Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
INDYCAR Grand Prix at the Glen – Watkins Glen International
Round 15 of 16 in the 2016 Verizon IndyCar Series
DATE: September 2-4, 2016
PRACTICE BROADCAST: Live on NBC Sports Network on Friday, September 2 at 11 a.m. ET
QUALIFYING BROADCAST: Tape delayed on Saturday, September 3 at 6:00 p.m. ET on NBC Sports Network; LIVE on www.indycar.com (timing & scoring with audio commentary from IMS Radio Network)
RACE BROADCAST: Live on Sunday, September 4 at 2:00 p.m. ET on NBCSN.
RADIO BROADCAST: The race will air on the Advance Auto Parts INDYCAR Radio Network, Sirius 212, XM 209 and www.indycar.com
TRACK LAYOUT: 3.37-mile, 11-turn road course
RACE LENGTH: 60 laps / 202.2 miles
2010 WINNER: Will Power
2010 POLESITTER: Will Power (135.832 mph)
RAHAL’S BEST ROAD/STREET START/FINISH: Pole at St. Pete (street) 2009 / 1st at St. Pete in 2008
RAHAL’S BEST WGISTART/FINISH: 5th in 2009 with NHLR but penalized 10 starting spots / 8th in 2008 with NHLR; will be his third race here
RLL’S BEST START/ FINISH AT THE GLEN 3rd / 1st – both in 2008 by Ryan Hunter-Reay
NEWS & NOTES:
RLL RACING RETURNS TO WGI FOR FIRST TIME SINCE 2008 WIN HERE
The 2016 INDYCAR Grand Prix at the Glen will mark the fifth Indy car event for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing (RLL) at Watkins Glen International (WGI) and first since the team won the 2008 event with Ryan Hunter-Reay. The team has one win (Hunter-Reay 2008), and four top-10 finishes here and team drivers have led a total of 15 laps. Prior to the 2016 event, the team prepared a total of 9 Indy car entries for drivers Buddy Rice (2005-2006), Danica Patrick (2005-2006), Vitor Meira (2005), Jeff Simmons (2006-2007), Scott Sharp (2007) and Ryan Hunter-Reay (2008). The No. 15 entry for Graham Rahal will bring the Indy car total to 10 entries in 2016.
GRAHAM AT WATKINS GLEN AND HIS EXPECTATION ON THE TYPE OF RACE IT WILL BE
The INDYCAR Grand Prix at the Glen will mark Graham Rahal’s third race here. In 2008, he qualified 18th with Newman/Haas/ Lanigan Racing (NHLR) after a Saturday practice crash and finished eighth. In 2009, he qualified fifth with NHLR but lost 10 starting positions when his car was ruled to be too light in a tech inspection and he started 15th. He ran as high as second but the wrong fuel strategy contributed to a 13th place finish. He did not compete in the 2010 race. After competitive runs on road courses this season, Rahal is looking forward to the return to Watkins Glen for the first time in six years and also his first race here with RLL.
“We have had speed there in the past, but the race has never gone our way. Having said that, we haven’t been there in years, and I think the team and I have both come a long way since. I am looking forward to getting there and trying to keep the momentum we built in Texas. It looks like it’s going to be fast with the repaved surface! By the looks of it, this track will be very quick and very physical. I don’t think there will be a lot of yellows but I do see guys getting tired and perhaps making mistakes. I am excited to get on track and ring its neck.”
GRAHAM HAS TWO PODIUMS AND TOP-FOUR FINISHES IN ALL 2016 ROAD COURSE RACES
The series has competed on four road courses to date this year and Rahal progressed to the Firestone Fast Six all four times and led laps at three of four. At Barber Motorsports Park, he qualified sixth and challenged Simon Pagenaud for the win. Damage to an already compromised front wing hindered his pursuit after leading four of the last nine laps. He qualified third for the Grand Prix of Indianapolis but his car was one of two that failed the post-qualifying inspection and he was relegated to a 24th place start. He charged back to the front and narrowly missed another podium appearance with his fourth place finish. At Elkhart Lake he started sixth and finished third and started sixth and finished fourth at Mid-Ohio. He is hoping to continue the streak at WGI this weekend and the season-finale race in Sonoma.
“We have made the Firestone Fast Six at all of the road course races so far this season. I think we will be very competitive at Watkins Glen, and would be shocked if that’s not that case here too.”
GRAHAM ON THE TEAM’S ROAD COURSE SETUP AND RECENT TEST
Many drivers and teams tested at WGI on August 11 but Rahal didn’t get many laps before rain hit. The first half of the test was dedicated to Indy Lights driver Ed Jones and once Rahal’s turn behind the wheel arrived he was only able to complete a handful of laps. He is confident that the team has a good starting point from their baseline road course setup though.
“Watkins Glen is similar to a lot of the tracks we go to but it just has a bit more grip. We didn’t get to do too much at the test so we will have to just develop the car as the weekend rolls on and try to improve it if that’s needed.
GRAHAM AND THE POINT STANDINGS
With two races remaining on the schedule, Rahal is ranked seventh in series point standings with a total of 394. The season-finale road course race at Sonoma Raceway is again a double-points event. After his win in the Firestone 600 at Texas Motor Speedway, Rahal is only and 22 points behind third place Tony Kanaan (416) and 12 points behind fifth place Josef Newgarden (406).
“I hope we can continue the momentum and keep gaining points. My team and I are poised to keep going and try to sneak into the Top-3 in points!”
BOBBY RAHAL TO BE FEATURED AT VERIZON’S LUNCH WITH LEGENDS
To reinforce Verizon’s Inside Indy platform, the series sponsor is bringing together three incredible Watkins Glen Legends for a Q&A discussion on Friday, September 2nd from 12:30 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. in the Watkins Glen media center. Moderated by Robin Miller, join Verizon’s special guests Bobby Rahal, Helio Castroneves and Dario Franchitti for an interactive, lively discussion on INDYCAR’s return to Watkins Glen and what it is like to compete at the legendary, 3.4-mile road course.