Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Brings Headquarters to Zionsville
Writer / Seth Johnson
Photographer / Jon Ellegood
After previously operating out of two separate facilities in Brownsburg, Indiana, and Columbus, Ohio, the team at Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing (RLLR) has now consolidated its headquarters into one state-of-the-art site in Zionsville.
Located at the northeast corner of Creek Way and 106th Street, the new, 100,000-square-foot facility serves as the home base for RLLR’s IndyCar and International Motor Sports Association (IMSA) programs. Several years in the making, the new building features office and event space, as well as automotive research and development and light manufacturing operations, to support the dynamic functions of RLLR’s racing teams. Currently, RLLR has five total entries in the NTT IndyCar Series and IMSA’s WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, including Christian Lundgaard, Graham Rahal and Jack Harvey of IndyCar, as well as John Edwards and Phillipp Eng of IMSA.
According to Co-owner Bobby Rahal, the RLLR team first began looking for a new headquarters location several years ago, in hopes of consolidating all of their operations under one roof.
“We’d had discussions with Mark Miles and the Hulman-George family regarding the parking lot across from the entrance to the Speedway, and also where the office buildings are for IndyCar in the strip mall across the street,” Rahal says. “There’d been a plan from the city of Speedway and the Speedway itself to extend the rejuvenation of Main Street further east, so there had been discussions about us building our facility directly across from the entrance to the Speedway. That probably started in 2014 or thereabouts. Those discussions ended when Roger [Penske] bought the Speedway and IndyCar.”
The RLLR leaders then began searching elsewhere and were eventually drawn to Zionsville.
“As the discussions continued, that area really became very attractive to us because of the site and where it’s located,” Rahal says. “It’s not in an industrial park. It’s in an office park. Most race shops you see are in industrial parks. That caused us to look at that area in general for the site of our building. That’s what led us to have discussions with the mayor and her team.”
After deciding on the location at the northeast corner of Creek Way and 106th Street, the RLLR team got to work on designing the perfect facility for their needs, before beginning construction in 2021.
“There were a number of variations on design based on what we thought our needs would be,” Rahal says. “We finally came to a conclusion on that, and in May 2021 we turned over the earth for the first time.”
With their IndyCar and IMSA teams under one roof, Rahal says RLLR can be much more efficient overall.
“This building is the first time in 15 years where we’ve had both programs under one roof, and that’ll be great,” he says. “There are inefficiencies to having two different headquarters, with people traveling back and forth and what have you. We’ll all be under one roof. We’ll have close to 125 people working full-time there.”
In bringing the headquarters to Zionsville, Rahal says the team has already been creating new jobs in the area.
“We already have [created jobs] to a large degree,” Rahal says. “Some of our people from Columbus moved over, but most of them remained in Columbus, so we’ve certainly brought a lot of people in from the local community. The nature of the jobs that are being filled right now are more technically based. Motorsports is more digitally driven in terms of the capabilities and the capacities of these facilities. Our demand over time is definitely going to be towards the mechanical engineering and electrical engineering side of the equation, because that’s where the growth is happening in racing.”
As the RLLR team continues to strive for success on the racetrack, Rahal believes they’ve created a facility that’s equipped to serve them in the long term.
“The building is designed in such a way that it really is a building of the future, in terms of its technical capabilities,” Rahal says. “It’s more than just repairing and maintaining cars. There’s a lot of technical sophistication that the building provides our team with, which will allow us to be very competitive in the years to come.”
While RLLR continues to bring new jobs to the Zionsville community, Rahal hopes the team can make a difference in other ways too.
“We are part of the community, so we anticipate that we’ll be making our facility available for charitable activities,” Rahal says. “We have a professional kitchen so we have the capability to feed over 100 people at any given time. We have the ability to hold meetings for up to 100 people. I anticipate that our facility will be made available for charities throughout central Indiana. We look to do what we can to help the community, and hope the community will do what they can to help us.”
To learn more about the Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing team, visit rahal.com.