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2013 Indy 500: Michel Jourdain Jr. re-teams with Rahal

Michel Jourdain Jr. is to return to the Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing team for a third attempt at the Indianapolis 500 next month.
Mexican racer Michel Jourdain Jr. is to return to the IZOD IndyCar Series next month after announcing a deal putting him in the #17 Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing car for next month's Indianapolis 500, with primary sponsorship from Office Depot Mexico.

It will be Jourdain's third attempt at the Indy 500. His first was back in 1996, and he didn't return again for 16 years until last year's race when he paired up with the Rahal team for the first time. Because of the long interval between races, Jourdain had to complete the mandatory Rookie Orientation Programme before being allowed to qualify, but that will not be the case this year despite not having raced in the series since.

“I am very happy to compete in the Indianapolis 500 again,” said Jourdain. "It has been a year since I have been in the car but I will take the same strategy as last year and build up speed little by little."

Joudain qualified in 22nd position for the 2012 Indy 500 and went on to finish the race in 19th place just ahead of Sebastien Bourdais, albeit a lap off the pace of the leaders. His Rahal team mate last year, Takuma Sato, challenge for the lead of the race going into the final lap but crashed while tangling with eventual race winner Dario Franchitti.

"We have good confidence because we ran pretty well last year, especially Takuma," said Jourdain, who this year will be joined at Indianapolis Motor Speedway by the team's regular lead driver Graham Rahal, son of team co=owner Bobby Rahal. "I'm sure the car will be really good and with it being a three car team we should be able to progress much faster.

"I'm happy to be working with Bobby and the guys again as well as with Bruno [Couprie] my engineer, who I worked with last year," he added, also thanking his sponsors for making his 2013 into the 97th running of the iconic race financially viable.

"I have worked with Office Depot Mexico for over 11 years now and I am thankful that they will be the primary sponsor again," he said. "I'm also happy to have Grupo Indi and Grupo Multi back again as associate sponsors. Hopefully we can give them all a great result in the Indy 500."

“I am very pleased to have Michel join the team again for the Indy 500,” said Bobby Rahal. “I think that last year for his first race back after a number of years out of an Indy car, he did a very good job.

"We made a bad pit call last year and let him down frankly which put him a lap down," Rahal recalled. "He quickly got with the program at Indy and was running competitively in the race and I think that one year later most of the rust is off and he will be much more prepared because he knows what to expect.

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Michel Jourdain Jr. in the cockpit of the #30 Office Depot RLL Racing at Indianapolis Motor Speedway - 10 May 2012. (Photo credit: Michael L. Levitt for INDYCAR/LAT USA.) (c) 2012
Michel Jourdain Jr. at the wheel of the #30 Office Depot RLL Racing at Indianapolis Motor Speedway - 10 May 2012. (Photo credit: F. Peirce Williams for INDYCAR/LAT USA.) (c) 2012
Michel Jourdain Jr. at the wheel of the #30 Office Depot RLL Racing at Indianapolis Motor Speedway - 12-17 May 2012. (Photo credit: Dan R. Boyd for INDYCAR/LAT USA.) (c) 2012
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