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Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Signs James Jakes as Second Driver for 2013

February 5th, 2013 at 10:38 PM
By Mark Eddinger

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing will field two cars full time for the first time in the IZOD IndyCar Series since the 2007 season after the team announced that James Jakes has signed a one-year deal with the team on Tuesday. He will team with Graham Rahal.

'James Jakes' #19 Dale Coyne - Honda race car' photo (c) 2012, Bryce Womeldurf - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/

Eddie Jones has come over from KV Racing to be Jakes' engineer for the 2013 season.

“It was the deal they were able to put together for me,” Jakes said. “Having done some research, it was the right decision. If you look at what Bryan Herta, Danica Patrick, and even Takuma Sato [did at RLL], their cars have been fast. Graham’s there for a multi-year deal, and I think it’s a great building foundation for me. Two fast drivers propel each other forward.”

Jakes, who is 25-years old from Leeds, England, will first get behind of the wheel of an RLL car at the Spring Testing session and will make his race debut in the season opener on March 24th at the St. Petersburg's street course.

“I am really pleased that James is joining our team,” said Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing co-owner Bobby Rahal. “I have seen him run competitively on numerous occasions and have felt all along that given the environment we can create for him, he can achieve the success he has sought in Indy car racing. He and Graham get along and communicate well and I think that is important for the team. We’re pleased to have him and we think it will be a good combination. James is obviously an aggressive, competitive driver and I think that having both he and Graham on board raises the performance of the team as a whole.”

Jakes spent his first two seasons in IndyCar Racing for Dale Coyne Racing, where he competed in 31 of the 32 races in 2011 and 2012. His career best finish was an 8th at Toronto last year.
 
Mike Conway will drive a third RRL car at the Long Beach Grand Prix which is the third race of the season. There is a chance that Conway could pick up more races in the third car depending on sponsorship.
Tags: Bobby Rahal, Eddie Jones, Graham Rahal, IndyCar, IndyCar Series, James Jakes, Mike Conway, Motorsports, Rahal Letterman Lanigan, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing

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