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. Prados now leads the efforts of the No. 7 Acura Team Penske ARX-05 Daytona Prototype International (DPi) entry driven by Ricky Taylor and one of Brazil's other motorsports heroes, Helio Castroneves, in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. The winner of the 100th running of the Indianapolis 500, Alexander Rossi, joins the No. 7 team for the Michelin Endurance Cup races in 2019.
In 2018, Prados helped guide the No. 7 DPi to the first win in Acura Team Penske history in the Acura Sports Car Challenge at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, a race in which the team finished first and second, as Castroneves won the race from the pole position.
Growing up, Prados and his brother began watching Formula 1 races on television in their family home of Castellon, Spain. The young Raul soon became infatuated with racing and used a share of his inheritance left to him by his grandfather to buy a go-kart at the age of 15. Although Prados 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, a team that competed in both the World Touring Car Championship and Spanish Formula 3 series, as a design engineer. Prados then moved to Double R Racing in Formula 3 before making a big move to the iSport GP2 team, 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 revered by the Prados brothers.
Prados made the move to America in 2012 when he joined the A.J. Foyt Racing NTT IndyCar Series team, first as a consultant, before being hired fulltime as a 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 following 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 organization's championship-winning NTT IndyCar Series teams, most notably as the race engineer for Juan Pablo Montoya at the Grand Prix of Indianapolis and the Indianapolis 500. In the summer of 2016, Prados turned his attention to preparing for the organization's entry into the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. He was instrumental in helping the team earn a third-place finish in the Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta to close out the 2017 IMSA season before focusing his attention on building the No. 7 Acura team for its 2018 series debut.
The 38-year-old Prados resides in Cornelius, N.C.