Team Rahal named Vitor Meira as the driver of its #17 Team Rahal Panoz G Force for the Indy Japan 300 on April 17 at Twin Ring Motegi.

Meira, who turns 27 on March 27, will join drivers Buddy Rice and Roger Yasukawa in the first three-car entry for Team Rahal in the IRL IndyCar Series.

"I'm very excited to drive for Team Rahal," said Meira, who'll make his first start at the 1.5-mile oval north of Tokyo next month. "This team has been one of the best in open-wheel racing for many years, and I'm looking forward to working with the organisation. Driving with Honda power is a big plus for me, too. I'm eager to get to Motegi."

Meira started 14 races for Team Menard in the IRL IndyCar Series in 2002 and 2003. He won the pole position at Texas Motor Speedway in September of 2002 and finished a career-best third in that event.

"We are pleased to bring Vitor into our Team Rahal driver line-up," said Bobby Rahal, Team Rahal co-owner with partner Dave Letterman. "Vitor is a talented young driver who was impressive in his performances previously in the IndyCar Series. I believe he will work well with Buddy and Roger at Motegi as we look to collect our first victory in the league."

Team Rahal will announce plans for the Indy 500 and other upcoming IRL events in the future.



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