No timetable for RLL driver, commercial announcements

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Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing has at least one announcement coming shortly, but it’s not going to be the team’s second IndyCar driver or commercial partners.

“We have another guy who’ll be announced soon that will be a huge addition to our team,” Graham Rahal said during this weekend’s Rolex 24 at Daytona. Graham was part of the lineup in the No. 56 BMW Z4 GTE in the GT Le Mans class of the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship.

In a brief follow-up, Rahal confirmed that was related to “personnel,” and not the driver lineup. When asked if he knew when the lineup would be coming, Rahal said, “We’re all having to wait and see.”

RLL has not yet announced its 2014 commercial partners, and a team official also confirmed there was no timetable on when an update on those will come.

Deltran Battery Tender, which was an associate sponsor for RLL’s IndyCar program in 2013, has re-upped for IndyCar and added the pair of BMWs to its sponsorship portfolio.

The Midas and blu eCigs brands also adorned Rahal’s No. 15 Honda-powered DW12 in 2013.

Some drivers who could very likely be in play for the open second seat, per sources, are Oriol Servia, Conor Daly, JR Hildebrand and Alex Tagliani. A driver outside of that quartet could be considered for the second seat, depending on budgetary concerns.

Servia has past experience with RLL, when he drove for the team at the 2009 Indianapolis 500. He was one of two drivers who took over the National Guard-backed seat at Panther Racing in the second half of 2013, when Panther released Hildebrand from his contract.

Daly and Tagliani, meanwhile, co-drove in RSR Racing’s PC class No. 08 ORECA FLM09 in the Rolex 24 this weekend.

The PC class schedule has three conflicts with IndyCar weekends this year.

On June 7, the TUDOR Championship PC class races at Kansas Speedway, while IndyCar takes to the high banks of Texas Motor Speedway.

The last weekend of June, the 28-29, IndyCar races a weekend doubleheader in Houston while TUDOR races the six hours of Watkins Glen on Sunday.

Lastly on August 24, TUDOR is at Virginia International Raceway while IndyCar races on the west coast in Sonoma.

At the moment, RLL is not listed to test at all in the month of February, per IndyCar’s latest testing schedule update.

Rebellion confirms LMP1 return, all-star line-up for WEC super season

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Rebellion Racing has confirmed it will return to the LMP1 class of the FIA World Endurance Championship for the 2018/19 ‘super season’ with an all-star line-up featuring Le Mans winners Neel Jani and Andre Lotterer.

Rebellion raced in LMP1 as a privateer between 2009 and 2016 before stepping down to LMP2 for the most recent season, capturing the class titles at the first attempt.

Following a push from the WEC and Automobile Club de l’Ouest (ACO) to make LMP1 more appealing to privateer teams, Rebellion announced on Wednesday it would return to the premier class for the 2018/19 season with a two-car effort.

WEC LMP2 champion Bruno Senna will return with Rebellion next year, as will Mathias Beche, with the pair set to be joined by four new faces.

The most notable arrivals are Porsche factory drivers Lotterer and Jani, both of whom were left without an LMP1 drive following the closure of the German manufacturer’s program at the end of the season.

American racer Gustavo Menezes will also join Rebellion, stepping up after two years in LMP2, while outstanding 2017 rookie Thomas Laurent completes the Swiss team’s line-up.

“I am looking forward to coming back where my endurance career started nine years ago,” said Jani.

“Rebellion Racing played a huge role in my career and also helped me become a factory driver for Porsche. When Porsche stopped in LMP1, it was clear for me that I wanted to race again for Rebellion.

“With the new regulations, I hope we can reach the overall podium at Le Mans and with a bit of luck, maybe we can even grab some wins during the super season of WEC.”

“I am very happy to join the champion Rebellion team,” added three-time Le Mans winner Lotterer.

“The LMP1 project is very exciting and to be able to go on with the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the FIA WEC challenge is something I did not want to miss.

“I am motivated and looking forward to have a great time with great people there.”