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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)
Justin Wilson at the 99th running of the Indianapolis 500 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Sunday May 24 2015. (Photo by: Eric Anderson for IndyCar Media)
Juan Pablo Montoya, driver of the #2 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet V-6 IndyCar, and his team perform the traditional kissing of the bricks after racing to victory Sunday, May 24, 2015, winning the Indianapolis 500 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Indiana. Montoya went from near-last to first, winning the Indy 500 for the second time in his career. Chevrolet powered the top four cars in the race. (Photo by Michael L. Levitt/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Juan Pablo Montoya, driver of the #2 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet V-6 IndyCar, drinks the traditional bottle of milk while celebrating his victory Sunday, May 24, 2015, winning the Indianapolis 500 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Indiana. Montoya went from near-last to first, winning the Indy 500 for the second time in his career. Chevrolet powered the top four cars in the race. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Juan Pablo Montoya, driver of the #2 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet V-6 IndyCar, celebrates his victory Sunday, May 24, 2015, winning the Indianapolis 500 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Indiana. Montoya went from near-last to first, winning the Indy 500 for the second time in his career. Chevrolet powered the top four cars in the race. (Photo by Scott R. LePage/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Juan Pablo Montoya, driver of the #2 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet V-6 IndyCar, crosses the finish line as he races to victory Sunday, May 24, 2015, winning the Indianapolis 500 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Indiana. Montoya went from near-last to first, winning the Indy 500 for the second time in his career. Will Power (left), driver of the #1 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet, finishes second. Chevrolet powered the top four cars in the race. (Photo by Andy Frame/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Juan Pablo Montoya is congratulated by his Penske team mate Helio Castroneves after clinching victory in the 99th running of the Indianapolis 500 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Sunday May 24 2015. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Will Power on pit road during the 99th running of the Indianapolis 500 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Sunday May 24 2015. (Photo by: Dana Garrett for IndyCar Media)
Penske team mates Juan Pablo Montoya and Will Power race side-by-wide during the 99th running of the Indianapolis 500 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Sunday May 24 2015. (Photo by: Jim Haines for IndyCar Media)
Juan Pablo Montoya crosses the line ahead of Penske team mate Will Power to win the 99th running of the Indianapolis 500 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Sunday May 24 2015. (Photo by: Bret Kelley for IndyCar Media)
James Davison on track on Carb Day at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Friday May 22 2015. (Photo by: Jim Haines for IndyCar Media)
Justin Wilson resplendent in the Rolling Stones livery for the #25 Andretti Autosport Honda in pit lane on Carb Day at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Friday May 22 2015. (Photo by: Jim Haines for IndyCar Media)
Justin Wilson resplendent in the Rolling Stones livery for the #25 Andretti Autosport Honda on track on Carb Day at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Friday May 22 2015. (Photo by: Jim Haines for IndyCar Media)
Will Power, Mark Miles and Derrick Walker announce the addition of Boston to the 2016 IndyCar Series itinerary. (Photo by: Bret Kelley for IndyCar Media)
Ryan Briscoe steps into the #5 Schmidt Peterson Motorsport Honda in place of the injured James Hinchcliffe. Indianapolis Motor Speedway, May 21 2015. (Photo by: Joe Skibinski for IndyCar Media)

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