Formula One Veteran Gerry Hughes Joins Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing; Will Work as Race Engineer for Sato

SEBRING, Fla. (March 9, 2012) – Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing announced today that Gerry Hughes has joined the team and will be the race engi­neer for Takuma Sato in the IZOD IndyCar Series. Hughes has 24 years of track­side engi­neering expe­ri­ence in series such as Formula One, GP2, A1GP, British Touring Cars, Formula 3 and Opel Lotus. The move reunites Hughes with team co-owner Bobby Rahal, Tech­nical Director Jay O’Connell and driver Sato. 

“Gerry worked for me when I was at Jaguar Formula One and he worked with our tech­nical director Jay O’Connell as well.” said team co-owner Bobby Rahal. “I have known Gerry since 2000 and we have always stayed in touch. He went on to bigger and better things and was involved with Takuma at Super Aguri in F1 and when Honda stopped that program they were a bit adrift.  He was looking at making the move to come to the United States long term and so we talked. It is partic­u­larly good timing because, since he had worked with Takuma, there was a comfort level there and a level of commu­ni­ca­tion that usually takes time to build up between two people and in this case it is already estab­lished.  For Takuma its good to have someone he is familiar with and had confi­dence in and for us, Gerry is a long term team member for us. He has a lot of expe­ri­ence in a lot of different formulas and that will be of value to us as a team.”

Hughes began his career in racing as a design engi­neer at Lola Cars Ltd. and over the past 24 years he has held key roles at esteemed orga­ni­za­tions such as Williams Touring Car Engi­neering, Prodrive, Jaguar F1, Jordan Grand Prix, Red Bull Racing, Super Aguri F1, A1GP Team Ireland, Lola Formula One and was most recently at Cosworth where he held the title of Formula 1 Track Support Manager and played a key role in the marquee’s successful return to F1 in 2010. He has held various titles such as head of engi­neering, head of research and devel­op­ment, chief race engi­neer and track support manager.  

“I would like to thank Bobby for the oppor­tu­nity to come here and join Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing for what in essence is a new chapter for IndyCar in America with the new racing package,” said Gerry Hughes.  “After 12 years in Formula One it is a new chal­lenge for me. I have had a good expe­ri­ence at the Sebring test and have learned a great deal.  I think the team is finding its feet learning more about the new car as all the teams are and I feel that we will be compet­i­tive going into the first race in two weeks time.”

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing returns to full-time IZOD IndyCar Series compe­ti­tion in 2012 for the first time since 2008. That season saw Ryan Hunter-Reay finish seventh in the final series stand­ings, marking the 11th consec­u­tive year that a RLL driver finished the year in the top-10 in driver points. The winners of the 1992 IndyCar cham­pi­onship as well as the 2004 Indi­anapolis 500, RLL Indy cars have finished in the top 10 in more than half of its 587 career series starts.

ABOUT GERRY HUGHES

Hughes’ career began with a Masters of Science degree at Cran­field Univer­sity in 1994. He joined Lola Cars Ltd. as a design engi­neer in 1994 and later moved to Williams Touring Car Engi­neering Ltd from 1996 – 1999 and was race engi­neer to Jason Plato and 1997 cham­pion Alain Menu. In 1999 he was at Prodrive and worked with the championship-winning Ford Team Mondeo oper­a­tion before being trans­ferred to Ford’s Jaguar F1 program in the summer of 2000 where he was race engi­neer for Eddie Irvine.  Bobby Rahal was Team Prin­cipal of the program at the time. Hughes then joined Jordan Grand Prix in 2003 as head of race and test engi­neering until the team was sold to Midland. In 2005, after a brief stint at Red Bull Racing, he joined Honda-powered Super Aguri as chief race engi­neer and head of research and devel­op­ment and worked with Takuma Sato. When Honda departed F1, Hughes became the tech­nical director of the championship-winning A1GP Team Ireland from 2008 – 2009.  He was then offered the posi­tion of head of engi­neering for the Lola F1 team in 2009 and concen­trated his efforts on special projects. Most recently, Hughes was funda­mental to the success of Cosworth’s return to F1 in the role of Formula 1 Track Support Manager, a title he held since 2009 and until he joined Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing.

- RLL -