BROWNSBURG, Ind. (June 17, 2019) – Rahal Letterman Lanigan (RLL) Racing will officially unveil the previously announced fan-favorite livery on the No. 15 Gehl / Manitou entry for the REV Group Grand Prix at Road America on June 23. The design is a throwback to team co-owner and former Indy car champion Bobby Rahal’s 1994 Lola-Honda race car but that was only part of the story. The livery was also chosen as a celebration of Honda’s 25 seasons in the sport, after years of groundwork by Bobby Rahal led to their first season of competition in 1994. The iconic “Powered by Honda” logo, first used in Indy car racing when the program debuted in 1994, will return for the event.
“It’s amazing to think that Honda has been in Indy car racing for 25 years, but at the same time it seems longer,” said Bobby Rahal, co-owner of Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing with David Letterman and Michael Lanigan. “I have fond memories of when the process began between myself and Mr. [Michihiro] Asaka in the late 1980’s. We were so proud to join Honda on their historic entry into Indy car racing in 1994, and I remember how appreciative we were to be asked to rejoin them for the 2003 season and, of course, proud to bring them their first Indy 500 win I 2004. Honda and HPD deserve the success they have had over the years and so much credit for the commitment they have made to the sport. We are still working with some of the original members of HPD to this day and look forward to our future together.”
Following several years of research and planning, American Honda made the public announcement it would enter Indy car competition at the 1993 North American International Auto Show in Detroit. After a year of testing and development, Honda’s Indy car competition debut took place at the 1994 season-opening race in Surfers Paradise, Australia with two cars driven by Rahal and teammate Mike Groff.
“Seeing the ‘Powered by Honda’ logo return is a special moment for me, and for many of us at HPD,” said Steve Eriksen, HPD vice president and COO. “Those of us who were at HPD and supporting the Rahal team at the beginning of our Indy car effort worked extremely hard to establish a strong foundation for the program, and it is very gratifying today to reflect on the successes achieved in the succeeding years. This weekend’s display of the ‘throwback’ livery on Graham’s car – and the display of Bobby’s 1994 Lola-Honda Indy car – provides a direct link from the past to the present that I hope all race fans will enjoy.”
In four starts at Road America, Graham Rahal has earned two third-place finishes and four top-10’s. His top start in 2019 is second at Barber Motorsports Park and his top finish is third at Texas Motor Speedway. He is currently ranked eighth in the NTT IndyCar Series standings with a total of 211 points. The REV Group Grand Prix at Road America will air live on NBC on Sunday, June 23 beginning at 12 p.m. ET.
“As a Honda dealer, I also want to congratulate them on their 60th anniversary of doing business in North America,” added Rahal. “The growth of their operations throughout the United States is just an amazing story. Kudos to them for the commitment they have made to this country as well as their commitment to Indy car racing.”
About Honda Racing Performance
Honda Performance Development, Inc., (HPD) is Honda’s racing company in North America and is a wholly owned subsidiary of American Honda Motor Co., Inc. HPD was founded in 1993 to spearhead American Honda’s entry into Indy car racing. No other manufacturer has matched the company’s success in Indy cars, which includes 241 race victories, 16 drivers’ championships, seven competitive manufacturers’ championships and 12 Indianapolis 500 victories since 2004.
Today, HPD is the technical operations center for Honda and Acura racing programs throughout North America. HPD specializes in the design and development of race engines, chassis and performance parts, and technical/race support. For more information about HPD and the company’s racing product lines, please visit http://hpd.honda.com.