Jourdain Returns To RLL For Indy 500
BROWNSBURG, Ind. – Michel Jourdain Jr. will once again partner with Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing for the 2013 Indianapolis 500.
Jourdain has a long history with Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, scoring two Champ Car World Series victories with the team as well as racing in the 2012 Indianapolis 500 in an RLL entry.
Office Depot Mexico returns as the primary sponsor of Jourdain’s No. 17 entry and Grupo Indi and Grupo Multi return as associate sponsors.
“I am very happy to compete in the Indianapolis 500 again,” said Jourdain. “It has been a year since I have been in the car but I will take the same strategy as last year and build up speed little by little. We have good confidence because we ran pretty well last year, especially Takuma (Sato). I’m sure the car will be really good and with it being a three car team we should be able to progress much faster. I’m happy to be working with Bobby and the guys again as well as with Bruno (Couprie) my engineer, who I worked with last year.
“I have worked with Office Depot Mexico for over 11 years now and I am thankful that they will be the primary sponsor again. I’m also happy to have Grupo Indi and Grupo Multi back again as associate sponsors. Hopefully we can give them all a great result in the Indy 500.”
Jourdain, who is from Mexico City, returns to competition for the first time since the 2012 Indianapolis 500 where he qualified 22nd and finished 19th. He became the youngest driver to start a Champ Car race to date when he drove at Long Beach in 1996 at the age of 19 years, six months and 12 days old.
He made 152 starts in CART and Champ Car from 1996-2004 plus three Indy Racing League starts, including the 1996 Indy 500 where he qualified eighth and finished 13th and the 1996 race in Las Vegas where he finished second in a 28-car field.
He won races in Montreal and Milwaukee in 2003 with Team Rahal and moved to RuSPORT for 2004 when Team Rahal focused solely on the Indy Racing League that season. With support from Ford Motor Company, he moved to NASCAR’s Nationwide Series from 2005-2008 and also competed in the Camping World Truck Series in 2006. Since then, he competed in various rally and sports car series.
“I am very pleased to have Michel join the team again for the Indy 500,” said team co-owner Bobby Rahal. “I think that last year for his first race back after a number of years out of an Indy car, he did a very good job. We made a bad pit call last year and let him down frankly which put him a lap down. He quickly got with the program at Indy and was running competitively in the race and I think that one year later most of the rust is off and he will be much more prepared because he knows what to expect.
“From a car standpoint, we should be even more competitive than we were last year so I am really pleased to have Michel back. He is a great young guy and it’s a pleasure to have him, Office Depot Mexico, Grupo Indi and Grupo Multi back. It should be a good event for everybody,” Rahal said.
Jourdain will return to the cockpit of an Indy car on Opening Day for the 97th Running of the Indianapolis 500 on May 11.