Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama – Barber Motorsports Park, Birmingham, Alabama
Round 4 of 16 in the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series
DATE: Saturday – Sunday, April 25-26, 2015
QUALIFYING BROADCAST: Tape-delayed on NBC Sports Network at 2 a.m. ET Sunday, April 26; live on the INDYCAR 15
app, INDYCAR Radio Network and www.indycar.com (timing & scoring)
RACE BROADCAST: Live on NBC Sports Network, Sunday, April 26 at 3:00 p.m. ET
RADIO BROADCAST: The race will air on the INDYCAR Radio Network, Sirius 213& XM 209
TRACK LAYOUT: 2.38-mile, 17-turn road course
RACE LENGTH: 90 laps / 214.2 miles
2014 WINNER: Ryan Hunter-Reay
2014 POLESITTER: Will Power (1:08.3120; 121.209 mph)
RLLR TOP START/FINISH AT BARBER: 11th by Jakes in 2013/ 17th by Rahal in 2014; three events
G. RAHAL’S BEST START/FINISH AT BARBER: 8th / 4th – both in 2012 with SCCGR; will be his sixth race here
RAHAL’S HIGHEST SERIES START/FINISH: Pole at St. Pete 2009 & Kansas 2009 / 1st in St. Pete in 2008
NEWS & NOTES:
RAHAL LETTERMAN LANIGAN RACING – FOURTH RACE AT BARBER MOTORSPORTS PARK
The 2015 Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama will mark the fourth IndyCar Series race for the team at Barber Motorsports Park (BMP). A recent two-day test at BMP in March went well and Rahal was the fastest Honda-powered driver at seventh fastest over two days. Last year, Rahal started 18th on a wet track, ran as high as 10th, dropped four places after being hit by two cars and ultimately finished 17th. Servia started 19th, ran as high as 14th and finished 20th. In 2013, Rahal set a lap time fast enough to progress to Round 2 and qualify in the top-12 if he had been in Group 2 but he was in Group 1 and ultimately qualified 21st. He had to pit for a new nose on the opening lap after the field checked up and he hit Oriol Servia. He moved up to 12th place but ran out of fuel on the final lap due to a malfunction in the fueling system and dropped to 21st. James Jakes qualified 11th in 2013 but had to pit early in the race when the camber shims fell out of the left rear upright which put him two laps down to the leader. He soldiered on through fueling issues, set the fastest lap of the race and finished 23rd. In 2012, Takuma Sato set the third fastest time in Friday’s first practice for the team and was fastest in the wet second session but traffic limited his qualifying performance to 16th. In the race he passed four cars for 12th place on red alternate tires but struggled on primary tires and ultimately retired in 24th place due to mechanical failure after 52/90 laps.
For 2015, RLL has entered the No. 15 Steak ‘n Shake Honda-Dallara-Firestone car for Graham Rahal which brings the total to six entries for RLL for this event.
GRAHAM PREPARATION SINCE THE OPEN TEST HERE & COMPRESSED TWO-DAY EVENT
The Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama will be Graham Rahal’s sixth race here since the inaugural event in 2010. The field returns to BMP after an Open Test here March 16-17. Over the two-day test, Rahal set the fourth fastest time in Practice 3 and fifth fastest in the final Practice 4 and ranked seventh overall for the two days. He was the fastest Honda-powered driver in each of those instances and is looking forward to carrying that progress over to race weekend.
“We had a really good test at Barber,” said Rahal, who is one of eight drivers in this year’s field that has competed in every Indy car race at BMP. “Obviously the conditions were cooler than what we will see this weekend but all in all I feel pretty good about our ability to be competitive at the Honda Grand Prix of Alabama. The Long Beach race was frustrating but I feel like we can have a strong rebound. We won’t find out until we get on track but certainly at the test we were right up there so I’m hoping we can have a good show on the weekend because we need the points. Since it’s only a two day event this year we have to be right on top of our game in the practice sessions and qualifying so we definitely can’t miss a beat.”
GRAHAM AT BARBER MOTORSPORTS PARK
In 2014, Rahal started 18th on a wet track, ran as high as 10th, dropped four places after being hit by two cars and ultimately finished 17th. In 2013, Rahal set a lap time fast enough to progress to Round 2 and qualify in the top-12 if he had been in Group 2 but he was in Group 1 and ultimately qualified 21st. He had to pit for a new nose on the opening lap after the field checked up and he hit Servia. He moved up to 12th place but ran out of fuel on the final lap due to a malfunction in the fueling system and dropped to 21st. He started 8th, led one lap and finished fourth here in 2012 for Service Central Chip Ganassi Racing (SCCGR). He started 10th and finished 18th in 2011 for SCCGR and started 15th and finished 17th for Sarah Fisher Racing in 2010.
ATTEMPTING TO BREAK THE THREE-DRIVER DOMINANCE
Graham Rahal will be one of many drivers to attempt to break the dominance of three series drivers at this track. Helio Castroneves, Will Power and Ryan Hunter-Reay are the only drivers to have won at Barber Motorsports Park. Castroneves won the inaugural race in 2010, Power won the race in 2011 and 2012 and Hunter-Reay won in 2013 and 2014. In addition, Castroneves, Hunter-Reay and Power are the only drivers to have won the pole position here. Power claimed the pole position in 2010, 2011 and 2014; Castroneves won the pole in 2012 and Hunter-Reay in 2013. Rahal and RLL hope to break into the group.