By Josh Farmer, IndyCar Reporter
INDIANAPOLIS – Heading into the 100th Indianapolis 500 presented by Penngrade Motor Oil and after just three races as an entrant in the Verizon IndyCar Series, Teddy Yip Jr is feeling optimistic about his decision.
Yip has taken a different approach to coming over to IndyCar by partnering with Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing for three races rather than going all in on his own. The partnership has allowed him to ease his way into IndyCar and get a good feel for everything with an established team and driver in Graham Rahal.
“Talking to the team, they have been really easy, fantastic to work with,” he said. “Graham is a real professional, Spencer is clearly on the up and up and there’s a real family atmosphere here which really draws me to this and they really made me feel welcome.”
Yip, Jr. has served as Team Principal of Status Grand Prix since 2007 which competed in A1GP, GP2 and GP3. He revived the Theodore Racing brand in 2013 and won the Macau Grand Prix the same year, nearly 30 years after his father’s established the race and won with racing legend Ayrton Senna.
The team has become a mainstay in bringing up drivers up the ladder system in Europe, but with this year being the 100th Indy 500, the timing just seemed right.
“I’ve always wanted to come here and do this and it’s always been on the list,” said Yip, Jr. “With the 100th running, this was the perfect opportunity and just seemed like the right time.”
Teddy Yip Sr, Yip’s father, founded Theodore Racing in 1976 which competed in 64 Formula One Grands Prix from 1976-83. The team also fielded and supplied entries in Indy Car Racing from 1977-1985 and competed in Formula One, Formula 5000 and Formula 3. Yip was also instrumental in the establishment of the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach as well as the Macau Grand Prix.
While Yip Jr and his team are new to IndyCar, the openness and accessibility of the paddock has made the transition comfortable.
“It’s a big change from what I’m used to and I have to say that I love it,” he said. “It’s really open, welcoming. I love the atmosphere of the paddock; the access to the fans get is second to none.”
Good luck seems to come in 30 years for Theodore Racing as the team won the 2013 Macau Grand Prix with driver Alex Lynn 30 years after the team won the race in 1983 with Aytron Senna. This year is the 30 year anniversary of Bobby Rahal’s win in the 500, so a win by Graham Rahal would prove even more special for Yip, Jr.
“It would be a dream come true really,” he said. “We’ve got some good history with 30 year anniversaries; we launched the Macau F3 program 30 years after my dad won there with Ayrton Senna. So, here we are again trying to do this 30 years later.”
Image Credit: Edmund Jenks