Graham Rahal will be joining the family business for the 2013 IZOD IndyCar Series season, after confirming that he is leaving Chip Ganassi Racing to team up with his father Bobby at Rahal Letterman Lanigan next year.
"It's awfully exciting for me, it's a great opportunity to be a part of this team," said the 23-year-old. "For me, it's a bit of a fresh outlook, really. As I look towards next year and beyond, this is a great group and a great organisation here, and everybody is aimed to achieve the same goal, which is to win races and championships. I think together we can do so."
"I think he's one of the best drivers out there," said his father, a former Indianapolis 500 in his day. "If we take away the father-son aspect, I think any team would want him driving their car.
"I'm super pleased with Graham, because I think that together we can achieve a lot of great things both on and off the track, so we're really thrilled to have him driving the car," he added. "I'm confident we can create the environment that he needs to excel, and that's our commitment to him and I think we're going to have a lot of success as a result."
Both Rahals had been wary of teaming up too early in Graham's career, with Graham needing to establish himself in the sport before becoming too firmly associated with the family business.
“I have been asked when I was going to drive for my dad's team my whole life,” admitted Graham. "Dad brought it up by saying 'You just need to come drive for me' ... That's when we sat down and said, 'Hey, this really does make the most sense.'"
“As I said all along, I felt it was better for him to get his experience with different teams and I think it's paid off for him," said Bobby Rahal. "I think he's a much better driver because of it. It has matured him because he was not dealing with family. He was dealing with professionals and people who had expectations."
"We thought now was the right time most importantly because I've raced for other teams for a long time, I've been a part of different organisations and I've built my own name in the sport," agreed Graham. "But I needed to take it to the next level and Dad's team has that uncanny ability to do that and that's what I'm looking forward to."
"We're very optimistic that great things will happen for Graham and for our team," added team co-owner Mike Lanigan. "First of all, we had him in '06 in Atlantics, he won. We had him in '08 in the IRL. He won his first race in St. Petersburg.