Rejoice, Jakesy Nation, for your king will continue to battle in the IZOD IndyCar Series.
English driver James Jakes will team up with Graham Rahal this season at Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, taking over the No. 30 Honda with sponsorship from longtime backer Acorn Stairlifts.
Jakes has raced the last two campaigns with Dale Coyne Racing. In 2012, he collected two top-tens at Texas (10th) and Toronto (8th), and finished 22nd in the championship.
“I wanted to put myself in a position where I could get results that I believe I am capable of and Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing is a good fit for me,” Jakes said in an RLL release. “If you look back at the results and the product that Bobby and the team have put on the track, he’s always got a car that is running up front and the team does things first class.
"I had negotiated with Bobby when I first came to the series, but we weren’t able to put a program together until now. It will be great for the team to have two full-season cars to move ourselves forward and push us to where Bobby and the team want us to be – at the top of the grid.”
RLL has been working on a second car for some time, and now that the effort has paid off with their first multi-car offering since 2007, team co-owner Bobby Rahal believes that his squad is in position to make a move toward the top of the standings.
“For us to be a two-car team is a natural progression,” the 1986 Indianapolis 500 champion said. “A year ago, we restarted the team to really build toward this time. We positioned ourselves in Indianapolis to take advantage of everything the open wheel industry can provide us with and obviously, as was proven last year, a one-car team can be competitive.
"But there is no doubt in my mind that a two-car team is a much more efficient and productive way to go racing. There is twice as much information, twice as much everything, and that helps you progress that much quicker. 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.”
RLL fielded a single-car entry for Takuma Sato (now with A.J. Foyt Racing) last year.