. Interestingly, he's the -- the last test, he went a couple tenths quicker than Eddie. I feel very confident, very happy about him driving for us next year because I think he'll be a very strong element for us.

Q. Everybody observing open-wheel racing in North America recognizes that Indy is going to do what it's going to do. You mentioned that CART is going to do what it's going to do. IRL will also follow its own path. Could you elaborate on what you think those paths are? What will continue to distinguish one from the other?

BOBBY RAHAL: Well, I think it's pretty clear. IRL is strictly an oval series. CART is a series that brings all aspects of motor sport into its series. Without question, the road course and street circuits are city events, because I would include Milwaukee and Chicago as city events. Those are the strengths right now of CART. The announcement of Denver, that's a tremendous -- the city events are what grew CART in the first place. When I came in in '82, Cleveland, then Toronto, Long Beach in '84, those are the events that really I think propelled CART to where it was, and probably have protected CART over the last several years amidst the split. My view has always been the more CART understands what got to it where it is, the better. You focus on the types of events that really have created success for it. So I believe in the future. It's not so much a matter of the layout of the circuit, whether it's an oval or road course; it's really where it is that's the most important thing. I think by taking our racing to the road courses and to the city events, that's a strength that CART has that no other series, NASCAR, nobody has. I believe you'll see a continuation of that process. IRL will do it, Kentucky speedway, things like that. CART will be its Long Beach, Denver, and others.

TOM BLATTLER: We're running short on time but we'll open it up for a few more questions for Bobby.

Q. There are cases that Team Rahal has been referred to a few people as the "Ford factory team." Do you have some sort of reaction to that?

BOBBY RAHAL: Well, we've been a Ford team for some years. I don't think that's a secret. Certainly we worked hard to develop a strong relationship with Ford in the years -- over the last several years. We're very pleased to be part of the Ford family. They're great people to work with. I think Cosworth does a tremendous job. I know Kenny and Max are particularly happy with what's been done over the winter on engine development size. It's a relationship I'm very proud of. I don't want to speak for Scott, but I think he feels the same. These are great people to be with. As I say, we're proud to carry the blue oval on the car.

Q. From what you've seen so far, how would you rate Joe Heitzler's performance? Is it kind of the direction that you would like to see the series go? Is it a little different?

BOBBY RAHAL: I think Joe, number one, he's -- we couldn't have made a better choice in my estimation. This guy is solid. He's a businessman. You know, I think he's got the strength to really take CART and create the right organization. You know, when we were looking for the replacement for Andrew, everybody started to give us flak for not having a racer. My view, and I think the board's view, there are some issues here and there, but the racing is pretty damn good. That wasn't the big problem. The big problem is how do we merchandise and market our series? Joe understood clearly how to do that, understands how to do that. I think the TV deal that he did in Europe is a great example. I think, as I say, there's a lot of -- I think the domestic television situation will be quite good for us. I think the guy's solid. He's got a lot of work because there are a lot of skeletons that were buried in the closet that he's having to face, but he's getting through them. We've got a good core staff at CART that are helping him do that. I think bringing Chris in is a big plus. There's just a lot of things that needed to be done. Under Joe's reign, they're all happening. It's one of those things, just like us here, Jaguar Formula 1, seems nothing can happen fast enough, but everybody's working as hard as they can. I'm very pleased with him and I think while he is maybe surprised at the scope of the challenges, I think he's fully capable of handling them. He's got a great board. I can't imagine a better guy, as I say, for that position.

Q. I was talking to another manufacturer about the engine of 2003 question, he said if the two series don't go to the same type of engine, that CART will die. Do you kind of agree with that?

BOBBY RAHAL: No. Well, let's put it this way, the nature of it could change. CART did pretty good when there was just one engine in the series, Cosworth. It's too good a business. Somebody will be there. Having said that, do you want it to be just that? Of course, you don't. I think CART has an obligation to respond to its constituents, of which the engine manufacturers are one. I might add, however, in many respects the engine manufacturers are their own worst enemy. They want lower costs, but they don't want restriction, or they only want certain types of restrictions. What drives cost is competition, pure and simple. Even under the IRL model, which is really not a whole lot different than the NASCAR model, you look at the dollars that are committed in NASCAR engine programs. I had Doug Yates at our race shop in England a couple weeks ago, we were talking about it. The percentage of the budget that's dedicated to engine development is by far the single largest element. Tremendous resources are being dedicated to find one horsepower. That's only because the competition is so stiff. So costs are driven purely by competition. As long as Honda wants to beat Toyota, and Toyota wants to beat Honda, and Ford wants to beat those guys, and those guys want to beat Ford, the cost will be totally dependent on that level of competition, irrespective of the specification. Certainly, you know, you can minimize or lower the threshold from which all that starts. But in the end what will drive the cost is the competition. CART does have a responsibility to respond to its constituents, whether it's the sponsors or engine manufacturers, teams, you name it. But I think there has to be a recognition by all parties that there is no magic wand or no simple solution here, and that it's going to take a partnership of everyone if they want to create the kind of series that they want. What I find particularly disappointing are all the pronouncements, the almost veiled threats, or not so veiled threats: "If you're not going to do this, we're going to do that." You kind of wonder, are they in it because they want to be in it? Do they really care whether it goes or not? What are their objectives out of it? Only by together are you going to sort everything out. I think, you know, people have to recognize that.

Q. How has Eddie Irvine been handling a couple rough races?

BOBBY RAHAL: Obviously, you're not too happy when you're punted at the first corner. It makes for long Sundays. The last race was a pretty short Sunday. I mean, he's upset about it. I guess I would be, too. I mean, as he said, if somebody hits Michael, they're immediately punished. If somebody hits somebody else, it's kind of just brushed over. You know, I guess these things happen in racing. When it seems like you're the only guy it's all happening to, I guess you feel a little bit picked on. But he's all right. You know, Eddie is a tough character. I expect him to do a very good job this weekend. For him it's just been in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Q. Have you found any anti-American sentiment since you've been over in Europe?

BOBBY RAHAL: No. Europeans are much more -- they understand the world isn't just one color or one person. In this paddock area, there's Americans, British, Frenchmen, Colombians, Brazilians, you name it. It's like the United Nations over here. Actually, they've been very welcoming to me. It's been a lot of fun - a lot of work, but it's been a lot of fun.

TOM BLATTLER: I guess that's it. Bob and Scott, I want to thank you very much for being on board. Bob, good luck this weekend down in Brazil. I know you'll be in Long Beach next weekend. Thank you for jumping on with us today. I know a lot of people were interested in talking to Bobby. Look forward to seeing you next week in Long Beach. Talk to you soon.

BOBBY RAHAL: Thanks, TB.

SCOTT ROEMBKE: Good-bye.



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