RLR On The Hook For 2009 IRL Season - Rahal Letterman Racing’s Dallara of Ryan Hunter-Reay after the accident in turn three at Indy 2008. Image Credit: Andy Sallee (2008)
Silly Season Nets Another Victim – Rahal Letterman Racing Out Of IRL
Rahal Letterman Racing has pulled out of the 2009 IndyCar Series because it cannot find a sponsor to support its program.
This action represents what has been a trend in the field of all motorsports where the depressive effects of the sub-prime mortgage crisis and its expansive economic downturn have prompted team mergers, layoffs, and outright cancellation of a team’s racing effort. Major corporations are trimming their advertising and sponsorship budgets much to the demise in the growth of all forms of motorsports.
American driver Ryan Hunter-Reay drove for RLR last season and won the race last July at Watkins Glen.
Spokesmen for Rahal Letterman Racing say it will continue to seek sponsorship as well as concentrate on its sports car alliance with BMW in the American Le Mans Series.
RLR Team Members Out Of Work For IRL 2009 Season - Rahal Letterman Racing team members at work Indy 2008. Image Credit: Andy Sallee (2008)
This excerpted and edited from The Columbus Dispatch –
Rahal Letterman Racing won't be in IRL this year
By Tim May, THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH - Thursday, January 29, 2009 11:59 AM
Hilliard's Rahal Letterman Racing team -- winner of the 2004 Indianapolis 500 -- likely won't stage an Indy Racing League effort for the 2009 season, general manager Scott Roembke said today, but it's not as if the team is shutting its doors.
The team will foot a full-season effort in the GT division of the American LeMans Series carrying the BMW banner. It just finished three days of extensive preseason testing in Sebring, Fla.
At the moment, though, the team, whose primary owner is three-time IndyCar series champ Bobby Rahal, has no sponsor for an IRL effort. Its primary sponsor from a year ago, Ethanol, pulled its support in the wake of the recession economy and efforts to land a replacement leading up to the April 5 season opener have been fruitless, Roembke said.
"At this time, we will not be in the IRL for 2009," Roembke said this morning. "But we continue to pursue sponsors for the IRL season and for the Indianapolis 500."
Rahal Letterman won the 2004 Indy 500 with driver Buddy Rice, and ushered Danica Patrick into the IRL in 2005, during which she was the Indy 500 rookie of the year. She jumped to the Andretti Green Racing team in 2007.
Rahal Letterman Down But Not Totally Out - YET
This excerpted and edited from autosport.com -
Rahal still working on 2009 funding
By Matt Beer, autosport.com - Thursday, January 29th 2009, 21:07 GMT
Rahal Letterman Racing co-owner Bobby Rahal says his team should not be counted out of the 2009 IndyCar Series despite suggestions that they would have to withdraw from the championship due to a lack of sponsorship.
"As I said in the quote from the story, as of this time we do not have any sponsorship that will allow us to compete in the IRL in 2009, but by no means does that mean that we are giving up," Rahal said.
"We are continuing to search for sponsorship to run the 2009 season and to run in the Indianapolis 500 and we feel that there is still time for us to put something together that will allow that to happen."
RLR's Indy Lights programme in conjunction with Andersen Racing is already confirmed for 2009.
... notes from The EDJE