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Jakes to race for Rahal Letterman Lanigan

But to many in the industry, RLL's selection of the 25-year-old driver from Leeds will come as something of a surprise. In his 31 races to date in the IndyCar, Jakes' best result was eighth place in last year's street race in Toronto, coming just weeks after his first top ten result in the championship at Texas Motor Speedway.

"James is obviously an aggressive, competitive driver and I think that having both he and Graham on board raises the performance of the team as a whole," insisted Rahal.

But although he's had a quiet first two years in IndyCar, he's also been consistent finisher and was notably improving throughout his sophomore season. Before his move to the States, he had successful stints in the British Formula 3 Series and Formula 3 Euro Series in 2007-2008, followed by appearances in the GP2 Asia Series and a full season in GP3. He finished the latter in eighth place in the final standings, despite missing four races because of injury.

As well as Jakes and Graham Rahal, the team has announced that it will also enter another British driver - Mike Conway - into the Long Beach event in April. Conway won the event in 2011 and raced for AJ Foyt Racing in 2012 but announced at the end of last year that he was no longer happy competing on ovals; RLL has indicated that they hope to run Conway in more road and street courses in the upcoming season in the financial arrangements fall into place.

Dale Coyne Racing has not formally announced any drivers for the new season, although it is expected to retain Justin Wilson in one of the cars for a second season. Wilson won last year's event at Texas for Dale Coyne, although the victory was slightly marred by post-race penalties for illegal bodywork being run on the car.

IN other team news, it's expected that EJ Viso will be added to the Andretti Autosport line-up in 2013. The Venezuelan driver - who has completed five years in IndyCar, two with HVM and most recently a hat-trick of seasons at KV Racing Technology - would be in a fourth Andretti car, as the team will be keeping Marco Andretti and James Hinchcliffe alongside their newly crowned champion Ryan Hunter-Reay for the new season.

The biggest name currently without an announced deal for the new season is Ryan Briscoe, who may be running out of options as it seems that Team Penske is being forced to downsize to a two=car operation this season with Will Power and Helio Castroneves already confirmed in the two cars.



Related Pictures

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James Jakes in the #19 Boy Scouts of America Dale Coyne Honda during pre-season testing at Sebring. March 2012. [Photo Credit: Michael Levitt - LAT for IndyCar Media]
James Jakes in the #19 during the Indy 500 Rookie Orientation Program on 10 May, 2012. (c) 2012, F. Peirce Williams.LAT Photo USA [Photo Credit: INDYCAR/LAT USA]
James Jakes during practice for the 96th running of the Indianapolis 500. 12-27 May, 2012, Indianapolis, Indiana, USA. (c) 2012, Michael L. Levitt, LAT Photo USA (Photo credit: INDYCAR/LAT USA)
IZOD IndyCar Series driver James Jakes (#19 Dale Coyne Racing) (c) 2012 Michael L. Levitt, LAT Photo (Photo credit: INDYCAR/LAT USA)
Chevrolet sweeps the podium with winner Mike Conway (center), driver of the #20 Fuzzy`s Ultra Premium Vodka / Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrating his victory Sunday, July 20, 2014 during the second of two IndyCar Series races through the streets of Exhibition Place, in Toronto, Canada. Tony Kanaan (left), driver of the #10 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet celebrates his second-place finish. Will Power, driver of the #12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet celebrates his third-place finish. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Mike Conway, Tony Kanaan and Will Power celebrate on the podium after the second round of the Honda Indy Toronto doubleheader on Sunday July 20 2014. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Mike Conway, Tony Kanaan and Will Power pose for a selfie on the podium after the second round of the Honda Indy Toronto doubleheader on Sunday July 20 2014. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Tony Kanaan and Will Power pose for a selfie on the podium after the second round of the Honda Indy Toronto doubleheader on Sunday July 20 2014. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Chevy Racing sweeps the podium with race winner Sebastien Bourdais (center), driver of the #11 Hydroxycut KVC Racing Technology Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrating his victory Sunday, July 20, 2014 during the first of two IndyCar Series races in Toronto, Canada. Second-place finisher Helio Castroneves (left), driver of the #3 PPV Automotive Refinish Team Penske Chevrolet, and third-place finisher Tony Kanaan, driver of the #10 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet, join the celebration. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
The nose cone of Grahan Rahal`s car on pit lane. (Photo by: Eric Anderson for IndyCar Media.)
James Hinchcliffe`s car in Canadian mode (Photo By Chris Owens for IndyCar media)
Will Power, driver of the #12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, races to a fourteenth-place finish Saturday, July 13, 2014 at the Iowa Speedway in Newton, Iowa. Power lost the championship points lead to teammate Helio Castroneves, driver of the #3 Hitachi Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, who finished eighth. (Photo by Dan Streck/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Tony Kanaan, driver of the #10 TNT Energy Drink Ganassi Racing Chevrolet V6, races to a third-place finish Saturday, July 12, 2014 at the Iowa Speedway in Newton, Iowa. Helio Castroneves, driver of the #3 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet V6, takes over the championship points lead with an eighth-place finish. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Helio Castroneves, driver of the #3 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet V6, took over the championship points lead with an eighth-place finish Saturday, July 12, 2014 at the Iowa Speedway in Newton, Iowa. (Photo by Brett Moist/LAT for Chevy Racing)
The #28 Andretti Autosport team celebrates victory (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Helio Castroneves, driver of the #3 Hitachi Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, qualifies third Friday, July 11, 2014 for Saturday`s race at the Iowa Speedway in Newton, Iowa.  (Photo by Brett Moist/LAT for Chevy Racing)
James Hinchcliffe on course during practice for the Iowa Corn Indy 300 at Iowa Speedway (Photo by: Shawn Gritzmacher for IndyCar Media)
Justin Wilson and Charlie Kimball go side-by-side for the start of the Pocono INDYCAR 500 (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)

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