IRL: Rahal Letterman Racing signs Hunter-Reay

RYAN HUNTER-REAY JOINS RAHAL LETTERMAN RACING INDYCAR PROGRAM HILLIARD, Ohio (July 19, 2007) -- Rahal Letterman Racing today announces that American open-wheel and sportscar racewinner Ryan Hunter-Reay will take over as the driver of...

RYAN HUNTER-REAY JOINS RAHAL LETTERMAN RACING INDYCAR PROGRAM

HILLIARD, Ohio (July 19, 2007) -- Rahal Letterman Racing today announces that American open-wheel and sportscar racewinner Ryan Hunter-Reay will take over as the driver of the team's #17 Ethanol-sponsored car in the IndyCar Series, effective immediately.

"We have made important strides in our IndyCar program this year and we feel like this is something that we needed to do to maintain that pattern of improvement and growth," said RLR co-owner Bobby Rahal. "Jeff stepped into a difficult situation last season and did a lot for our team and our sponsors, but we feel at this time, that this is the right move for the long-term future of Rahal Letterman Racing."

Hunter-Reay worked his way up the American open-wheel ladder, having great success at every level. He began his career by winning six national karting championships before moving onto the Skip Barber program, where he was rookie-of-the-year in the Barber Dodge Pro Series in 2000. He moved to Toyota Atlantic competition in 2002, and led the series with three race wins and three poles, while also pacing the championship in laps led. The performance caught the attention of road-racing ace Stefan Johansson, who hired Ryan to drive for his first-year Champ Car World Series squad in 2003.

He became the first American rookie in 20 years to win a Champ Car race with a victory in Australia in 2003, then set a series record by leading all 250 laps in a 2004 victory at the Milwaukee Mile. Hunter-Reay made 43 Champ Car starts over three seasons with two wins, one pole and 18 top-10 results. He has spent the last two seasons running part-time in the Rolex Grand American Series, where he co-drove with current NASCAR Cup Champion Jimmie Johnson in this years Daytona 24 Hour Race, as well as in A1GP competition.

"I am very happy to be joining a quality organization such as Rahal Letterman Racing," Hunter-Reay said. "This is a strong opportunity for me and I am eager to help the team move forward and get some results through the remainder of the season."

About Rahal Letterman Racing:

Rahal Letterman Racing, based in Hilliard, Ohio and co-owned by three-time IndyCar Champion and 1986 Indianapolis 500 winner Bobby Rahal and CBS LATE SHOW host David Letterman, has been competing for more than a decade compiling 19 victories, 30 poles and one series championship (Bobby Rahal in 1992 in CART) and an Indianapolis 500 championship (Buddy Rice in 2004). In 2007 Rahal Letterman Racing, campaigns two cars in the Indy Racing League's IndyCar Series driven by Ryan Hunter-Reay with sponsorship from the Ethanol Promotion and Information Council and Scott Sharp with sponsorship from The Patron Spirits Company and partner with Andersen Racing to run two entries in the Indy Pro Series. Additionally in 2007 Rahal Letterman Racing made its debut in the American Le Mans Series by entering a Porsche 911 GT3 RSR in the GT2 category. Bell Microproducts serves as the primary partner for the ALMS entry, which will be driven by veteran sports car drivers Ralf Kelleners and Tom Milner.

-credit: rlr

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Ralf Kelleners , Bobby Rahal , Jimmie Johnson , Ryan Hunter-Reay , Skip Barber