Tampa real estate tycoon Jamie Rand has revealed that he has purchased the entire inventory of an undisclosed race team with an eye toward competing in the 2009 Cooper Tires presents The Atlantic Championship powered by Mazda.

The multi-millionaire's purchase includes two complete Atlantic racecars and all the spares needed to field a two-car effort in the twelve-race 2009 championship, which gets underway on 20 March at Sebring International Raceway.

Rand has partnered with Britain's Chris Hall for the new venture, the pair having determined that the time was right to enter the Atlantic Championship, given the series' recent announcement that it would be giving away $3 million in purse and prize money.

"[Series president] Ben Johnston's commitment this year means a lot to me and, for that reason, there is no better place to run this year than in the Atlantic Championship," Rand explained, "With the largest prize money in North America for open-wheel racing, I have been getting many phone calls. I've been in heavy discussions with some of the hottest drivers and several major corporations for sponsorship, including publicly-traded companies."

Hall, meanwhile, is unlikely to appear behind the wheel, in competition at least, despite having been a professional race driver for more than 25 years. He is currently exhibiting the skills that have brought five titles and more than 200 podium finishes in his career in the American Le Mans Series.

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