IndyCar Driver Review: James Jakes


With the IndyCar season in the books and a limited amount of news to come since the season finale at Fontana, my MotorSportsTalk colleague Chris Estrada and are taking a look back at the 2013 season just past. Chris and I each ranked our top 10 drivers and some of the biggest stories; now we take a look back at the field driver-by-driver.

P19 and second place in Detroit Race 2, here’s James Jakes…


James Jakes

  • Team: Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
  • 2012: 22nd Place, Best Finish 8th, Best Start 12th
  • 2013: 19th Place, Best Finish 2nd, Best Start 2nd, 1 Podium, 1 Top-5, 3 Top-10, 10 Laps Led, 14.2 Avg. Start, 15.8 Avg. Finish

DiZinno says: Results do not tell the tale of how much James Jakes improved in his third season of IndyCar, and first at RLL Racing. Jakes outqualified Graham Rahal 11-8, made the Firestone Fast Six three times while Rahal made it zero, and finished only 25 points in arrears despite several mechanical DNFs. The biggest change was he actually stood out on occasion instead of simply blending into the scenery, and it improved his stock for 2014 and beyond.

Estrada says: For the first time in his IndyCar career, Jakes showed signs of breaking out from mid-pack anonymity. The British driver was especially impressive at the Belle Isle doubleheader in June, where he put up back-to-back Top-3 starts and converted the second of those into his first-ever IndyCar podium finish. It may have been a down year altogether for RLL, but at least Jakes was able to hold his own against teammate Graham Rahal and show that he’s worthy of his spot in the paddock. Let’s see if he can keep rising.