Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing (RLL) makes personnel changes Race engineer Gerry Hughes, who joined the team March 2011 as race engineer, has been named Head of Development for the IZOD IndyCar Series program. Neil Fife, who was the race engineer for the team’s most recent win at Watkins Glen in 2008 by Ryan Hunter-Reay, will become Graham Rahal’s engineer for the remainder of the season and Mitch Davis has joined the team as crew chief, responsible for preparation of both Rahal and James Jakes’ entries.
“I’m really pleased about these additions of personnel and roles,” said Bobby Rahal, co-owner of RLL with David Letterman and Mike Lanigan. “I want to thank Gerry for his hard work and efforts over the past year and a half as race engineer and I’m grateful that he has taken on the new role as head of development to ensure our success in the future. The last Indy car race we won in 2008 with Ryan Hunter-Reay was with Neil at the helm as race engineer so it’s great to have him back. I’m confident that he and Graham will work well together and we can have a successful last third of the season. Finally, having Mitch join the team is the result of a courtship of many, many years. Scott Roembke was always a big believer in Mitch, as I was, but we were never quite able to put it all together to bring him onboard before but thankfully we were able to do that now. He brings a wealth of experience and knowledge with him and will ensure that the cars are put on the race track according to specification. These changes will be a big plus for us going forward.”
Most recently, Fife was race engineer for Sebastien Bourdais at Dragon Racing and Davis was team manager for Chip Ganassi Racing’s satellite Indy car program.
“I am very pleased to have the opportunity to work with Graham and also work with old friends at Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing,” said Neil Fife, who will be the race engineer for the No. 15 Midas / Big O Tires Honda-Dallara-Firestone entry for the remainder of the season. “Graham is one of the young, talented drivers that make watching the IndyCar Series exciting. Bobby has always been committed to running at the highest levels of racing and you can see that in each of his teams and their competitive efforts. It is truly a challenging and competitive time in the IndyCar Series this year and together I think we can elevate the success of Graham and the team.”
“What a great opportunity this is for me to join Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing,” added Mitch Davis, who will become crew chief for RLL’s Indy car program beginning Wednesday. “I have raced against Bobby my whole career and also raced alongside Graham. One of my lifetime goals was to work with (former RLL COO) Scott Roembke again after we first worked together in 1990 and 1991 at Patrick Racing. We lost Scott last year but this is a great opportunity for me with RLL, Graham and the young talent Bobby has put together with the drivers and crew.”
The IZOD IndyCar Series season resumes August 2-4 with the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. The race will be televised live at 3 p.m. ET by NBC Sports Network. Prior to the event, RLL drivers Rahal and Jakes will participate in the Open Test at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on Wednesday, July 31.
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