LONG BEACH, Calif. – An iconic name in motorsports returns to the arena starting this weekend at Long Beach, as Theodore Racing – founded by Teddy Yip – will partner with Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing.
The team’s release is below, with a formal unveil of the car to follow later today at the Hyatt Regency Long Beach:
Theodore Racing returns to the Verizon IndyCar Series to contest three rounds of the 2016 season; Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach; Angie’s List Grand Prix of Indianapolis and the 100th running of the iconic Indianapolis 500.
Teddy Yip’s Theodore Racing will make its return to the IndyCar Series, America’s premier motor racing category, at Long Beach. Following a 31-year absence, the team will partner Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing to support full-time driver Graham Rahal who will be joined at the Grand Prix of Indianapolis and Indy 500 by teammate, Spencer Pigot.
The Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, held on April 17th, is a race Teddy Yip Sr. was instrumental in creating and one where he felt most at home. Teddy Sr. held one of his most flamboyant events at Long Beach harbour, launching his 1981 Formula One and Indy car challengers aboard the Queen Mary ahead of the Grand Prix.
Theodore Racing’s three-race campaign continues for the Grand Prix of Indianapolis on May 14 before peaking at the Indy 500 on May 29 where Graham Rahal’s No. 15 Honda will be entered under ‘Rahal Letterman Lanigan with Theodore Racing.’ Graham, who finished as top Honda driver in the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series and is considered a contender for the 2016 Indy 500 victory, will display the Theodore Racing logo on both his car and race overalls in homage to the team’s entries of the 1970s and 1980s.
Teddy Sr. entered or sponsored Indy car teams and drivers between 1977 and 1984, achieving an Indy 500 victory with Tom Sneva in 1983. The decision for Theodore Racing’s return to America was taken by Yip’s son Teddy Jr., who has ambitions for his late father’s team to become a permanent fixture in the IndyCar Series paddock. Teddy Jr. revived the Theodore Racing name in 2013 when the team made a victorious return to the Macau F3 Grand Prix, an event the marque has now won a record eight times.
Teddy Jr., who has also enjoyed success in the A1GP World Cup, Formula One feeder series’ GP2 and GP3 and the Le Mans 24 Hours, commented, “Indy car and American racing was extremely important to my father and in many ways it was his second home. This year’s Indy 500 marks an important anniversary, and it’s fitting that the Theodore name is an active part of the celebrations.
“Partnering with Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing makes perfect sense. Bobby knew my father and much like myself, Graham is part of a new generation hoping to continue a legacy and make his own mark in the history books. The IndyCar Series is certainly on the up and many European teams and drivers are now looking across the pond to the series. We’ve achieved some success in Asia and Europe so I’m very excited to be America’s latest import and work with such a professional team and talented driver.”
RLL team founder Bobby Rahal, who celebrates the 30th anniversary of his 1986 Indy 500 victory this year, said “What an honor it is to have Theodore Racing back in Indy car racing and with us at Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing. We are so appreciative to Teddy Yip Jr. and his staff for entrusting the historic legacy of the Theodore name with our team. I knew his father and while I never actually drove for him, many of the greatest drivers that went on to Formula One, Formula 5000 and other categories, did drive for Teddy Yip Sr. and Theodore Racing. We are really thrilled to have Teddy Jr. bring Theodore Racing back to North America, and especially for them to have selected our team to do it with.”
THEODORE RACING FACTS
- Teddy Yip Sr. founded Theodore Racing in 1973, he went on to run 4 x future F1 World Champions – Ayrton Senna, Keke Rosberg, Mika Hakkinen, Alan Jones
- Theodore Racing sponsored and entered cars in a myriad of championships including Formula 1, IndyCar, Formula 3, Formula Atlantic and Formula 5000
- Theodore Racing last competed in an IndyCar race at Portland in 1985
- Teddy Sr. was instrumental in securing the inaugural Long Beach GP with organizer Chris Pook
- Teddy Yip Sr. loved American racing and formed close friendships with Bobby Unser and many other legendary drivers. Bobby wrote the foreword in Teddy’s biography ‘From Macau to the World and back’
- Teddy invited IndyCar drivers including Bobby Rahal to drive in the 1989 Macau Race of Champions
- Teddy Yip Jr. revived Theodore Racing in 2013, winning on his Macau F3 return and achieving a record eighth victory in 2015 with Felix Rosenqvist
- Teddy Jr. is passionate about Theodore Racing’s return to IndyCar and intends to grow his partnerships in the coming years
- Teddy Yip Sr. was not present at Teddy Jr’s birth as he was at the 1982 Indy 500!