RLL reloads on engineering strength

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Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing has more new engineers for its pair of programs in 2015 in the Verizon IndyCar Series and TUDOR United SportsCar Championship.

While Bill Pappas, John Dick and Mitch Davis have moved on, taking on new roles or joining the squad are Uwe Wolf, Mike Talbott and Martin Pare.

Wolf will be starting his ninth season with the team over two employment terms and has been promoted to race engineer for the TUDOR program, of which further details should be announced later this offseason.

On the IndyCar side, Talbott and Pare have both worked with driver Graham Rahal before and are now reunited. Talbott was most recently senior trackside engineer with Wirth Research in support of Honda Performance Development’s IndyCar program and worked with Rahal at Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing (NHLR) in 2008, while Pare was Rahal’s race engineer at NHLR from 2009-2010 and at Chip Ganassi Racing in 2011-2012.

Talbott will lead the vehicle dynamics program and Pare has joined the team as head of the vehicle ride control development program.

Rahal is widely regarded as having had his best success with Pare in the NHLR years.

“I’m very pleased to elevate Uwe to the role of race engineer” Bobby Rahal, co-owner of RLL with David Letterman and Mike Lanigan, said in a team release. “Uwe has been with the company for many years and has spearheaded our damper program on the sports car side and also the Indy car side so it’s great seeing him in this new position that he has certainly earned. We look forward to great things from him.”

“We’re really pleased to bring Mike and Martin into the Indy car team,” he added. “Mike has a long, successful history in motorsports at Newman/Haas Racing and others previous to his role at Wirth Research. He brings a lot of value to the team as does Martin, who engineered Graham for nearly four years at Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing and Ganassi. Martin brings a wealth of experience and knowledge that can certainly help the performance of the team. Overall I think these are three great appointments that will help us to move to the front of the grid.”

Rahal slipped from 18th to 19th in the points standings this season, but the stats were a bit misleading as his season was better than the results indicated.