Photo courtesy Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing

Former SPM GM Piers Phillips joins Rahal, Letterman, Lanigan as first president

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Former Schmidt Peterson Motorsports general manager Piers Phillips was named Thursday as the first-ever president of Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing.

After three years, Phillips stepped down from his post with SPM on October 24. The British native has enjoyed a long and successful career of more than 25 years in several forms of motorsports, particularly open-wheel and sports car racing.

“To be involved at this level with not only the Indy car program, but also the sports car program and eTROPHY was a very easy decision for me and one that I know I will thoroughly enjoy,” Phillips said in a RLL media release.

In his new role, Phillips will oversee RLL’s IndyCar Series operation, as well as its programs in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship series and the new Jaguar I-PACE eTROPHY Series.

“(Co-owners Michael Lanigan, David Letterman) and I are pleased that Piers is joining the team as its first-ever president,” team co-owner Bobby Rahal said in a statement. “His past successes speak volumes of his ability in all facets of racing and I look forward to working closely with Piers to take the team to the next level.”

Phillips’ hiring is the latest in a series of upward moves by RLL:

* For the first time since 2013, it expanded to two full-time cars in the IndyCar Series in 2018.

* Its partnership with BMW led to two wins, five podium finishes and three poles in the IMSA WeatherTech Sports Car Championship series.

* On December 15, RLL will debut its two-car program in the Jaguar I-PACE eTROPHY Series at the Ad Diriyah E Prix.

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Simona de Silvestro to become Venturi Formula E test driver

Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images
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Simona de Silvestro will become a test driver for the Venturi Formula E team for 2018/2019 season.In addition

De Silvestro previously raced limited events in the series during the 2014/2015 and 2015/2016 seasons.

I’m delighted to make my return to Formula E as a test driver for Venturi Formula E Team and I’m grateful to Susie (Wolff, team principal) and Gildo (Pastor, team president) for the opportunity,” de Silvestro said on

“Since competing in Season 2, I’ve kept a close eye on the Formula E championship and followed its development with interest,” de Silvestro continued. “The arrival of the new Gen2 car represents a huge milestone for the series and I am very happy to be back in an active role at this exciting and important time.”

De Silvestro has raced in Australian Supercars since 2017. She will continue to race in that series with Kelly Racing as she balances her time with Venturi.

The bulk of de Silvestro’s testing will be done in its simulator in Monaco.

“The next 12 months will be really busy for me with both Formula E and my Australian Supercars commitments but I’m ready for the challenge and it’s a joy to be working with such a well connected and committed team as Venturi,” de Silvestro said.

“Simona is a real team player and a driver I was keen to work with,” said team principal Wolff. “She has a very positive attitude and no-nonsense approach to her work which will fit in well with the team.”