Time to give a shout-out to 1986 Indianapolis 500 winner, three-time CART champion and current IndyCar Series team owner Bobby Rahal, who celebrates his 61st birthday today.
Outside of his famous exploits in American open-wheel racing, Rahal also ran a pair of races during the 1978 Formula One World Championship and later returned to F1 for a relatively brief turn as team manager for Jaguar in 2000. Additionally, he made numerous forays into sports car racing during much of the 1980s.
But the ’86 Indy remains his signature victory. As the race headed for its climax, Rahal, Rick Mears and Kevin Cogan were the main contenders but with a handful of laps remaining, it appeared Cogan was set to drink from the glass of milk – until Arie Luyendyk’s spin with six laps to go brought out a caution.
With Rahal running second behind Cogan, the green came back out with two laps to go and Rahal managed to get the jump. Cogan was left to fend off Mears for second as Rahal pulled away to the win.
The triumph was an emotional one for him and his Truesports team, whose owner Jim Trueman was nearing the end of his battle with cancer. Trueman was in attendance for Rahal’s victory, and while he sadly passed away just days later, he was able to experience a moment of pure joy at the Brickyard with his driver.
Currently, Rahal oversees the Rahal Letterman Lanigan operation, which is seeking a second driver to race alongside his son, Graham, in the upcoming IndyCar season.
Doubling down on their commitment to electric auto sports, McLaren Racing announced Jake Hughes will join Rene Rast to compete in the 2023 Formula E Series (FE), which completes their driver lineup.
The NEOM McLaren FE team was formed by the acquisition of the Mercedes-EQ Formula E team that won the 2021 and 2022 championships with Stoffel Vandoorne and Nyck de Vries behind the wheel.
“Today’s announcement feels like a long time coming,” said Ian James, managing director of NEOM McLaren Electric Racing in a release. “Since May this year, when we first announced McLaren Racing’s entry into Formula E, we have been working tirelessly to get in place the best possible team and structure for sustainable success.
“On the one hand, we have been working on the retention of the amazing talent that already was in place before going into the transitional phase. I’m proud to say I think we’ve done a great job on that front.
“On the other hand, we have been focusing on putting in place new processes and new talent – and the latter includes the drivers.”
The driver lineup clasps the two hands together.
Hughes brings 10 years racing experience in single seater cars, including a role with the acquired Mercedes-EQ team as a reserve and development driver for the past two seasons. He is the 2013 BRDC Formula 4 champion and has multiple wins in Formula 2, including two in 2020.
Announced in August, Rast joins the team after earning two podium finishes and six top-fives in 22 career Formula E starts for Audi Sport ABT before returning to the DTM Series last year. Rast’s best finish in Formula E came in the Puebla E Prix when he finished second to teammate Lucas di Grassi by less than a half second.
McLaren’s commitment to Formula E comes one year after they entered the Extreme E rally series in 2022 with Tanner Foust and Emma Gilmour in the driver lineup. After a modest start to the season, the McLaren XE drivers crossed the finish line first in Round 4 in Chile, but were assessed a time penalty that dropped them to fifth. Last week in the season finale in Uruguay, they held onto a hard-earned second place finish.