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Feb 26, 2013 - 04:54 PM
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RLL Racing Technical Director Jay O'Connell To Offer Online Advice
Posted by: newsla on Feb 26, 2013 - 04:48 PM
Sports Cars
RLL Racing Technical Director Jay O'Connell To Offer Online Advice

The Road Racing Drivers Club’s authoritative and ground-breaking SAFEisFAST.com initiative is proud to confirm that Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Technical Director Jay O’Connell will serve as Online Engineering Instructor for the next three weeks.


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An accomplished vehicle design and chassis development engineer whose expertise has been employed in Formula 1, INDYCAR and sports car racing over the past 15 years, O’Connell will offer advice on a broad range of technical matters. Beginning today and continuing through next Sunday, March 3, questions can be sent via www.SAFEisFAST.com. His answers will be posted during the two weeks commencing Monday, March 4.

SAFEisFAST.com is a free online resource offering instructional video tutorials on safety, fitness, mental skills, race craft, career development, engineering, sponsorship, marketing and more to assist the careers of drivers in all forms of racing. Previous Online Instructors in the popular “Ask a Pro” section have included top-line drivers Jenson Button, Gil de Ferran, Adrian Fernandez, Dario Franchitti, Joey Hand, Tony Kanaan, Andy Lally, Josef Newgarden and Alexander Wurz, as well as fitness guru Jim Leo, mental preparation expert Dr. Jacques Dallaire and SPEED announcer Bob Varsha. Since its launch, there have been over a quarter of a million views of the online tutorials from visitors representing more than 130 countries.

O’Connell’s interest in race car engineering was spawned at a young age and first bore fruit in 1986 when he led a team of five at Brown University to design and build a Formula SAE race car. The project was completed in just 14 weeks and earned third place in the design category. After switching to Cornell University, he led a team of 15 engineers which produced two more Formula SAE cars, finishing first in design in 1987 and first overall in 1988.

O’Connell graduated that year with a degree in Mechanical Engineering, and began working for Ford Motor Company in product development. He became Ford Racing’s CART program manager in 1998, and three years later transferred to England to work for the Jaguar Racing Formula 1 team as head of Research and Development. He returned to Michigan in 2002 and continued in product development on the new Mustang program. In 2005 he was promoted to SVT Chief Vehicle Engineer and headed a team of 25 engineers to develop the Shelby GT500 Mustang as well as the suspension redesign of the Ford GT.

The lure of racing enticed him back to the sport at the end of 2006 when he joined Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing as technical director. The team captured INDYCAR poles and wins in the 2007 and 2008 seasons, and from 2009 through 2012 successfully raced the BMW M3 GT, capturing the ALMS manufacturer and team championships in 2010 and 2011, along with the driver’s championship in 2011. For 2013, RLL Racing will field as many as three cars in the IZOD IndyCar Series and develop two brand-new BMW Z4 GTE cars in the American Le Mans Series.

“From Formula SAE to Formula 1 and the Indy 500, I look forward to answering questions about race car engineering, strategy, and how to be competitive at every level of the sport,” said O’Connell.

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