Rahal Letterman Lanigan signs James Jakes for second IndyCar seat

Rahal Letterman Lanigan has become the second single-car IndyCar team to expand to two full-time entries in as many weeks, with James Jakes having been announced as Graham Rahal's team-mate for the 2013 season

Rahal Letterman Lanigan signs James Jakes for second IndyCar seat

The addition of a second RLL car follows a similar expansion at Schmidt Peterson Motorsport, which announced last week that it will run rookie Tristan Vautier alongside Simon Pagenaud.

"I wanted to put myself in a position where I could get results that I believe I am capable of, and Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing is a good fit for me," said Jakes, whose career-best finish was eighth on the streets of Toronto last year with Dale Coyne Racing.

"If you look back at the results and the product that [team co-owner] Bobby [Rahal] and the team have put on the track, he's always got a car that is running up front, and the team does things first class.

"It will be great for the team to have two full-season cars to move ourselves forward and push us to where Bobby and the team want us to be - at the top of the grid."

Rahal believes that the addition of a second full-time entry represents the culmination of a project that began with the resurrection of the team at the start of last year.

"For us to be a two-car team is a natural progression," he said.

"A year ago we restarted the team to really build toward this time. We positioned ourselves in Indianapolis to take advantage of everything the open wheel industry can provide us with and obviously, as was proven last year, a one car team can be competitive.

"But there is no doubt in my mind that a two-car team is a much more efficient and productive way to go racing. There is twice as much information, twice as much everything, and that helps you progress that much quicker.

"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."

Jakes's arrival also means that Rahal Letterman will field three cars for the Long Beach round, with the team having already confirmed that Mike Conway will make a one-off appearance at the circuit where he won in 2011.

It will be the first time that Rahal Letterman has run three cars in one race since Chicago in 2006, when it fielded Buddy Rice, Danica Patrick and Jeff Simmons.

2013 IndyCar Series line-up so far: Team Engine Drivers AJ Foyt Racing Honda Takuma Sato Andretti Autosport Chevy Ryan Hunter-Reay/James Hinchcliffe/Marco Andretti/tba Bryan Herta Autosport Honda Alex Tagliani Chip Ganassi Racing Honda Dario Franchitti/Scott Dixon/Charlie Kimball Dale Coyne Racing Honda tba/tba Dragon Racing Chevy Sebastien Bourdais/tba Ed Carpenter Racing Chevy Ed Carpenter KV Racing Technology Chevy Tony Kanaan/Simona de Silvestro Panther/Dreyer & Reinbold Chevy JR Hildebrand/Oriol Servia Rahal Letterman Lanigan Honda Graham Rahal/James Jakes Sarah Fisher Hartman Honda Josef Newgarden Schmidt Peterson Honda Simon Pagenaud/Tristan Vautier Team Penske Chevy Will Power/Helio Castroneves One-off entries: Carlos Munoz - Andretti Autosport - Indianapolis Mike Conway - Rahal Letterman Lanigan - Long Beach 
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