Mike Rahal, father of three-time Indycar National Champion and 1986 Indianapolis 500 winner Bobby Rahal and the grandfather of current-day Indycar star Graham Rahal, passed away last week at the age of 93. (Photo from Rahal Collection, courtesy of David Bull Publlishing)
Racing was a hobby for Mike, whose business was in the wholesale food distribution industry, but those recreational activities set the stage for his son and grandson. Mike’s racing provided Bobby with what he calls a “nutrient-rich environment,” giving him his initial exposure to the sport that would come to dominate his life.
Mike began racing in 1957 with the SCCA in an Austin-Healey 100 LM, and followed it with several other production sports cars before moving into a series of Elvas, a Porsche 906, a Lola T290 and a Lotus 47 during the ’60s and ’70s. His biggest win, perhaps, came with a Porsche–powered Elva in the under-two-liter class of the 1967 Road America 500, where he and co-driver Ralph Trieschmann outfoxed Horst Kroll for the win.
Vintage Racecar extends its deepest sympathies to the Rahal family and to all of Mike’s many friends in and out of the sport.