Rahal back with race-winning engineer for 2023 IndyCar season
Friday 3rd March, 2023 - 5:03pm
Graham Rahal and engineer Eddie Jones have been reunited on the #15 Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Honda ahead of the 2023 IndyCar Series.
Of the six wins which Rahal has enjoyed in his IndyCar career, five came from 2015 through 2017 when Jones was his engineer before ‘retiring’ in 2020.
He would soon return as a consultant and is now back on the #15 entry, where this is also change on the radio with Team Manager Derek Davidson now calling strategy.
“I’m excited to be back with Eddie,” said Rahal ahead of Race 1 of the season at St Petersburg.
“He and I won five times in three years. We know how to win together, and hopefully we can get this thing back on track.
“We’re pretty fired up about it. Eddie and I are kind of both pretty low-key guys. We’re on the same page. Super fiery and competitive, but off the track I think we both have a similar mindset.
“Adam Kolesar is my assistant engineer again and a lot of my core group is still together and Derek Davidson is on my car as well this year as strategist.
“I’m excited about that because I’ve never gotten to work with Double D in that regard, and he’s a guy I have tremendous respect for as a leader, an organiser and a manager and everything else.
“We had a solid run at St Pete. last year. We were fairly quick, particularly in Q1 and in Q2 but we lost our way a little but we’ve worked hard on some simulator stuff and we gained some things out of the Thermal test.
“Hopefully we can put all those pieces together that we learned in the off season and at Thermal and have a great year.”
Jones’ move back onto Car #15 means Allan McDonald switches to Jack Harvey’s #30 Honda, while Ben Siegel stays with Christian Lundgaard, although they are now on Car #45.
RLLR arguably underperformed in 2022, with Rahal its best performer in 11th in the standings at season’s end.
While the team has been bolstered by the addition of former McLaren Formula 1 Director of Vehicle Performance Stefano Sordo as its technical director, and former Honda Performance Development Chief Operating Officer Steve Eriksen as its own COO, its lead driver is not getting carried away just yet.
“I feel really good about where we’re at this year,” said Rahal.
“I think Stefano has brought in a great mindset, but I think also organisationally from the team perspective we seem to be in a much better place also.
“Everybody is working towards achieving the same goals. I do urge a little bit of patience though as many of the areas will take some time to develop but overall, I feel really good about where we stand.”
Practice 1 starts on Friday at 15:00 ET/Saturday at 07:00 AEDT, while final practice, qualifying, the warmup, and the 100-lap race can be seen live and ad-free on Stan Sport in Australia.
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