Mike Conway adds 1st IndyCar race to his schedule since walking away UPDATE
Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing announced today that they will enter a second Honda-Dallara-Firestone race car in the 2013 Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach IZOD IndyCar Series race April 19-21, and that 2011 Long Beach race winner Mike Conway will pilot the No. 30 entry. Sponsorship details will be announced at a later date.
“I am very happy to announce I will be racing with Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing in the upcoming event at Long Beach in April,” said Mike Conway, 29. “The team has proven their speed and technical excellence in the past and I can't wait to start working with everybody. I worked with (RLL race engineer) Eddie (Jones) indirectly when he was Marco's (Andretti) engineer at Andretti Autosport so we would debrief as a group. He knows his stuff and has been around a long time so it should be fun working together. I hope to add more races for the upcoming season but in the meantime, I look forward to getting back on a circuit that I previously won on!”
“I am really pleased to welcome Mike to the team,” added team co-owner Bobby Rahal. “In 2011, Mike Lanigan and I met with Mike and his representatives and were really working hard to get him into the team but it didn’t work out. Fortunately we are able to do so now. Mike is a very good driver and I think he will be very competitive in our environment. He and Graham (Rahal) get along well so it’s a real one-two punch for us. We will announce a new sponsor for Indy car racing soon. Stay tuned.”
Conway, from Bromley, Kent, England, made 53 starts in IZOD IndyCar series competition between 2009-2012. He joined Dreyer & Reinbold Racing (DRR) in 2009 where he earned his first podium of third place at Sonoma Raceway. In 2010 he was en route to earning his fourth top-10 finish in the first six races with DRR but was injured in a final-lap crash in the Indianapolis 500 that resulted in season-ending injuries to his leg and back.
Conway joined Andretti Autosport in 2011 and earned his first series victory at Long Beach after passing eventual second and third place finishers Ryan Briscoe and Dario Franchitti to lead the final 14 laps. He moved to AJ Foyt Racing for 2012 where his season highlights were a second place qualifying position on the streets of Baltimore and a third place finish on the streets of Toronto.
After starting his racing career at the age of eight, Conway went on to become the Formula A British Karting Champion, the Formula Renault Champion (2004) and the top British driver in the British Formula 3 Series, where he was third overall in 2005 with Fortec Motorsport. He dominated the 2006 British F3 International Series and won the title with three races left in the season. He moved to the GP2 Series in 2007 with Super Nova Racing and was also a test driver for Honda in Formula One. He remained in GP2 in 2008 but moved to Trident Racing and went on to compete in the IZOD IndyCar Series in 2009.
Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing returned to full-time IZOD IndyCar Series competition in 2012 for the first time since 2008. Season highlights included a second place finish in Edmonton and third in Brazil with Takuma Sato in addition to being a contender for the team’s second victory in the Indianapolis 500 on the final lap.
The team is preparing for the first of its 2013 tests which will take place at Sebring International Raceway on February 19 with Graham Rahal behind the wheel of the No. 15 Midas / Big O Tires Honda-Dallara-Firestone race car. The team is hoping to schedule a test for Conway prior to the Long Beach event. RLL PR01/28/13 Mike Conway will be back in an IndyCar at Long Beach in a one-race deal for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing.
The deal announced Monday is the first IndyCar event Conway has scheduled since deciding not to race at Fontana in last season's finale. Conway decided he was not comfortable on ovals and told A.J. Foyt Racing he wanted to step out of the car.
Conway will drive a second Honda in the April 21 race for RLL, with sponsorship details to come.
Conway earned the only win of his IndyCar career at the Long Beach street course in 2011. It was an emotional win for the Englishman, who was badly hurt in a last-lap crash in the 2010 Indianapolis 500. His injuries sidelined him the remainder of that season. Fox News