Rahal_thumb.png Full Name Robert ‘Bobby’ Woodward Rahal
Nationality American
Born 10 January 1953, Medina (USA)
Died
Website Official Website
Twitter @bobrahal
Instagram
First Grand Prix 1978 United States East GP Last Grand Prix 1978 Canadian Grand Prix
Grands Prix  2 Non-starts  0
Wins  0 Podiums  0
Best Finish  12th, 1978 United States East GP Points  0
Fastest Laps  0 Best Qualifying  20th (x2)
Retirements  1 Laps Led  0

Career Highlights

1977 Formula Atlantic Championship, 2nd overall
1978 Formula 1, Wolf Racing Cosworth V8 WR5/WR1, 2 races, 0 points, Not Classified
1982 IndyCar Series, Truesports Co. March Cosworth 82C, 10 races, 2 wins, 6 podiums, 2nd overall
1983 IndyCar Series, Truesports Co. March Cosworth/Chevrolet 83C, 12 races, 1 win, 3 podiums, 5th overall
1984 IndyCar Series, Truesports Co. March Cosworth 84C, 16 races, 2 wins, 5 podiums, 3rd overall
1985 IndyCar Series, Truesports Co. March Cosworth 85C, 15 races, 3 wins, 4 podiums, 3rd overall
1986 IndyCar Series, Truesports Co. March Cosworth 86C, 17 races, 6 wins, 8 podiums, 1st overall
  Indianapolis 500, Truesports Co. March Cosworth 86C, 1st overall
1987 IndyCar Series, Truesports Co. Lola Cosworth T87/00, 15 races, 3 wins, 10 podiums, 1st overall
1988 IndyCar Series, Truesports Co. Lola Judd T88/00, 15 races, 1 win, 5 podiums, 3rd overall
1989 IndyCar Series, Kraco Racing Lola Cosworth T89/00, 15 races, 1 win, 3 podiums, 9th overall
1990 IndyCar Series, Galles-Kraco Racing Lola Chevrolet T90/00, 16 races, 7 podiums, 4th overall
  Indianapolis 500, Galles-Kraco Racing Lola Chevrolet T90/00, 2nd overall
1991 IndyCar Series, Galles-Kraco Racing Lola Chevrolet T91/00, 17 races, 1 win, 11 podiums, 2nd overall
1992 IndyCar Series, Rahal-Hogan Racing Lola Chevrolet T92/00, 16 races, 4 wins, 10 podiums, 1st overall
1993 IndyCar Series, Rahal-Hogan Racing RH/Lola Chevrolet T93/00, 15 races, 3 podiums, 4th overall
1994 IndyCar Series, Rahal-Hogan Racing Lola Honda T94/00, 16 races, 2 podiums, 10th overall
  Indianapolis 500, Rahal-Hogan Racing Penske Ilmor PC-22, 3rd overall
1995 IndyCar Series, Rahal-Hogan Racing Lola Mercedes-Benz T95/00, 17 races, 5 podiums, 3rd overall
Indianapolis 500, Rahal-Hogan Racing Lola Mercedes-Benz T95/00, 3rd overall
1996 IndyCar Series, Team Rahal Reynard Mercedes-Benz 96i, 16 races, 3 podiums, 7th overall
1997 CART, Team Rahal Reynard Ford 97i, 17 races, 1 podium, 12th overall
1998 CART, Team Rahal Reynard Ford 98i, 19 races, 1 podium, 10th overall
2000-1 Formula 1, Jaguar Racing, Team Principal

 

Bobby Rahal, 1978 Canadian Grand Prix

Biography

Bobby Rahal was refreshingly different from many prospective American drivers trying to crack Formula 1: he had both an interest in road courses and a preparedness to go to Europe to compete against the best drivers in the world.

The only man who could give Gilles Villeneuve a run for his money in Formula Atlantic, Bobby ventured to Europe in the late 1970s for a succession of Formula 3 races under the management of Walter Wolf Racing. He impressed enough to be given a run in the team’s F1 operation in the closing North American races of 1978, finishing 12th at Watkins Glen and retiring from the Canadian GP, having been forced to use the original Wolf chassis (on loan from a museum!) after destroying the usual chassis during practice.

He returned to Europe in 1979 for Formula 2 competition, achieving some good results in uncompetitive machinery, but gave up his F1 dreams when he took up CanAm racing in 1980, which would lead to major success in endurance events, such as a win at the Daytona 24 Hours.

From 1982 onwards, he was a mainstay in the IndyCar racing scene, incredibly winning two races and finishing second overall in his debut season. He won the 1986 Indy 500 with a dramatic pass for the lead with two laps to run en route to winning the title, and claimed the championship crown again in 1987 and 1992. He raced until retirement in 1998, taking 24 wins from 246 starts.

Rahal’s other feats have been in team management, and again reflecting his driving career, his stint in F1 management was equally short and unsuccessful.

Highly regarded for his management skills in the North American motorsport scene, he was hired by Jaguar Racing during the 2000 season. But the project dramatically failed to gel and he was fired after 18 months, although he almost pulled off a major coup when he nearly signed star designer Adrian Newey during the 2001 season (ironically Newey would later defect to Red Bull Racing, which bought the team from Jaguar).

Rahal still maintains an involvement in the IndyCar scene as a part-owner in the Rahal -Letterman-Lanigan team, while overseeing the racing career of his son, Graham.

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