HILLIARD, Ohio (January 7, 2015) – Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing (RLL) announced today that Jeff Schaffner has returned to the team as senior assistant race engineer for their TUDOR United SportsCar Championship program. Schaffner has 15 years of professional racing experience and was most recently an engineer with Michael Shank Racing’s sports car team the past nine years. Prior to that, he was with Rahal Letterman Racing in 2005 after a four-year stint with Newman/Haas Racing, two of which were title-winning.
“We are excited to have Jeff rejoin our team as a senior assistant race engineer,” said Jay O’Connell, vice president of technology for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing. “He brings a lot of endurance racing experience which we look forward to integrating into our engineering staff.”
“It is great to be back at Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing,” added Schaffner. “A lot of the guys I worked with in 2005 are still here, and that speaks to the strength of the BMW Team RLL program. I am looking forward to the new challenges of the competitive Tudor United SportsCar GTLM class.”
Schaffner graduated from The Ohio State University with a Bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering in 1999. He got his start in professional racing as a project engineer with Ruman Racing’s Trans Am team from December 1999 to January 2001. He then began a four year stint with Newman/Haas Racing’s engineering department with a focus on dampers in March 2001.The team went on to earn a Champ Car championship with Cristiano da Matta in 2002, rookie of the year honors with Sebastien Bourdais in 2003 and a title with Bourdais in 2004. He joined Rahal Letterman Racing in 2005 as an assistant engineer for the teams Indy car program with rookie Danica Patrick who went on to be named the 2005 Indianapolis 500 and IndyCar Series Rookie of the Year and won three poles.
From 2006 through December 2014 Schaffner was an engineer for Michael Shank Racing’s sports car program in Grand Am Rolex Sports Car Series and the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship. Team highlights include receiving the 2006, 2009 and 2010 Grand Am Jim Trueman Pro-Am Award and victory in the 2012 Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona.
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 2015 the team will compete in their 24th 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, 81 podium finishes and 1992 series championship. The team also competed in the American Le Mans Series from 2009-2013 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, BMW Team RLL finished second in the Team Championship and third in the Manufacturer Championship and in 2013, the team finished second in the Driver, Team and Manufacturer Championship. In 2014, BMW Team RLL competed in the GTLM class of the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship with a two-car program and earned six podium finishes including four second-place finishes. The team will attempt to add to their 10 wins and 49 sports car podium finishes in 2015.
– RLL –