IndyCar’s Graham Rahal, NHRA’s Courtney Force engaged


Graham Rahal couldn’t wait for Christmas.

While vacationing in Venice, Italy with girlfriend Courtney Force, Rahal decided to pop the question a month early.

And it ultimately proved to be a very special Thanksgiving, as IndyCar star driver Rahal gave thanks that NHRA Funny Car star Force said “yes.”

Both drivers announced their engagement on Twitter. The couple, which has been dating for about 18 months, has not announced a wedding date yet.

Courtney, 26, is the youngest of four daughters of 16-time NHRA Funny Car champion John Force and earlier this year won the 100th event in NHRA history won by a female driver.

Graham, 25, drives for and is the son of 3-time CART champ and 1986 Indy 500 winner Bobby Rahal, who is co-owner of the Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing IndyCar team.

Congratulations to the happy couple.

It makes you wonder if Ricky Stenhouse Jr., part of motorsport’s other young power couple, will now feel the pressure to pop the question to girlfriend and fellow NASCAR Sprint Cup driver Danica Patrick for Christmas or not.

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WATCH: Red Bull F1 team completes pit stop in zero gravity

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The Red Bull Racing pit crew may have already made headlines last weekend when it completed the fastest pit stop in Formula One history, changing Max Verstappen’s tires in 1.82 seconds, but the team’s most recent stunt took their skills to new heights – quite literally.

With the help of the Russian Space agency Roscomos, a group of the team’s mechanics completed the world’s first zero-gravity pit stop, on-board a IIyushin II-76K cosmonaut training plane.

Using a 2005 BR1, the team filmed the viral video over the course of a week, enduring seven flights and about 80 parabolas – periods in which the plane climbs 45 degrees before falling again at a ballistic arch of 45 degrees, creating a period of weightlessness for approximately 22 seconds.

With such a short time frame between weightlessness periods, the car and equipment had to be both quickly and safely secured before gravity once again took effect. Each filming lasted roughly 15 seconds, and the stunt was the most physically and technically demanding activity the live demo team had ever undertaken.

“It pushed us harder than I thought it would,” said Red Bull Support Team Mechanic Joe Robinson. “You realize how much you rely on gravity when you don’t have any!

“It challenges you to think and operate in a different way – and that was brilliant. It was a once in a lifetime opportunity and honestly, I could have stayed and done it all month. It was amazing. I think it’s the coolest, most fun thing the Live Demo team has ever done with a show car.”

Though Red Bull was the first team to perform a pit stop in zero gravity, surprisingly Red Bull was not the first team to put a car through zero gravity. In 1999, McLaren driver David Coulthard and his car experienced zero gravity as part of a promotion for then-sponsor West Cigarettes.

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