Monthly Archives: January 2013

2011 Winner Mike Conway to Return to the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach with RLL

BROWNSBURG, Ind. (January 28, 2013) – Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing announced today that they will enter a second Honda-Dallara-Firestone race car in the 2013 Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach IZOD IndyCar Series race April 19-21, and that 2011 Long Beach race winner Mike Conway will pilot the No. 30 entry.  Sponsorship details will be announced at a later date.
 
“I am very happy to announce I will be racing with Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing in the upcoming event at Long Beach in April,” said Mike Conway, 29. “The team has proven their speed and technical excellence in the past and I can't wait to start working with everybody. I worked with (RLL race engineer) Eddie (Jones) indirectly when he was Marco's (Andretti) engineer at Andretti Autosport so we would debrief as a group. He knows his stuff and has been around a long time so it should be fun working together.  I hope to add more races for the upcoming season but in the meantime, I look forward to getting back on a circuit that I previously won on!” 
 
“I am really pleased to welcome Mike to the team,” added team co-owner Bobby Rahal.  “In 2011, Mike Lanigan and I met with Mike and his representatives and were really working hard to get him into the team but it didn’t work out.  Fortunately we are able to do so now. Mike is a very good driver and I think he will be very competitive in our environment. He and Graham (Rahal) get along well so it’s a real one-two punch for us. We will announce a new sponsor for Indy car racing soon. Stay tuned.”
 
Conway, from Bromley, Kent, England, made 53 starts in IZOD IndyCar series competition between 2009-2012. He joined Dreyer & Reinbold Racing (DRR) in 2009 where he earned his first podium of third place at Sonoma Raceway. In 2010 he was en route to earning his fourth top-10 finish in the first six races with DRR but was injured in a final-lap crash in the Indianapolis 500 that resulted in season-ending injuries to his leg and back.
 
Conway joined Andretti Autosport in 2011 and earned his first series victory at Long Beach after passing eventual second and third place finishers Ryan Briscoe and Dario Franchitti to lead the final 14 laps.  He moved to AJ Foyt Racing for 2012 where his season highlights were a second place qualifying position on the streets of Baltimore and a third place finish on the streets of Toronto.
 
After starting his racing career at the age of eight, Conway went on to become the Formula A British Karting Champion, the Formula Renault Champion (2004) and the top British driver in the British Formula 3 Series, where he was third overall in 2005 with Fortec Motorsport. He dominated the 2006 British F3 International Series and won the title with three races left in the season. He moved to the GP2 Series in 2007 with Super Nova Racing and was also a test driver for Honda in Formula One.  He remained in GP2 in 2008 but moved to Trident Racing and went on to compete in the IZOD IndyCar Series in 2009.
 
Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing returned to full-time IZOD IndyCar Series competition in 2012 for the first time since 2008. Season highlights included a second place finish in Edmonton and third in Brazil with Takuma Sato in addition to being a contender for the team’s second victory in the Indianapolis 500 on the final lap. 
 
The team is preparing for the first of its 2013 tests which will take place at Sebring International Raceway on February 19 with Graham Rahal behind the wheel of the No. 15 Midas / Big O Tires Honda-Dallara-Firestone race car. The team is hoping to schedule a test for Conway prior to the Long Beach event.
 
About Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, based in Hilliard, Ohio and Brownsburg, Ind., is co-owned by three-time IndyCar Champion and 1986 Indianapolis 500 winner Bobby Rahal, CBS LATE SHOW host David Letterman and Mi-Jack co-owner Mike Lanigan.  In 2013 the team will begin their 22nd year of open wheel competition and attempt to add to their 20 wins – including the 2004 Indy 500 from pole with Buddy Rice — their 29 poles and 1992 series championship.  The team also competes in the American Le Mans Series as BMW Team RLL where they won both the Manufacturer and Team Championships in the GT category in 2010 and swept all three GT titles in 2011 – Manufacturer, Team and Driver. In 2012, the team finished second in the Team Championship and third in the Manufacturer Championship.
 

– RLL -

BMW Team RLL Returns to 2013 ALMS with New BMW Z4 GTE; New Cars, Drivers and Management to Launch Fifth Season at Sebring

Woodcliff Lake, N.J. – January 14,  2013 . . . BMW of North America and BMW Motorsport today announced that BMW Team RLL will again campaign BMW’s American Le Mans Series entries in 2013. The two car team will do battle with the best of North American GT class sports car racing with the newly designed BMW Z4 GTE starting with the season-opening 12 hours of Sebring on March 16.
 
“We are really looking forward to this new chapter of BMW racing in North America,” said Ludwig Willisch, President and CEO of BMW of North America. “After two Manufacturer’s championships, two Team championships, one Driver championship, and the Michelin Green-X championship for BMW Team RLL with the M3 GT, we now entrust the same strong team to deliver more trophies with our new Z4 GTE. We are absolutely convinced that BMW fans will again see great ALMS GT class racing in 2013.”
 
“With the BMW Z4 GTE, we are starting a new chapter in North America alongside BMW Team RLL,” said BMW Motorsport Director Jens Marquardt. “We have celebrated magnificent victories and titles with the BMW M3 GT and BMW Team RLL over the past four years. The BMW Z4 GTE has everything it needs to continue this success story.”
 
The BMW Z4 GTE was developed for the ALMS regulations, based on the BMW Z4 GT3, which has celebrated multiple championship wins in Europe and Asia in the capable hands of professional and privateer BMW drivers. This year’s ten-race ALMS season will also be used as a development year for the new car in order to lay the best foundation for the all-new face of North American sports car racing in 2014.
 
“All of us at BMW Team RLL are very excited about the 2013 season with the new BMW Z4 GTE,” said Bobby Rahal, Team Principal. “We had four great years with the BMW M3 GT and now want to compete on a par with our rivals with the BMW Z4 GTE as soon as possible.  With any new car there is going to be a period of development, but we are excited about the upcoming season. This will be our fifth year with BMW and it’s obvious we have a great working relationship. In fact, some of the members of the team are in Munich working side-by-side with BMW Motorsport building the cars. We share the same approach in terms of our desire to be successful and it’s a real honor and privilege to represent BMW in motorsport.”
 
This year, the BMW Team RLL driver line-up will feature a strong mix of experience and youth. Returning drivers Bill Auberlen (US), Joey Hand (US) and Dirk Müller (DE) will anchor the effort. Due to his full-time commitment to BMW in the DTM series, for a second consecutive season, Hand will contest only some ALMS races in 2013. Twenty-one-year old New Yorker John Edwards (US) will join the team, replacing Hand for the races that don’t fit into Hand’s DTM schedule. Beginning his career in open-wheel racing, Edwards won the Star Mazda title in 2008 and the Atlantic series championship in 2009. Since 2010 he has focused on GT and GS class racing in the GRAND-AM series.
 
The newest BMW Motorsport driver, Maxime Martin (BE), will join BMW Team RLL for the full 2013 season. The 26-year old finished second in the 2012 BMW Sport Trophy after a strong season racing a BMW Z4 GT3 in the Blancpain Endurance Series and a BMW ALPINA B6 GT3 in the ADAC GT Masters. For the long-distance races at Sebring and the Petit Le Mans, Uwe Alzen (DE) and Jörg Müller (DE) will return to the team.
 
Long-time BMW employee Gordon McDonnell has been named the dedicated BMW NA Motorsport Manager, responsible to lead the program from concept to the finish line. McDonnell’s diverse experience includes North American management of BMW Motorsport Parts, M Performance Parts, and BMW NA’s current GRAND-AM programs. Given the merger between ALMS and GRAND-AM, McDonnell is well-positioned to maximize BMW’s racing successes in the USA.
 
More information on the program can be found at www.bmwusa.com and www.alms.com.
 
BMW Group In America
BMW of North America, LLC has been present in the United States since 1975.  Rolls-Royce Motor Cars NA, LLC began distributing vehicles in 2003.  The BMW Group in the United States has grown to include marketing, sales, and financial service organizations for the BMW brand of motor vehicles, including motorcycles, the MINI brand, and the Rolls-Royce brand of Motor Cars; DesignworksUSA, a strategic design consultancy in California; a technology office in Silicon Valley and various other operations throughout the country.  BMW Manufacturing Co., LLC in South Carolina is part of BMW Group’s global manufacturing network and is the exclusive manufacturing plant for all X5 and X3 Sports Activity Vehicles and X6 Sports Activity Coupes.  The BMW Group sales organization is represented in the U.S. through networks of 338 BMW passenger car and BMW Sports Activity Vehicle centers, 139 BMW motorcycle retailers, 115 MINI passenger car dealers, and 34 Rolls-Royce Motor Car dealers.  BMW (US) Holding Corp., the BMW Group’s sales headquarters for North America, is located in Woodcliff Lake, New Jersey.
 
Information about BMW Group products is available to consumers via the Internet at:  www.bmwgroupna.com
 
Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
BMW’s partner, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, based in Hilliard, Ohio and co-owned by three-time IndyCar Champion and 1986 Indianapolis 500 winner Bobby Rahal , Mi-Jack co-owner Mike Lanigan and CBS LATE SHOW host David Letterman, has been competing for over two decades, compiling 28 victories, 42 poles and three series championships (1992, 2010, 2011) as well as claiming an Indianapolis 500 victory (Buddy Rice in 2004). In 2009 the team joined BMW of North America to campaign the new BMW M3 in the American Le Mans Series. In 2010 the team won both the Manufacturer and Team Championships in the GT category. In 2011 the team swept all three GT titles – Manufacturer, Team and Driver.
 

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Deltran Battery Tender Joins RLL Racing’s Indy Car Program as Official Team Partner

BROWNSBURG, Ind. (January 8, 2013) – Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing (RLL) announced today that Deltran Battery Tender, a leading manufacturer of high-efficiency battery chargers, has become an “Official Team Partner” of their IZOD IndyCar Series team for 2013.  The partnership will include both strategic branding and personal services with driver Graham Rahal and the No. 15 car sponsored by TBC Retail Group and Valvoline.

“2013 is going to be an exciting year for Deltran Battery Tender®,” said Evin Prelec, Director of Advertising and Marketing, Deltran Battery Tender®.  “Deltran continues its expansion within motorsports and feels that Battery Tender's involvement with Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing and Graham Rahal will bring a new level of exposure. This will be our first year of involvement with Indy car racing and we plan on incorporating Graham and Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing on many marketing ventures throughout the year. We are looking forward to a successful partnership and an exciting year on track.”

“On behalf of the team, we warmly welcome Battery Tender as a team partners for the 2013 IndyCar Series season,” added Bobby Rahal, co-owner of Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing with CBS LATE SHOW host David Letterman and Mi-Jack co-owner Mike Lanigan.  “Battery Tender is known throughout the industry as the dominant brand in their field so it’s great to have such a partner join us. We look forward to working with them to provide the value they seek through this partnership.”

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing returned to full-time IZOD IndyCar Series competition in 2012 for the first time since 2008. Season highlights include a second place finish in Edmonton and third in Brazil with Takuma Sato in addition to being a contender for the team’s second victory in the Indianapolis 500 on the final lap.  In 2013 the team will begin their 22nd year of open wheel competition and attempt to add to their 20 wins – including the 2004 Indy 500 from pole with Buddy Rice — their 29 poles and 1992 series championship.
 
In November, the team announced that Graham Rahal, 23, had signed a multi-year contract to compete in the IZOD IndyCar Series for the team his father, 1986 Indianapolis 500 winner and three-time Indy car champion Bobby Rahal co-owns with CBS LATE SHOW host David Letterman and Mi-Jack co-owner Michael Lanigan.  TBC Retail Group, who has sponsored Graham since 2010, will be the primary sponsor while Valvoline will be a major associate sponsor.
 
About Battery Tender
In 1989, Deltran introduced the Battery Tender into the marketplace. The main reason was that many more AGM style lead acid batteries were being used in a variety of power sports engine start applications. Each and every Deltran Battery Tender Battery Charger® regardless of its size is programmed with a microprocessor that will correctly charge a battery then automatically switch to a maintenance/float mode. Refer to www.batterytender.com for more information.
 
About Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, based in Hilliard, Ohio and Brownsburg, Ind., is co-owned by three-time IndyCar Champion and 1986 Indianapolis 500 winner Bobby Rahal, CBS LATE SHOW host David Letterman and Mi-Jack co-owner Mike Lanigan.  In 2013 the team will begin their 22nd year of open wheel competition and attempt to add to their 20 wins – including the 2004 Indy 500 from pole with Buddy Rice — their 29 poles and 1992 series championship.  The team also competes in the American Le Mans Series as BMW Team RLL where they won both the Manufacturer and Team Championships in the GT category in 2010 and swept all three GT titles in 2011 – Manufacturer, Team and Driver. In 2012, the team finished second in the Team Championship and third in the Manufacturer Championship.
 

– RLL -

Bobby Rahal Included in 2013 SCCA Hall of Fame Class With Fellow Legends Barber, Noble, Shelby and Porterfield

TOPEKA, Kan. (January 8, 2013) – Road Racing legends Skip Barber, Bill Noble, Bobby Rahal, Carroll Shelby, and Andy Porterfield compose the 2013 SCCA Hall of Fame Class for significant contributions to motorsports and the Sports Car Club of America, as announced today by the SCCA. The newly-selected class will take their positions amongst the giants of the Club during an induction ceremony at the SCCA National Convention on Saturday, March 2, 2013 in Las Vegas.

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