Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing have become the latest high-profile team to move into Red Bull Global Rallycross after it was announced that it would run Austin Dyne‘s entry in this year’s championship.
RLL joins fellow IndyCar race winners Andretti Autosport, Bryan Herta Autosport, KVSH Racing, and Dreyer and Reinbold Racing in making the move to Red Bull GRC.
Their new rallycross team will be run out of the same base in Ohio as their successful works-BMW sports car team and will run the same M-Sport Ford Fiesta campaigned by Dyne for the last two seasons, although they are understood to be working on securing a manufacturer deal for 2018.
“We have been closely following the Global Rallycross series for the past few years but were waiting until the right opportunity came along,” said team co-owner Bobby Rahal. “We’re really happy to be entering the series with Austin. It will be a new challenge for us for sure but we have the resources to learn quickly. When you look at the demographics of the series, they are considerably younger than other forms of racing. I’ve see a couple of races before as a spectator and it’s a different form of racing for sure and very intriguing. It’s a good place for us to be because it gives us access to a different crowd and a good addition to what we’re doing as a team.”
2017 will mark the first time the Ford and Rahal names have been seen together since 2003 when the organisation, then known as Team Rahal, ran a Ford-powered Lola for Michael Jourdain Jr. in Champ Car.
The team also ran Ford-engined cars for Bobby Rahal and fellow Red Bull GRC team owner Bryan Herta in the late 1990s. Herta also previously ran Dyne’s Ford in 2015.
“Rahal Letterman Lanigan has a lot of experience in motorsports and a lot of resources that we’ve never had access to before, so I’m excited to start the 2017 season,” said Dyne, whose best finish to date is a second place at Daytona in 2015. “Last year we struggled a little early in the season due to a late start with a new team, but this year will be a much smoother transition. I will be working with the same engine engineer, chief mechanic and race engineer, Clément Mitchell, that I ended last season with. We can also fabricate parts in-house at the Ohio race shop, which will benefit our program. We had some good momentum toward the end of the year, and I am optimistic we can carry that forward for a stronger start for 2017. It will allow me to focus solely on the racing aspect for the first time in a while. I’m looking forward to working with everyone at Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, especially Bobby, who has so much experience to learn from.”