Rahal Letterman, Ganassi to field Indy 500 entry for Lloyd
Firestone Indy Lights champ to make Indianapolis 500 debut
Rahal Letterman Racing and TargetChip Ganassi Racing announced April 9 they would work together to field an entry for 2007 Firestone Indy Lights champion Alex Lloyd for the 92nd Indianapolis 500 on Sunday, May 25.
The No. 16 Dallara/Honda/Firestone will be run out of the RLR stable for themonth of May, with the Ohio-based team working closely with TCGR to ensure that Lloyd - who is under a developmental contract with Target Chip Ganassi Racing - receives the benefit of working with engineers and mechanics from both teams.
Lloyd will attempt to make his first career Indianapolis 500 start.
"This is something that we have been wanting to do for a while now, and an opportunity with Bobby and his team is perfect for us," said Target Chip Ganassi Racing owner Chip Ganassi.
"I really think everyone is going to be hearing a lot about Alex Lloyd in the coming years. He is one of the sport's future stars."
Rahal Letterman Racing has a tradition of bringing quality young talent tothe forefront at Indianapolis, with drivers such as Buddy Rice, Vitor Meira and Danica Patrick all producing top-five runs with the team at Indy -topped by Rice's victory in 2004.
Target Chip Ganassi has enjoyed similar success at Indy, including Juan Pablo Montoya's win in 2000 in his first IndyCar Series start. The two teams have 75 combined open-wheel victories in less than two decades of competition.
"Alex Lloyd has shown that he is more than ready to take on the Indianapolis500, and we are genuinely excited about the opportunity before us as we prepare for the month of May in Indy," said RLR co-owner Bobby Rahal.
"We look forward to working with everyone at Target Chip Ganassi Racing, and we expect that this will not only help Alex but also will benefit Team Ethanol driver Ryan Hunter-Reay, who will also be making his first Indy start."
Lloyd won the Firestone Indy Lights title in dominating fashion in 2007, setting series records for victories (eight), consecutive victories (five) and top-five finishes (13).
His 171-point margin over second-place Hideki Mutoh was also the largest in series history, and his 10 career Firestone Indy Lights wins are the most in the seven-year history of the series.
"There's just something about Indy that is so very special," Lloyd said. "You want to go there to watch a race, you want to go there to race, you want to go there to win. I am looking forward to be able to race in the Indianapolis 500. I just moved to Indianapolis to be near the team and to benear this Speedway."
The combined Rahal Letterman Racing with Target Chip Ganassi Racing entry will make its debut on track at Indianapolis on Sunday, May 4 for Opening Day and the Rookie Orientation Program.