No. 7 Acura Team Penske ARX-05 Race Engineer
Raul Prados grew up just outside of Valencia, Spain, but he and his older brother idolized the great Brazilian driver, Ayrton Senna. Now, Prados will lead the efforts of the No. 6 Acura Team Penske ARX-05 Daytona Prototype International entry driven by Ricky Taylor and one of Brazil’s other motorsports heroes, Helio Castroneves, in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. Verizon IndyCar Series (VICS) veteran Graham Rahal will join the team for the Patron Endurance Series races this season.
An older brother prompted a young Prados to begin watching Formula 1 races on television in their family home of Castellon, Spain. Raul soon became infatuated with racing and used a share of his inheritance from a grandfather to buy a go-kart at the age of 15. Although he never seriously considered a career as a driver, that go-kart led him to the realization that he wanted to work on race cars as a profession.
Upon graduating from Jaume I University with a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering, Prados spent a year in karting before moving to Seat Sport, which competed in both the World Touring Car Championship and Spanish Formula 3 series, as a design engineer. From there he transitioned to Double R Racing in Formula 3 before making a big move to the iSport GP2 team, which competed in the feeder series to Formula 1 (F1), where he worked as a race engineer for several drivers who continued on to compete in F1. Ironically, one of those drivers was Bruno Senna, the nephew of the great wheelman once revered by the Prados brothers.
Prados made the move to America in 2012 when he joined the VICS team, A.J. Foyt Racing, first as a consultant, before he was hired full-time as the performance engineer in 2013. Prados helped lead Takuma Sato to a win in the Long Beach Grand Prix that season, along with a second-place finish in the next race on the streets of Sao Paulo, Brazil. In addition to his work with Sato, Prados also led the efforts of Martin Plowman at the 2015 Indianapolis 500.
Team Penske hired Prados in January of 2016 and he spent the first half of the year traveling with the championship-winning VICS teams, most-notably as the race engineer for Juan Pablo Montoya at the Grand Prix of Indianapolis and the Indianapolis 500. When the summer months rolled around, Prados turned his attention to preparing for the organization’s entry into the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. He was instrumental in helping the team to a third-place finish in the Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta to close out the 2017 IMSA season.
The 37-year-old Prados resides in Cornelius, N.C.