IndyCar Driver Preview: James Jakes

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#16 James Jakes

  • Team: Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
  • Engine: Honda
  • Sponsors: Acorn Stairlifts
  • 2012: 22nd place, No Top Fives

2012 WRAP: Like his rookie campaign, 2012 was about gathering more top-level experience for the Englishman. His results were decidedly mid-pack (average finish of 16.7) and five DNFs along the way didn’t help his cause, but he did have a couple of really solid efforts at Texas (where he rose from 21st at the start to finish 10th) and at Toronto (where he soared from 24th to come away eighth).

2013 OUTLOOK: Jakes made a big jump two years ago from GP3 to the IZOD IndyCar Series, and has had to undergo an extended learning process. Now, he’ll try to make those lessons pay off with RLL, which was competitive last season and should give Jakes a solid opportunity. A big key to 2013 success could be how he meshes with veteran engineer Eddie Jones, who comes over from KV Racing Technology and engineered the late Dan Wheldon’s Indianapolis 500 and series championship victories in 2005.

UPDATE 2: INDYCAR Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama once again under red-flag race stoppage

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UPDATE No. 2: The INDYCAR Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama was closing in on restarting on Lap 23 or 24 before officials threw the second red flag race stoppage because of lingering puddles on the 2.3-mile Barber Motorsports Park, particularly on the front stretch. We’ll keep you updated as situations warrant.

UPDATE No. 1: The INDYCAR Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama is under a red-flag race stoppage after 19 laps due to rain and puddling on the racing surface at Barber Motorsports Park.

Cleaners and dryers are on the track to try and get some of the water off the racing surface. The low spots on the track, as well as the front stretch, have been particularly troublesome and led to several spinouts and at least two wrecks (Charlie Kimball and outside front pole sitter Will Power).

Power’s day is done after suffering irreparable damage to the left side of his car after hydroplaning on the front straight and running into the inside retaining wall.

ORIGINAL STORY FOLLOWS:

Although rain has been falling for nearly an hour and the Barber Motorsports Park 2.3-mile permanent road course is drenched, the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama is underway on NBCSN.

The start of the race was moved up from 3:38 p.m. ET to take the green flag at 3:08 p.m. ET.

Josef Newgarden is the defending winner of this race and also will start from the pole for today’s race.

While the race is scheduled for 90 laps, there’s a possibility that if the weather worsens or if lightning appears, it could potentially be shortened to just two hours.

As can be expected, all cars are on rain tires to maximize grip.

Catch the race live on NBCSN.