Seventeen-year-old Graham Rahal will become the youngest ever driver to sit behind the wheel of a GP2 car when he tests one of the two blue and white flame-liveried DPR Direxiv cars at the HTTT Paul Ricard track in Southern France next week. The...
Seventeen-year-old Graham Rahal will become the youngest ever driver to sit behind the wheel of a GP2 car when he tests one of the two blue and white flame-liveried DPR Direxiv cars at the HTTT Paul Ricard track in Southern France next week.
The Colombus, Ohio-born driver will take part in the GP2 Series official test on 27/28th June, driving on the first of two days alongside DPR Direxiv regular, Clivio Piccione. It will be the North American's first taste of a 600 bhp engined car, although his experience over the winter months in the A1 Grand Prix series will undoubtedly help him make the leap from his usual environment of the Champ Car Atlantic Championship Swift cars. Returning to the cockpit for the first time since breaking bones in his hand and wrist in Monaco will be Frenchman Olivier Pla.
Team principal David Price is keen that he doesn't overdo it on his return, in order that he should be 100% fit for the Series' next round at Magny Cours on 16th July. The team has scored points in the last two rounds, including a podium finish at Silverstone, and is anxious to continue where they left off before the mid-season break.
"I was a bit concerned about Olivier putting too much pressure on himself and, when the discussions arose between ourselves and Graham about a GP2 test, it seemed the ideal opportunity. Graham will do one day and Olivier the next. Also, in order for us to help our drivers further their careers, there will also be an opportunity for a test in an IRL car later in the season, thanks to Graham's father, Bobby."
As with all aspiring young single-seater drivers, Rahal's stated aim is a drive in Formula One and GP2 is now being more and more recognised as the only logical stepping stone to achieving that goal.
In its inaugural year the GP2 series had a total of 95,460,733 TV viewers in 100 countries across the globe, as well as allowing the teams and their drivers the all-important platform of performing in front of the assembled F1 paddock.