The 33-year-old has been an Indy racing common since 2007, the ultimate season of Champ Automobile earlier than its unification with the Indy Racing League, and gained six races in that point – all however one for the RLL outfit that he joined in 2013.
His greatest season with the crew thus far got here in 2015, when Rahal scored two wins to complete fourth within the championship regardless of operating a solo automobile.
Rahal hasn’t gained a race since 2017, however has been a fixture within the prime 10 within the drivers’ standings, ending seventh in 2021 with a greatest end of third at Texas.
Talking previous to the 2022 season that will get underway in St. Petersburg this weekend, Rahal acknowledged that he was “getting nearer to the tip” of his profession and that discussions had been held about the way forward for the crew co-owned by his father, three-time IndyCar champion Bobby Rahal, David Letterman and Mike Lanigan.
RLL has constructed a brand new headquarters in Zionsville, Indiana, and Rahal stated this funding had been the immediate for future discussions. The crew’s final win got here on the 2020 Indianapolis 500 with Takuma Sato.
“I am getting nearer to the tip, I feel everyone knows that,” Rahal stated.
“Within the place I am at in my profession now, I’d say I am positively centered on profitable greater than ever earlier than. I am centered on being team-mate.
“I am additionally centered on serving to construct this crew. It by no means actually was my mindset that sometime I’d be a crew proprietor, however the minute that constructing was constructed, I received a telephone name from Mike and my dad.
“It was very clear that the expectation is that I’ll assume that position with Pat Lanigan.
Graham Rahal, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
Picture by: IndyCar Sequence
“I am centered on how we get the crew to the subsequent stage as effectively. There’s loads to consider, to undergo, however positively [I’ll have] extra of a senior position.
“I’ve received to form of be the man now to attempt to lead the cost slightly bit.
“While you’re youthful you do not actually take into consideration these issues, definitely after I was simply centered on me, my automobile, my crew.
“I will be fairly egocentric after I say we actually need the #15 automobile to be profitable on a regular basis. On the similar time, it is essential that we get this crew headed on down the proper path as I creep up in age right here slightly bit.”
RLL has develop into a three-car IndyCar operation for 2022, with Jack Harvey and Christian Lundgaard becoming a member of to exchange the Dale Coyne Racing-bound Sato, whereas it has additional deepened its ties with BMW in sportscars.
The crew has run GT vehicles for the German marque since 2009 and runs a two-car manufacturing facility programme within the IMSA SportsCar Championship’s GTD Professional class with the brand new M4 GT3. Subsequent 12 months, it’s going to marketing campaign two of BMW’s forthcoming LMDh prototypes within the GTP division.
“We have been very lucky as an organisation to see great development,” stated Rahal.
“I feel again a lot to 2015. Sure, we had success, however we had no cash, no sponsors, to the place we’re at present, now increasing to 3 vehicles.
“We’ve got our new constructing which goes to be an announcement definitely to our focus and seriousness about going out and profitable. I feel it has been actually, actually good.”
Graham Rahal, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Honda
Picture by: Barry Cantrell / Motorsport Images
In the meantime, Rahal has set his sights on a title problem in 2022, believing he can be taught from his team-mates – with US-based Harvey particularly “far more concerned than what I am used to in Indianapolis” from Sato.
“I positively assume we’re a championship contender; we should always have been final 12 months,” stated Rahal.
“Clearly, the double factors race at Indy  actually, actually harm us [when his car shed a wheel following a pit stop and crashed into the wall], however we’re simply going to verify we don’t have these mishaps once more.
“I anticipate us to be in championship rivalry.
“I felt that final 12 months we ended our season actually, very well and I feel it units us up properly as we go into this season and attempt to stick with it that momentum.
“The fellows have been doing a tremendous job within the pits, we have been racing extraordinarily effectively and so we simply wish to preserve that going into St. Pete.
“We’re excited; we really feel that we’re one of many vehicles to beat and really feel like we’re going to be up entrance persistently and hopefully get some wins early within the season and carry that momentum all through the entire 12 months.”