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Mike Conway to return for Long Beach

Britain's Mike Conway is to make a one-off return to the IndyCar Series after being handed a seat for the Long Beach street race - the event he won in 2011.
Mike Conway is to have at least one outing in the IZOD IndyCar Series in 2013, after Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing handed the British driver a seat for April's race on the streets of Long Beach.

Conway won the event in 2011 with a thrilling series of late-race overtakes at a succession of restarts, while driving for the Andretti Autosport team. Conway moved to AJ Foyt Racing in 2012 and despite a solid year he surprised everyone by opting to pull out of the season finale at Auto Club Speedway after confessing he no longer felt happy driving on ovals.

As a result, it was thought that he would not be back in the IndyCar Series in 2013, but Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing has decided to tap his race-winning skills at Long Beach to their advantage.

“I am very happy to announce I will be racing with Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing in the upcoming event at Long Beach in April,” confirmed Conway on Monday. "The team has proven their speed and technical excellence in the past and I can't wait to start working with everybody."

Conway has already worked with race engineer Eddie Jones, who was Marco Andretti's engineer at Andretti Autosport, pointing out: "We would debrief as a group. He knows his stuff and has been around a long time so it should be fun working together."

Team co-owner Bobby Rahal revealed that he'd tried hard to get Conway on board at RLL before now.

"In 2011, Mike Lanigan and I met with Mike and his representatives and were really working hard to get him into the team but it didn't work out," the Indy 500 winner explained. "Fortunately we are able to do so now. Mike is a very good driver and I think he will be very competitive in our environment."

At Long Beach, Conway will be driving alongside the team's regular driver, Bobby's son Graham Rahal. “He and Graham get along well so it's a real one-two punch for us," said Bobby.

As for his future plans, Conway was quick to say that Long Beach wasn't a final swan song encore for him, and that despite deciding not to race on ovals again in the future he hoped that he would continue to race in the IZOD IndyCar Series at road and street course events.

"I hope to add more races for the upcoming season but in the meantime, I look forward to getting back on a circuit that I previously won on!” he confirmed.

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
IZOD IndyCar Series driver Mike Conway (#14 AJ Foyt Enterprises) (c) 2012 Michael L. Levitt, LAT Photo (Photo credit: INDYCAR/LAT USA)
Wade Cunningham in Mike Conway`s #14 car during rookie orientation for the 96th running of the Indianapolis 500. 10 May, 2012, Indianapolis, Indiana, USA. (c) 2012, F. Peirce Williams.LAT Photo USA (Photo credit: INDYCAR/LAT USA)
Three of the Andretti Autosport drivers compare notes during Friday Practice at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on May 20. [Picture credit: Shawn Gritzmacher for IndyCar Media]
Mike Conway in pit lane before claiming fourth place on the grid for Sunday`s race on the streets of Toronto. July 2011. [Picture credit: Jim Haines for IndyCar Media]
Photo by Dan Helrigel - IndyCar Media - The winner of the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, Andretti Autosports` Mike Conway.
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KGBVD - Unregistered

January 31, 2013 5:50 PM

Mike Conway, winner of Biggest Bonehead Award 2012. Honestly, what would your employer say if you walked up to them and said that you don't feel comfortable performing half of your duties anymore??? He'd fire you. And this nonsense at a time when there are dozens upon dozens of talented drivers out there without open wheel rides clamouring for the chance. Racers need b*lls and bravery. And Mike has already lost his at the age of 29. Spooked horsed don't race, and neither should Mike.

KGBVD - Unregistered

February 01, 2013 5:11 PM

I'm sorry, I thought he got paid to do a job. I didn't realize he was afforded the opportunity to be picky. If a firefighter 'isn't comfortable' running into burning buildings, do you know what he has to do? Stop being a firefighter. At least JYS did something about being uncomfortable.

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