Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing released some sponsorship news Thursday, although not perhaps the dominant sponsorship-related question on IndyCar observers’ collective minds.
The team confirmed Deltran Battery Tender®, a leading manufacturer of high-efficiency battery chargers, will increased their role with the team. Battery Tender was an associate sponsor of RLL’s 2013 IndyCar Series program, and will be an associate for both the IndyCar program and two-car BMW Team RLL effort in the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship.
“DelTran Battery Tender® is thrilled to expand upon the Rahal Letterman Lanigan partnership! After last year’s success on and off the track with Graham Rahal we could not be happier with our marketing efforts and exposure,” Evin Prelec, Director of Marketing and Advertising for Deltran Battery Tender, said in a team release. “Expanding the partnership to include BMW Team RLL makes perfect sense. We have had a long, successful branding/supplier relationship with BMW and are looking forward to supporting the team and drivers on track.”
While this is good news for the team’s prospects, it’s not the sponsor confirmation the IndyCar community is anticipating. Following the IndyCar Series 2013 season finale in Fontana, NBCSN IndyCar pit reporter Robin Miller reported for RACER.com that Rahal’s team had won the National Guard sponsorship contract from Panther Racing. No news has come on that front since from either team.
The other bit of RLL news still to emerge is who will race as Graham Rahal’s teammate. James Jakes was in the second RLL Honda this past season.
Meanwhile, Panther, which has made a number of staff changes since the offseason and is yet to announce its 2014 driver, has recently made several National Guard-related tweets. Panther has revealed partnerships with Lincoln Technical Institute and Charter Media, but neither is expected to take a full-time primary sponsorship role.
Panther’s first test of 2014 is scheduled at a Chevrolet manufacturer test January 17 at Sebring International Raceway, but a driver has not been named.