John Dick joins RLL’s IndyCar team as R&D chief

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The Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing IndyCar team already bolstered its engineering staff when it announced Bill Pappas would join the team last fall.

It’s added to that personnel enhancement with Thursday’s confirmation John Dick, like Pappas, is also coming over to RLL from Dale Coyne Racing.

Dick will take over as RLL’s Head of Research and Development, replacing Gerry Hughes, who was reassigned midway through 2013. Hughes returns to England after two years in America with the RLL squad.

Dick, who has over 37 years of racing experience, was the race engineer for Team Rahal driver Max Papis in 2001, and the combination produced two wins and one pole. With Coyne last year, Dick engineered the No. 18 Honda, which won Detroit Race 1 with Mike Conway.

“It’s great to have John back with the team,” team co-owner Bobby Rahal said in a release. “His experience and knowledge is a great compliment to the existing staff we have assembled with race engineers Bill Pappas and Eddie Jones. John is a key element to our plan to expand our technical department and will oversee testing and development.”

Pappas and Jones will continue to engineer RLL’s two Honda-powered cars, the second of which still does not have a confirmed driver.

Graham Rahal teased a “personnel” move at the Rolex 24 at Daytona over the weekend.

INDYCAR: Josef Newgarden quickest again in second practice at Road America

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Josef Newgarden continued to be quickest around Road America, first this morning and again this afternoon in the second practice session for Sunday’s KOHLER Grand Prix.

Newgarden had a best lap in the second session of 1:42.6279, followed by rookie Robert Wickens (1:42.9025), Sebastien Bourdais (1:43.0020), Will Power (1:43.0545) and teammate Simon Pagenaud (1:43.1599).

Sixth through 10th were Graham Rahal (1:43.1995), Scott Dixon (1:43.4212), Ryan Hunter-Reay (1:43.4755), Takuma Sato (1:43.5410) and Marco Andretti (1:43.6221).

One significant incident of note occurred during the session when Alfonso Celis Jr., making his IndyCar debut this weekend, lost control coming out of a turn and slammed into the tire wall, causing damage to his suspension.

The third and final practice session of the weekend will be Saturday at Noon E.T., followed by qualifying later in the afternoon.

The race will take the green flag on Sunday shortly after 1 p.m. ET. It will be televised live on NBCSN.

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