Indy 500-winning engineer Eddie Jones joins Rahal camp
Rahal Letterman Lanigan has certainly been busy as of late, welcoming Graham Rahal to the team in a multi-year agreement and working on a potential second program for the 2013 championship.
Speculation continues to swirl about who will be driving that second Rahal ride (Ryan Briscoe? Justin Wilson? Rubens Barrichello? Someone else?). But that matter is still up in the air. What’s set is who will be the race engineer for the program: Eddie Jones, who engineered Rubens Barrichello’s rookie run in IndyCar last season with KV Racing Technology.
Jones engineered the late Dan Wheldon’s victory at the 2005 Indianapolis 500 as well as his series title that same year. He spent more than 15 years with Andretti Autosport (working with Michael and Marco Andretti, Wheldon and Danica Patrick along the way) before moving to KV to work with Barrichello last season.
“[Team co-owner] Bobby Rahal has been a winner both as a driver and as a team owner, so he fully understands what it takes to be successful at this level and has built a team that is clearly up to the task,” said Jones in a team release. “In particular, I like the emphasis he places on the importance of engineering and am impressed by the group he has assembled under Technical Director Jay O’Connell and with Race Engineer Gerry Hughes.
“I believe my longstanding Indy car experience and particular skill sets will serve to compliment their existing program and assist in the pursuit of greater competitiveness for 2013 and beyond.”
In the same release, Rahal called Jones “a very important part of our future success.”
“Our intention all along was to build our engineering department and Eddie is one of the best out there,” said the 1986 Indy 500 winner. “Given his track record, which is impressive, we are obviously very pleased that he has chosen to join our team…I have always been impressed with the way he goes about his business, his personality and his strength as of a team player.”