Former Schmidt Peterson Motorsports race engineer Leena Gade has met with Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing regarding a position within its team.
With RLLR’s Verizon IndyCar Series program for Graham Rahal and Takuma Sato, and its factory BMW Team RLL IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship effort for the German manufacturer, an engineer with Gade’s talents could bolster the squad on both fronts.
On the IndyCar side, RLLR boasts one of the deepest engineering groups in the series. With Tom German looking after Rahal’s No. 15 Honda, Eddie Jones responsible for Sato’s No. 30 Honda, plus performance engineers Martin Pare and Mike Talbott in position to support both entries, four top-tier engineers are responsible for the team’s status as a regular championship contender.
Looking at the IMSA program, a total of five engineers, including technical director Brandon Fry, concentrate on the dual BMW M8 GTEs. Despite a lack of race engineering vacancies, in the short term, Gade would add another layer of strength in a performance engineering role if she comes to terms with RLLR.
“We met with her; I didn’t, but Tom German did and Eddie Jones did, and they had a good chat,” Rahal told RACER. “Nothing has come from it, and maybe nothing will. But it was a chance to meet and get to know her a little bit and find out about what she wanted to do. It was very much of a preliminary meeting, nothing more than that.”
Having witnessed Gade’s success at Le Mans, Rahal is undeterred by her split with SPM and remains impressed with the Briton’s talent.
“She’s clearly very talented, and sometimes things just don’t work out for whatever reason,” he added. “What’s helped us to become successful is good people, and you can never have enough of them. If somebody’s that good, you find a way. Roger [Penske’s] the same way, so we wanted to get to know her a little bit; but there’s nothing in motion to report at the moment.”