Graham Rahal will return to Team Penske’s IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship program for the season-ending Motul Petit Le Mans alongside Helio Castroneves and Ricky Taylor in the No. 7 Acura ARX-05.
A veteran of the NTT IndyCar Series, Rahal previously shared the DPi machine with full-season pilots Castroneves and Taylor during the Michelin Endurance Cup rounds at Daytona International Speedway, Sebring International Raceway and Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta last year.
Alexander Rossi, a different Honda-backed IndyCar driver, replaced Rahal as the endurance driver in the No. 7 Acura DPi for 2019 but will be contesting the Bathurst 1000 in Australia during the 10-hour WeatherTech Championship race in Atlanta. Since last racing the Penske-prepared Acura at Sebring, Rossi was rumored to join Roger Penske’s illustrious IndyCar team but ultimately extended his contract with Andretti Autosport.
Rahal has said he’s too tall to comfortably drive Acura’s DPi but will have to tolerate the tight confines of the ORECA 07-based machine while he helps the manufacturer in its bid to win the manufacturers’ championship, in which Acura currently leads Cadillac by five points.
Last time Rahal co-piloted the No. 7 Acura, it led a race-high 128 laps and finished fifth to close out the 2018 season.
“I really enjoyed working with Acura and everyone at Team Penske last year and I have missed racing with them this season,” Rahal said. “But when this opportunity came up for Petit Le Mans, it was an easy decision. I hope I can help them win one of the biggest races of the year.”
Currently ninth in the IndyCar points standings, Rahal will conclude his 2019 season at Road Atlanta three weeks after IndyCar’s season wraps up with the WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca finale on Sunday, Sept. 22. Petit Le Mans will take place Saturday, Oct. 12.