Monthly Archives: February 2013

blu eCigs Joins RLL Racing’s IndyCar Program as Primary Sponsor at Long Beach and Associate for 2013 Season

blu eCigs will be the primary sponsor of #17 Indy car driven by 2011 winner Mike Conway at the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach and an associate sponsor of #15 Indy car driven by Graham Rahal for the 2013 IndyCar Series season
 
BROWNSBURG, Ind. (February 20, 2013) – Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing (RLL) announced today that blu eCigs, the electronic cigarette brand widely known for superior style and quality, will be the primary sponsor of the No. 17 Indy car driven by 2011 winner Mike Conway at the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach race event April 19-21, 2013. In addition, blu eCigs will be an associate sponsor of the team’s No. 15 Indy car driven by Graham Rahal for the full 2013 season. The partnership will include both strategic branding and personal services as blu eCigs will take on a high-profile role in open-wheel racing across the Indy car team.

“We’re excited to be breaking into IndyCar racing with Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, an iconic organization which has a deep championship legacy in the sport,” said Jason Healy, president of blu eCigs.  “We’ve seen a very positive response by fans and crew alike from our previous involvement in motorsports, and feel we can create some really engaging marketing and promotional opportunities and drive excitement throughout the 2013 season.”

Since its inception in 2009, blu eCigs has consistently led the charge to introduce e-cigarettes as a new class of smoking alternative to the US market and has done so in a pragmatic way – always keeping the customer experience as the central focus. In April 2012, blu eCigs was acquired by Lorillard, Inc., solidifying blu eCigs as a market trailblazer and further advancing the tremendous growth opportunity represented by the e-cigarette category.  Today, North Carolina-based blu eCigs continues to set the standard in product innovation and responsible marketing.

“We are excited to welcome blu eCigs as a partner throughout the 2013 IndyCar season and especially as primary sponsor for our No. 17 car at the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach race event,” added Bobby Rahal, co-owner of Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing with CBS LATE SHOW host David Letterman and Mi-Jack co-owner Mike Lanigan.  “Indy car racing is a sport that prides itself on innovative designs and superior performance and we feel blu eCigs is a great fit for the sport and our team.”

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing returned to full-time IZOD IndyCar Series competition in 2012 and is beginning its 22nd year of open-wheel competition in 2013. Since returning, the team has had a second place finish in Edmonton and third place finish in Brazil with Takuma Sato, in addition to being a contender for the team’s second victory in the Indianapolis 500. 
 
In January, RLL announced Mike Conway will be piloting the No. 17 car at the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach event. Conway was the event’s 2011 winner and made 53 starts in IZOD IndyCar series competition between 2009 -2012. In addition, Graham Rahal, 24, signed a multi-year contract in November 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 as they attempt to add to their 20 wins.  
 
 
About blu eCigs Electronic Cigarettes
blu eCigs® electronic cigarettes offer the look and feel of traditional cigarettes – without the tobacco smoke, ash, or smell.  blu eCigs provides a realistic recreational alternative to smoking – creating a vapor “puff” that evaporates within seconds. The products have been featured in the presenter gift bags at the Grammy Awards, other celebrity events, and are used by a number of A-list actors, musicians, and athletes.  Available online and at retailers nationwide, blu eCigs come in convenient disposables or rechargeable packs for regular use, with or without nicotine and in a variety of flavors. blu eCigs provide innovative technology for an improved consumer experience that enhances the social aspect of e-cigarettes.  The company is based in Charlotte, NC, and blu eCigs’ flavors are made in the USA.  For more, visit www.blucigs.com.
 
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 –

Graham Rahal Completed His First Test of 2013 and Ran 142 Trouble-Free Laps at Sebring International Raceway

SEBRING, Fla. (February 19, 2013) – Graham Rahal completed a trouble-free day of testing his No. 15 Midas / Big O Tires Honda-Dallara-Firestone race car today at the 1.65-mile Sebring International Raceway short course in preparation for the 2013 IZOD IndyCar Series season.  He completed 142 laps with a best lap time of 52.67. 
 
“I think we made some great gains from the morning to the afternoon,” said Graham Rahal, 24. “We gained about six or seven tenths-of-a-second in the afternoon while others didn’t gain anything.  We’re not the fastest but we got ourselves in the ballpark by the end of the day.  The car, handling-wise, is starting to come to us. We made a lot of big changes that I think will point us in the right direction, not only at Sebring but at a lot of the other tracks we will go to. I’m really pleased with the progress.”
 
“We had a strong test today, building on the December test we had here with Graham,” added technical director Jay O’Connell.  “We were able to make some good improvements based on what we learned from our winter simulation and test work and it was good to see it translate into performance on the track and that Graham was able to use it to his advantage.” 
 
Earlier this month, the team announced that James Jakes will pilot the team’s second full-season entry and that it will be sponsored by Acorn Stairlifts. Prior to that, the team announced that Mike Conway would drive what will now be a third entry for the team at the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, April 19-21. Both drivers were observers at the test today.  The next test for the team will take place at Barber Motorsports Park March 12-13.
 
“Its going to be pretty busy between now and the Barber test,” said Rahal.  “We need to keep developing the cars and I will keep working with Gerry (Hughes, race engineer) and the guys back at the shop. We will work on a set-up for Barber and I think we found a lot of things that will help us there no doubt. We feel good about that.  For me personally, I’ve got a commercial shoot this weekend then I am going to Florida next week to play in the Pro-Am at the Honda Classic which will be pretty cool.  It definitely feels like the season is almost upon us.”
 
“It will be busy between now and the open test at Barber,’ agreed O’Connell.  “We have some cars to prepare for the Barber test and we need to digest the details and look at the data from what we learned today and apply it to our road course setup going into Barber. Since the Sebring layout is between a street course and road course, there are some things you can take from here for St. Pete and some things you can take from here for Barber which we will try at the open test on March 12-13.”
 
The 2013 IZOD IndyCar Series season begins with the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg on March 24.  Graham Rahal became the youngest winner in major auto racing history when he drove to victory in his first IndyCar Series race at the 2008 event at the age of 19.  The following season he became the youngest pole winner at the same event – both while driving for Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing, a team co-owned by Michael Lanigan at the time.  Orlando resident James Jakes will make his third start on the streets of St. Pete and first with RLL.
 
For more information, log on to www.rahal.com, www.grahamrahal.com www.jamesjakes.com or www.indycar.com
 

– RLL –

TranSystems Inc. Joins RLL Racing as an “Official Team Partner” of ALMS and IndyCar Programs

BROWNSBURG, Ind. (February 13, 2013) – Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing (RLL) announced today that TranSystems Inc., a global engineering transportation firm, has become an “Official Team Partner” as well as an associate sponsor of the No. 15 Indy car driven by Graham Rahal in the IZOD IndyCar Series for the 2013 and 2014 seasons.

“All along I have said that one of our goals is to attract the best companies in the world to our team and TranSystems certainly qualifies as one of them,” said Bobby Rahal, co-owner of Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing with CBS LATE SHOW host David Letterman and Mi-Jack co-owner Mike Lanigan.  “Having met with Brian Larson, their CEO, on several occasions it’s clear that this is a well-led company being directed by a guy with a passion for his business and what the future can bring. We look forward to working with him to achieve the goals that he has set forth in this program. We welcome TranSystems with open arms and look forward to working with them for many years to come.”

“It’s a pleasure indeed to join forces with Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing,” added Brian Larson, CEO and Chairman of the Board of TranSystems “RLL brings exactly what we were looking for to craft a partnership in the racing world: a storied history, a forward lean, a commitment to both ALMS and IndyCar and, with Mike Lanigan, a solid understanding of our business world. Those synergies are what drove us to join RLL.” Larson went on, “You know, it was Bob Whyte,” (CEO of Integrated Performance Technology), “who introduced me to Scott Atherton,” (President of ALMS,) “as we looked to expand our motorsports footprint. Bob was instrumental in helping us maximize our investment to cover both ALMS and IndyCar as well as identify several strong B2B opportunities. Our nine year association with IndyCar has seen tremendous benefits including a partnership with Racing For Kids that has raised over $250,000 and the Team USA Scholarship led by Jeremy Shaw and the Road Racing Driver's Club. With RLL we'll be augmenting all of those efforts – business and social; it's a natural fit all around.”
 
In November 2012, the team announced that Graham Rahal, 24, had signed a multi-year contract to compete in the IZOD IndyCar Series for the team.  TBC Retail Group, who has sponsored Graham since 2010, is the primary sponsor of the No. 15 Honda-Dallara-Firestone entry while Valvoline is a major associate sponsor.  Since then, the team has announced partnerships for the IndyCar Series program with Norm Reeves Honda Superstore and Battery Tender, the addition of an Indy car entry for Mike Conway in the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach and announced a full season IndyCar Series program on February 5 for James Jakes that will be sponsored by Acorn Stairlifts.
 
The 10-event 2013 American Le Mans Series season begins on March 16 with the 61st Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring at Sebring International Raceway. BMW Team RLL will attempt to earn their third consecutive GT class victory this year. The 16-event IZOD IndyCar Series season begins on March 24 with the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg. Graham Rahal became the youngest winner in IndyCar Series history when he won the event in 2008. He came back the next year to become the youngest pole winner in series history at the same event.
 
About TranSystems Inc.
TranSystems is a global transportation consulting firm engaged in infrastructure and facility planning, design and construction enhancing the movement of goods and people across today’s integrated transportation infrastructure. Its approximately 1,000 professionals in 42 offices throughout the US perform a broad range of services to all sectors of the transportation marketplace. Service areas include architecture and engineering, strategic planning and management, supply chain, real estate and security consulting. TranSystems’ ability to meet the broad list of challenges facing its clients anywhere in the world rests firmly on the modal expertise, technical disciplines and consulting services gathered into one integrated business entity.
 
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 –

 
 
 
 

Debut for the BMW Z4 GTE and the Newly Structured BMW Team RLL – Crowne Plaza Hotels & Resorts on Board as Premium Partner Again in 2013

DAYTONA (US), 12th February 2013. BMW is embarking on a new chapter of its motorsport commitment in North America: after four successful years with the BMW M3 GT, the new BMW Z4 GTE will take over at the head of the manufacturer’s campaign in the 2013 American Le Mans Series (ALMS). On Tuesday, BMW Motorsport and BMW Team RLL presented the car and drivers for the new season at the “Daytona International Speedway” (US).
 
Supported by Premium Partner Crowne Plaza Hotels & Resorts, guests from around the world were given the opportunity to inspect the BMW Z4 GTE at close hand, talk to those responsible for the team, and experience the iconic racetrack in Florida from the cockpit, courtesy of taxi rides with the BMW ALMS drivers.
 
“As we approach the start of the ALMS season in mid-March, so the anticipation is gradually rising,” said BMW Motorsport Director Jens Marquardt. “All of us at BMW Motorsport and BMW Team RLL are very curious to see how the first few races pan out with the new BMW Z4 GTE. We are setting out on a development year, but are very confident we have once again developed a car that has the potential to win races and titles in the form of the BMW Z4 GTE. Seeing our drivers at this event, you could tell how much they are looking forward to the first race in Sebring. I would also like to say a big thank you to our Premium Partner Crowne Plaza Hotels & Resorts for its fantastic support here in Daytona.”
 
Team Principal Bobby Rahal added: “Obviously I am very excited to enter this new year with the BMW Z4 GTE. There is a lot of enthusiasm in the team for the new car. Certainly there will be a development period involved but ultimately I see no reason why we can’t be competitive with the great competition that exists in the GT category in the ALMS. Although this might be a development year in many respects, the level of driver talent we have on the team – including the two new exciting additions with Maxime Martin and John Edwards – I think that ultimately we can have success and do much as we did in 2009, the first year of the BMW M3 GT, and work hard toward achieving maximum results in its first year. One aspect of the launch that is very exciting is not just the introduction of the BMW Z4 GTE and our drivers, but also the collection of historic cars that were the cars that began the success story of BMW in North American racing.”


The guests had travelled to Orlando (US) on Monday, and were welcomed that evening at a dinner in the Crowne Plaza Universal Orlando by Jens Marquardt, Ludwig Willisch, President and CEO of BMW of North America, BMW Team RLL Team Principal Bobby Rahal and BMW NA Motorsport Manager Gordon McDonnell. On Tuesday, the ALMS drivers took them on a series of taxi rides in historic BMW racing cars. This was followed by the unveiling of the BMW Z4 GTE.
 
BMW Motorsport also announced the driving pairs for the coming season. Car number 55 will be driven by Bill Auberlen (US) and ALMS rookie Maxime Martin (BE). Dirk Müller (DE) will contest all the races in the number 56 car. Joey Hand (US) and John Edwards (US) will alternate as the two-time ALMS GT champion’s driving partner. Edwards will stand in for Hand when he is unavailable due to his parallel commitment in the DTM. Jörg Müller (DE, #55) and Uwe Alzen (DE, #56) will bolster the squad at the endurance races at Sebring (US) and Road Atlanta (US).
 
The BMW Z4 GTE will contest its first season in 2013. In July 2012, BMW Motorsport engineers in Munich (DE) began work on developing a GTE version of the BMW Z4 GT3, which would comply with ACO regulations. The BMW Z4 GT3 itself has enjoyed many years of success in high-class GT series around the world. The regulations stipulate that electronic aids that may be used on the BMW Z4 GT3, such as ABS and DSC, are not permitted on a GTE car.
 
The BMW Z4 GTE is considerably more compact than its successful predecessor, the BMW M3 GT. All the dimensions of the BMW Z4 GTE have been modified to comply with ACO regulations. The new car took to the racetrack for its maiden test outing in the second half of January. BMW Team RLL was integrated in the process throughout the entire development period. Engineers from the USA travelled to Munich in December to play their part in the assembly of the BMW Z4 GTE.
 
The car is not the only important new thing BMW Team RLL can look forward to in the coming season: Michelin is the new Tyre Partner of BMW Motorsport in the ALMS. In contrast, Premium Partner Crowne Plaza Hotels & Resorts is something of a constant. The successful cooperation will continue in 2013. Crowne Plaza Hotels & Resorts belongs to the InterContinental Hotels Group. IHG maintains, runs and owns over 4,400 hotels and more than 658,000 rooms in approaching 100 countries.


 
Technical Specifications BMW Z4 GT3.
 
Length:                       4,395mm (excl. rear wing)
Width:                         2,010mm
Height:                        1,205mm (depending on set-up)
Weight:                       1,245kg (according to ACO regulations)
Tank capacity:           110 litres (according to IMSA classification)
 
Chassis/body: Steel body with welded safety cell
 
Transmission: six-speed sequential sport transmission, operated via shifting paddles mounted on the steering wheel, multiple ZF Sachs clutch
 
Front axle: McPherson axle with pushrods and wishbone, additionally with adjustable shock absorbers, H&R coil springs
 
Rear axle: Longitudinal links with wishbone, adjustable shock absorbers, H&R coil springs
 
Brake system: hydraulic dual circuit brake; monobloc multi-piston light alloy brake callipers, innver-vented steel brake discs, seamless brake balance adjustment (front and rear) by the driver
 
Wheels: BBS forged aluminum wheels, front axle: 12,5×18“, rear axle: 13×18“)
 
Tyres: Michelin, front axle: 300-680-18, rear axle: 310-710-18
 
Engine type: Eight-cylinder, V-configuration, four valves per cylindre, mandatory air restrictor (2×29.4mm)
 
Capacity:                    4,400cc
Max. output:              approx. 480bhp (with mandatory air restrictor)
Max. torque:              approx. 480Nm
 
Cylinder block: Aluminum cylinder block construction
 
Engine management: BMW Motorsport ECU 408, without fuses, central display
 
 
Note to the editors: The 2013 BMW Motorsport ALMS press kit is now available online at: www.press.bmwgroup-sport.com

James Jakes to Join RLL for 2013 IndyCar Series Season; Acorn Stairlifts to Sponsor Entry

BROWNSBURG, Ind. (February 5, 2013) – Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing (RLL) announced today that the team will enter a second full-season program in the 2013 IZOD IndyCar Series for James Jakes, 25.  Acorn Stairlifts, the maker of the number-one selling Stairlift in the world, will sponsor Jakes’ entry. 
 
The 2013 season will mark the third for the Leeds, England native in the IZOD IndyCar Series. He made 31 starts for Dale Coyne Racing from 2011-2012 with his best series start of eighth place coming on the Motegi road course in 2011 and his best series finish of eighth coming on the Toronto street course in 2012.
 
“I wanted to put myself in a position where I could get results that I believe I am capable of and Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing is a good fit for me,” said James Jakes.  “If you look back at the results and the product that Bobby and the team have put on the track, he’s always got a car that is running up front and the team does things first class.  I had negotiated with Bobby when I first came to the series but we weren’t able to put a program together until now.  It will be great for the team to have two full-season cars to move ourselves forward and push us to where Bobby and the team want us to be – at the top of the grid.”
 
Jakes began racing in 2002 in the British T-Car series where he finished second. He graduated to the British Formula Renault Series in 2004 and finished 12th in the standings and second in the rookie chase. In 2005, he returned to the British Formula Renault Series, finishing second in points after seven podium finishes and two poles. That year, he was also named a Rising Star by the prestigious British Racing Drivers Club and was a McLaren Autosport Award finalist. He progressed to the British Formula 3 Series and on to the Formula 3 Euro Series (2007-2008) where he won the Pau Grand Prix from pole in 2008 and set the fastest race lap.  He earned two podiums in the GP2 Asia series (2008-2009) and a pole and two podiums in GP3 (2010) and finished eighth in series standings despite missing four races because of injury.  In 2011, he moved to the IndyCar Series after a test with Dale Coyne Racing. 
 
“Acorn Stairlifts is extremely excited to have James representing us as our driver for the Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing No. 30 car,” said Don Shapiro, CEO of US Operations for Acorn Stairlifts. “James worked extremely hard over the past two seasons for us, is highly competitive and will run at the front in 2013.  We look forward to our first of many seasons with Bobby and his team.” 
 
“I am really pleased that James is joining our team,” said Bobby Rahal, co-owner of Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing with CBS LATE SHOW host David Letterman and Mi-Jack co-owner Mike Lanigan.  “I have seen him run competitively on numerous occasions and have felt all along that given the environment we can create for him, he can achieve the success he has sought in Indy car racing.  He and Graham get along and communicate well and I think that is important for the team. We’re pleased to have him and we think it will be a good combination. 
 
“For us to be a two car team is a natural progression,” added Rahal. “A year ago we restarted the team to really build toward this time.  We positioned ourselves in Indianapolis to take advantage of everything the open wheel industry can provide us with and obviously, as was proven last year, a one car team can be competitive.  But there is no doubt in my mind that a two car team is a much more efficient and productive way to go racing. There is twice as much information, twice as much everything, and that helps you progress that much quicker. James is obviously an aggressive, competitive driver and I think that having both he and Graham on board raises the performance of the team as a whole.”
 
About Acorn Stairlifts
Acorn Stairlifts is a global leader in the stairlift industry.  Acorn Stairlifts is dedicated to providing a solution to those who find that their stairs have become more difficult to manage.  Over half a million Acorn Stairlifts have been installed around the world making the Acorn Stairlift the “World’s Best Selling Stairlift.”  A new customer joins the Acorn Stairlift family every 10 minutes!  A company prided on being innovators in technology and development providing a safe and simple product that brings peace of mind to each of its customers.  The core business principles have always remained the same:  Relax, and give your life a lift with an Acorn Stairlift.
 
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 –