Bobby Rahal would look to youth for possible third car in 2020

Bobby Rahal would look to youth to fill a seat should the possibility of a third car come to fruition for the 2020 NTT IndyCar Season.

The 1986 Indy 500 winner has been keen to add a third car to his Rahal-Letterman-Lanigan line-up for some time and feels the possibility of putting a third car into the field is becoming ever stronger.

“What I can tell you is that I think we’re probably the closest we’ve ever been to having the funding for a third car,” he told Racer. “That’s different than where we’ve been in the past. Not everything is done, but certainly, all the indications are that it’s pretty strong. That’s how I feel.”

Should a third car become a viable option, Rahal believes it would be 'dumb' not to look at younger drivers to add to his already heavily experienced drivers in 42-year old Takuma Sato and son Graham Rahal, aged 30.

Colton Herta is currently the hottest property in the IndyCar market after a solid first season which included a win in the IndyCar Classic at the Circuit Of The Americas.

Other young drivers such as Indy Lights front-runners Oliver Askew or Rinus Veekay who performed well for Ed Carpenter racing at a test in Portland could also be options for Rahal.

Obviously, Colton Herta’s the hot ticket, but who knows where that situation is,” Rahal added.

“I’m not sure quite what all is planned there, but we’ve talked to a few others like Felipe Nasr, who tested for Schmidt; we think he’s got a lot of potential.

“What I think has been clear is that Indy Lights, while you’d like to see twice as many cars in those races, is the Indy Lights program is generating guys who can get into an IndyCar and do well.

“You look at what Colton did, going from that to an IndyCar, you look what Pato O’Ward did. He was quite quick right out of the box. You’d be dumb if you weren’t looking at the younger generation.

“Ryan Hunter-Reay, he’s 38, Scott Dixon’s, what, 39? There’s a number of guys that are getting towards the retirement age, although they’re still super-competitive, so who knows. They could probably drive like I did, until I was 45.

“Who knows on that front, but I think there’s going to be a lot of opportunities for young guys. The guard is changing and will continue to change even more so in the next three years or so, and you want to be ahead of it instead of behind it, which we’re trying to do by taking on a third car.”