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2017 Indy 500 Champion Takuma Sato Returns to Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing

2017 INDY 500 CHAMPION TAKUMA SATO RETURNS TO RAHAL LETTERMAN LANIGAN RACING

BROWNSBURG, Ind. (September 20, 2017) – Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing (RLL) announced today that reigning Indianapolis 500 champion Takuma Sato will return to their Verizon IndyCar Series team in 2018. Sato drove for the team in 2012 where he famously dueled eventual winner Dario Franchitti on the final lap.

“I’m excited about having Taku back with us,” said Bobby Rahal, co-owner of Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing with former CBS Late Show host David Letterman and Mi-Jack co-owner Mike Lanigan. “I have such admiration for his spirit and how he approaches everything and was so happy for him when he won the Indy 500 this year. The chance to bring him back to the team was too good to pass up. He and Graham get along very well and we will have two strong cars that can win any race in 2018. I think that will give our team a great chance at being contenders in every race but it’s also going to give each of our drivers a chance to have their best years ever. I’m excited about it and even though the 2017 season just concluded, I can’t wait for the 2018 season to start.”

“I am extremely happy to be back with Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing,” added Takuma Sato. “Bobby, Dave and Mike have always been very supportive of me. The team has been ultra-competitive the past few seasons. I can’t wait to be a part of it in 2018. I think we can achieve some great things together!”

Sato, a native of Tokyo, Japan, has made 135 starts in the IndyCar Series since his rookie season in 2010. His Indy car highlights include wins in the 2017 Indianapolis 500 and the 2013 Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach and a total of six podium finishes. In addition, he has earned seven Indy car poles and led a total of 471 laps. Prior to joining the IndyCar Series, he competed in 90 Formula One races between 2002-2008 with his highest finish of third at the 2003 United States Grand Prix. While with RLL, his best finishes were third in Sao Paulo and second in Edmonton, which was his best series finish at the time.

Rahal Finished Sixth in the GoPro Grand Prix and Sixth in IndyCar Series Point Standings; Claman DeMelo Finished 17th in his Series Debut

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing

GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma – Sonoma Raceway

Verizon IndyCar Series

RACE NOTES/QUOTES – Sunday, September 17, 2017 

RAHAL FINISHED SIXTH IN THE INDYCAR SERIES STANDINGS AFTER A SIXTH PLACE FINISH IN THE GOPRO GRAND PRIX OF SONOMA; ROOKIE CLAMAN DeMELO FINISHED 17TH IN HIS DEBUT

 

ZACHARY CLAMAN DeMELO, No. 13 Paysafe Dallara/Honda/Firestone:  “Jack Harvey and Tony Kanaan came together and they got stuck and slowed down a bit more than I anticipated. I just clipped Harvey, who was really close, and unfortunately I broke the front wing which forced us to make an early pit stop. After that the pace was really good, I just tried to do my own thing but unfortunately dropped a lap down.  I ran with some quick guys like Will Power and Helio (Castroneves), and drove away from Helio. I made some positions back on lapped traffic and ended up finishing 17th.  It was a good day. I learned a lot and want to thank Paysafe for the opportunity.  It’s nice to complete my first race and get this many laps in.  Overall I’m happy with the day.”

 

  • FAST FACTS: Claman DeMelo almost avoided multi car contact on the opening lap but had to pit to replace his front wing after Lap 1.  This put him one lap down and on a different fuel strategy but enabled him to run in clean air for parts of the race.  He ran between veterans Will Power and Helio Castroneves and maintained their pace and gained valuable knowledge.  He ultimately finished 17th…Was his first Indy car race and also his first race at Sonoma Raceway. His participated in an Indy Lights test at this track two years ago.  It was only his second time in an Indy Lights car at that point… He finished fifth in 2017 Indy Lights standings after earning four podium finishes, including a win at Road America.  It was his second year in Indy Lights.

  

GRAHAM RAHAL, No. 15 United Rentals / SoldierStrong Dallara/Honda/Firestone:  “We had a great race and raised more money for United Rentals and the Turns for Troops program. We went out there and pushed as hard as we could. The Honda engine got us great fuel mileage so that made life a little bit easier. We could attack for quite a lot of the race.  Obviously tires were key today, they went off a lot. We tried as hard as we could to make some good passes but I think sixth is the best that we could expect this weekend. I tried to get by Helio there near the end but came up a little bit short. I was in front of him but he broke really late, which I would have done too, and just slid across my front. We have finished fourth, fifth, and now sixth in the standings this year.  Our team is doing a good job.  We have a lot to be proud of this year. We have to just keep pushing as hard as we can. I hope we can come out on top next year.”

 

  • FAST FACTS: Rahal moved from 9th to 7th ahead of Sato and Hunter-Reay on the opening lap and avoided contact through a wild start.  When front runner Pagenaud elected to pit on a four stop strategy to others three stop ones, Rahal moved to sixth on Lap 12. He ran behind Rossi but was able to pass him when they both pit on Lap 17.  In order to moved up to sixth in season-ending standings, Rahal needed to finish at least a few positions ahead of Rossi in the race.  Rossi later had mechanical issues and finished the race 20+ laps down.  Rahal ran in the top six for the rest of the race other than pit cycles and challenged Castroneves for fifth at one point but finished sixth… Was his 10th Indy car race here. His best start is fifth place and best finish is second – both in 2016 with RLLR. He has finished in the top-10 in five of his nine races.  In 2016, he started fifth and held the position until his first stop on Lap 15.  He returned to the track in sixth place. Once he passed Daly, who had yet to stop, on Lap 16 he returned to fifth place. Third place Castroneves, who was on a four stop strategy to Rahal’s three-stop one, pitted on Lap 29 and he moved into fourth. Championship contender Will Power, who had previously been second, had gear issues after Lap 30 and Rahal moved to third before his second stop under caution for Power on Lap 36. He returned to the track in fourth place behind Kimball, who was on a four stop strategy. On Lap 42, he passed Kimball for third and moved into second on Lap 50 when Castroneves pitted. He took the lead on Lap 61 when Pagenaud pitted before he went one lap longer and made his final stop on Lap 62. He returned to the track in third place but reclaimed second once Castroneves pitted on Lap 69. He closed to one second on leader Pagenaud for much of the time but the rear of his race car was loose when he got too close and he was unable to make a pass.  He took the checkered flag in second place and moved to a fifth place rank in series standings from sixth… In 2015, he started sixth and struggled with the handling of the rear of the race car for the majority of the race and the field also dealt with tire management. He was in sixth place with 9 laps to go when Sebastien Bourdais hit him from behind and he dropped to 19th. Bourdais was penalized for “avoidable contact” and had to serve a drive through but the incident dropped Rahal from a third-place series standing to fourth and he finished the race in 18th place… In 2014, he avoided a multi-car collision on the start in Sonoma and moved from his 14th place qualifying position to 12th. He pit out of sequence on Lap 8 and climbed up to run fourth before his second stop where he pit under caution with Sato and Conway, but those two topped off two additional times before green conditions which helped them later. Rahal climbed back into fourth when the majority of the field pitted during a caution for Saavedra and later passed Briscoe, Kanaan and Conway to take the lead on Lap 64 of 85 which he held until Lap 81 when he had to pit for 2.2 gallons of fuel. Due to extreme fuel conservation, the fuel setting he had been running in didn’t have Pit Lane Speed control and he was given a drive through penalty for speeding when he entered the pits for his splash of fuel and served it on Lap 84 of 85 which ultimately resulted in a 20th place finish… Rahal qualified eighth in 2013, ran as high as sixth but contact while in the middle of a three-wide situation dropped him to the back and he rallied to finish 11th…  He qualified 15th for SCCGR in 2012, started 13th after grid penalties were served and finished fifth…  He qualified 13th for SCCGR in 2011 and finished eighth. In 2010, he qualified 16th with NHR and finished 9th.  Made the final Firestone Fast Six in qualifying six times in the seven road/street races in 2009 and started sixth in Sonoma for NHLR.  Contact on the opening lap with Marco Andretti forced an early stop for a new front wing but his drive shaft broke when he attempted to leave the pits.  After the car was repaired in the garage area, he returned to the track many laps down in 21st position and ultimately retired in the same place after completing 30 of the 75 laps…  He started 15th and finished 8th here in 2008 with NHLR… His top finishes this season are wins in Dual 1 and Dual 2 in Detroit and top start is pole for Detroit Dual 1…Rahal moved from seventh to sixth in season-ending point standings with a total of 522. He was 122 points behind champion Josef Newgarden (644), 105 behind second place Simon Pagenaud (627), 99 behind third place Scott Dixon (621), 76 behind fourth place Helio Castroneves (598), and 40 behind fifth place Will Power (562).
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GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma – Sonoma Raceway – Qualifying Notes

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma – Sonoma Raceway Verizon IndyCar Series PRACTICE NOTES/QUOTES – Saturday, September 16, 2017  RAHAL QUALIFIED NINTH FOR THE GOPRO GRAND PRIX OF SONOMA INDYCAR SEASON FINALE; ROOKIE CLAMAN DeMELO WILL START 21ST 1)         Josef Newgarden                  1:15.5205 / 113.691 mph       (Group 1, Round 3) 9)         Graham Rahal                      …

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RAHAL SET THE 12TH FASTEST TIME IN PRACTICE FOR THE GOPRO GRAND PRIX OF SONOMA INDYCAR SEASON FINALE; ROOKIE CLAMAN DeMELO WAS 22ND

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma – Sonoma Raceway Verizon IndyCar Series PRACTICE NOTES/QUOTES – Friday, September 15, 2017 RAHAL SET THE 12TH FASTEST TIME IN PRACTICE FOR THE GOPRO GRAND PRIX OF SONOMA INDYCAR SEASON FINALE; ROOKIE CLAMAN DeMELO WAS 22ND 1)         Josef Newgarden                  1:16.2485 / 112.605 mph       12)       Graham Rahal                      …

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GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma – Sonoma Raceway – Pre Race Notes

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Pre-Race Notes Season-Finale of the 2017 Verizon IndyCar Series NEWS & NOTES: DATE:                                      September 15-17, 2017 SPECIAL PROGRAMMING:       Graham Rahal will be the featured driver on “INDYCAR: Next,” a 30-minute special that will air on NBCSN Friday, September 15 at 8 p.m. ET.  PRACTICE BROADCASTS:       Live on NBCSN on Friday, September 15 from 5:00-6:30…

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Zachary Claman DeMelo to Make His IndyCar Series Debut with Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing at the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma

BROWNSBURG, Ind. (September 6, 2017) – Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing (RLL) announced today that the team will enter a second car in the Verizon IndyCar Series season-finale GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma September 15-17 for Indy Lights driver Zachary Claman DeMelo, 19, who will make his series debut. DeMelo, who is from Montreal, Quebec, Canada, earned four podium finishes in the 2017 Indy Lights season, including a win at Road America, and finished fifth in series standings. Paysafe, a leading global payments provider, will be the primary partner of the No. 16 Honda.
“I’m thrilled to be driving for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing for my IndyCar Series debut at the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma,” said Zachary Claman DeMelo. “This opportunity marks an incredible moment for my career and for Canadian motorsport fans, as I’m getting that much closer to securing a full-time position with RLLR for next season. I want to extend a big thank you to my primary partner, Paysafe, for making a dream come true today and to Bobby Rahal for the incredible level of support he has provided towards getting me in the #16 Honda this season. It is an honor to drive for RLLR and I look forward to big things ahead.”

“We’re pleased that Zach has chosen Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing to make his series debut,” added Bobby Rahal, co-owner of Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing with former CBS Late Show host David Letterman and Mi-Jack co-owner Mike Lanigan. “Zach had a very good year in the Indy Lights Series and we think that he has the ability to perform well in the IndyCar Series. We closely watched his performance at the recent Indy car test at Road America where he was the quickest of the rookies testing and we are confident that he can do a good, solid job for both himself and the team at Sonoma. Our goals for Zach are that he has a good, consistent race and gains experience, which is so important, and hopefully takes that experience to use as a stepping stone for 2018.”

Zachary Claman DeMelo will make his IndyCar debut with Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing at Sonoma Raceway (photo – RLLR)

 

About Zachary Claman DeMelo

Zach began his campaign to reach the highest tiers of motorsports in 2006 at eight years of age, when he was discovered by a group of professional drivers at the local go-karting track, and at 12 years old, Zach seized his first Canadian National Karting Championship. By 2015 at the age of 16, Zach claimed two additional Canadian National Championships, finished 3rd at the Rotax World Karting Championship, and made the jump to open-wheel racing in Europe’s Formula 3 MSV Cup, where he posted an undefeated record while only competing part-time. In 2016 at the age of 17, Zach landed his first full-time open-wheel drive in the Indy Lights Series – the Verizon IndyCar Series’ official feeder series, with the 2015 defending champions Juncos Racing.

Zach’s results during his rookie Indy Lights season drew the attention of Carlin Motorsports, the 2016 defending Indy Lights champions. Upon signing with Carlin for his sophomore season in Indy Lights, Zach earned his first Indy Lights race win, four podium finishes, set the fastest lap of the race three times – including two track records — and delivered seven top-5 and 14 top-10 finishes. He was the lone driver to finish in the top six or better eight consecutive times.

About Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, based in Hilliard, Ohio and Brownsburg, Ind., is co-owned by three-time IndyCar Champion and 1986 Indianapolis 500 winner Bobby Rahal, former CBS Late Show host David Letterman and Mi-Jack co-owner Mike Lanigan. In 2017 the team will compete in their 26th year of open wheel competition and attempt to add to their 23 wins – including the 2004 Indy 500 from pole with Buddy Rice — their 29 poles, 91 podium finishes and 1992 series championship. The team also competed in the American Le Mans Series from 2009-2013 as BMW Team RLL where they won both the Manufacturer and Team Championships in the GT category in 2010 and swept all three GT titles in 2011 – Manufacturer, Team and Driver. In 2012, the team finished second in the Team Championship and third in the Manufacturer Championship and in 2013, the team finished second in the Driver, Team and Manufacturer Championship. In 2014, BMW Team RLL moved to the GTLM class of the United SportsCar Championship with a two-car program and earned six podium finishes including four second-place finishes. In 2015, the team earned three wins, two poles and a total of eight podiums to finish second in the Manufacturer, Team and Driver championships and in 2016, BMW Team RLL added two poles and three podiums with their BMW M6 GTLM entries to bring their total to 13 wins, 22 poles and 60 podium finishes. The team has earned two wins and a total of five podium finishes to date in 2017.

About Paysafe

Paysafe is a leading global provider of end to end payment solutions. Our core purpose is to enable businesses and consumers to connect and transact seamlessly through our industry-leading capabilities in payment processing, digital wallets and online cash solutions. Delivered through an integrated platform, our solutions are geared towards mobile-initiated transactions, real-time analytics and the convergence between bricks-and-mortar and online payments. With over 20 years of online payment experience, a combined transactional volume of US$48 billion in 2016 and over 2,300 staff located in 12 global locations, Paysafe connects businesses and consumers across 200 payment types in over 40 currencies around the world. Paysafe Group plc shares trade on the London Stock Exchange under the symbol (PAYS.L). For more information, visit: www.paysafe.com.

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RAHAL FINISHED FIFTH IN THE INDYCAR GRAND PRIX AT THE GLEN

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing INDYCAR Grand Prix at the Glen – Watkins Glen Verizon IndyCar Series RACE NOTES/QUOTES – Sunday, September 3, 2017   RAHAL FINISHED FIFTH IN THE INDYCAR GRAND PRIX AT THE GLEN GRAHAM RAHAL, No. 15 Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Dallara/Honda/Firestone:  “It was a good day.  There was a lot of passing…

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Rahal Qualified 10th for the INDYCAR Grand Prix at the Glen

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
INDYCAR Grand Prix at the Glen – Watkins Glen
Verizon IndyCar Series
QUALIFYING NOTES/QUOTES – Saturday, September 2, 2017

RAHAL QUALIFIED 10TH FOR THE INDYCAR GRAND PRIX AT THE GLEN

1) Alexander Rossi 1:22.4639 / 147.119 mph (Group 1, Round 3)
10) Graham Rahal 1:23.2240 / 145.775 mph (Group 2, Round 2)

GRAHAM RAHAL, No. 15 Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “The car has been loose all weekend and we just can’t seem to make any headway. I’m just hanging on. It is what it is and I will just have to go race hard tomorrow. I don’t think we are close enough yet to a good race set up but we’ll see how it is over the long run.”

FAST FACTS: The INDYCAR Grand Prix at the Glen will mark Graham Rahal’s fourth race here. In 2016, he started 20th after a qualifying penalty on Saturday. He had set the sixth fastest time in Group 2 of Round 1 when Takuma Sato brought out the red flag and would have advanced to Round 2 to set the top-12 positions but INDYCAR withdrew Rahal’s two fastest laps because they ruled he impeded Jack Hawksworth’s lap time. Rahal’s third fastest lap put him P10 in his group and he did not advance. He started the race on primary Firestone tires and most utilized the softer, alternate Firestones. He passed a car on the opening lap and after a multi-car incident, he was up to 15th. He passed Hunter-Reay for 14th on Lap 3 and steadily moved up to eighth place as the pit cycle was in progress. He had been saving fuel to extend the stint as long as possible and gain positions but Aleshin crashed and brought out the first caution on Lap 14. Once the pits opened, Rahal pitted from eighth place on Lap 16. He returned to the track in 18th place with the top 11 having made their first stops on Lap 14 or before. On the restart, he was passing Charlie Kimball and contact between the two forced him head-on into the tire barrier on Lap 19 and he retired in 20st place after one of the hardest impact’s he had taken in Indy car. 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… His top finishes this season are wins in Dual 1 and Dual 2 in Detroit and top start is pole for Detroit Dual 1… Rahal is sixth in series point standings with a total of 418. He is 76 points behind leader Josef Newgarden (494), 58 behind second place Scott Dixon (476), 54 behind third place Helio Castroneves (472), 50 behind fourth place Simon Pagenaud (468) and 34 behind fifth place Will Power (452).

RAHAL LETTERMAN LANIGAN RACING AT WATKINS GLEN … The 2017 INDYCAR Grand Prix at the Glen will mark the sixth Indy car event for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing (RLL) at Watkins Glen International (WGI) and second here 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 2017 event, the team prepared a total of 10 Indy car entries for drivers Buddy Rice (2005-2006), Danica Patrick (2005-2006), Vitor Meira (2005), Jeff Simmons (2006-2007), Scott Sharp (2007), Ryan Hunter-Reay (2008) and Graham Rahal (2016). The No. 15 entry for Graham Rahal will bring the Indy car total to 11 entries in 2017.

Rahal Set the Third Fastest Time in Practice for the INDYCAR Grand Prix at the Glen

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
INDYCAR Grand Prix at the Glen – Watkins Glen
Verizon IndyCar Series
PRACTICE NOTES/QUOTES – Friday, September 1, 2017

RAHAL SET THE THIRD FASTEST TIME IN PRACTICE FOR THE INDYCAR GRAND PRIX AT THE GLEN

1) Scott Dixon 1:22.6187 / 146.843 mph
3) Graham Rahal 1:22.9716 / 146.219 mph (fastest in Practice 1)

GRAHAM RAHAL, No. 15 Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “Overall it was a very good day. I feel like we made really good gains on the setup. The car rolled off the trailer extremely competitive and that’s what you need because you don’t want to have to reinvent the wheel during the weekend. The guys have done a great job, the car is close. Do we want to be a little bit better? Yes, but overall we are pretty close. This is a phenomenal place. There is a lot of grip, and the track is very smooth just as we left it last year. It should be a great race this weekend.”

FAST FACTS: The INDYCAR Grand Prix at the Glen will mark Graham Rahal’s fourth race here. In 2016, he started 20th after a qualifying penalty on Saturday. He had set the sixth fastest time in Group 2 of Round 1 when Takuma Sato brought out the red flag and would have advanced to Round 2 to set the top-12 positions but INDYCAR withdrew Rahal’s two fastest laps because they ruled he impeded Jack Hawksworth’s lap time. Rahal’s third fastest lap put him P10 in his group and he did not advance. He started the race on primary Firestone tires and most utilized the softer, alternate Firestones. He passed a car on the opening lap and after a multi-car incident, he was up to 15th. He passed Hunter-Reay for 14th on Lap 3 and steadily moved up to eighth place as the pit cycle was in progress. He had been saving fuel to extend the stint as long as possible and gain positions but Aleshin crashed and brought out the first caution on Lap 14. Once the pits opened, Rahal pitted from eighth place on Lap 16. He returned to the track in 18th place with the top 11 having made their first stops on Lap 14 or before. On the restart, he was passing Charlie Kimball and contact between the two forced him head-on into the tire barrier on Lap 19 and he retired in 20st place after one of the hardest impact’s he had taken in Indy car. 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… His top finishes this season are wins in Dual 1 and Dual 2 in Detroit and top start is pole for Detroit Dual 1… Rahal is sixth in series point standings with a total of 418. He is 76 points behind leader Josef Newgarden (494), 58 behind second place Scott Dixon (476), 54 behind third place Helio Castroneves (472), 50 behind fourth place Simon Pagenaud (468) and 34 behind fifth place Will Power (452).

RAHAL LETTERMAN LANIGAN RACING AT WATKINS GLEN … The 2017 INDYCAR Grand Prix at the Glen will mark the sixth Indy car event for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing (RLL) at Watkins Glen International (WGI) and second here 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 2017 event, the team prepared a total of 10 Indy car entries for drivers Buddy Rice (2005-2006), Danica Patrick (2005-2006), Vitor Meira (2005), Jeff Simmons (2006-2007), Scott Sharp (2007), Ryan Hunter-Reay (2008) and Graham Rahal (2016). The No. 15 entry for Graham Rahal will bring the Indy car total to 11 entries in 2017.

NEXT UP: Practice 3 will take place tomorrow from 10:30-11:15 a.m. ET and qualifying will be 3:00 – 4:15. NBCSN will broadcast qualifying on a tape delayed basis at 7 p.m. ET Saturday. Timing and Scoring information and live streaming video is available for all sessions from www.indycar.com and includes live commentary by the INDYCAR Radio Network. The INDYCAR Grand Prix at the Glen will be televised live on NBCSN beginning at 1:00 PM ET Sunday, September 3.

Rahal Looks Forward to Return to Road Courses for Final Two INDYCAR Races Starting with the INDYCAR Grand Prix at the Glen

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
INDYCAR Grand Prix at the Glen – Watkins Glen International
Pre-Race Notes
Round 15 of 17 in the 2017 Verizon IndyCar Series

DATE: September 1-3, 2017

PRACTICE BROADCASTS: Live on Friday, September 1 from 10:15-11:00 a.m. ET and 3:05-3:50 p.m. ET on
Indycar.com, YouTube, Facebook and Twitter. Also live on Saturday from 10:30-11:15 a.m. ET and 9:00-9:30 a.m. ET on Sunday.

QUALIFYING BROADCAST: Same day delay on NBCSN at 7 p.m. ET Saturday, September 2 and live at 3 p.m. ET on the Advance Auto Parts INDYCAR Radio Network (AAPIRN), the INDYCAR 17 app and www.indycar.com (video streaming and timing & scoring + live analysis).

RACE BROADCAST: Live on NBCSN beginning at 1 p.m. ET Sunday, September 3, the INDYCAR 17 app and
www.indycar.com (timing & scoring + live analysis).

RADIO BROADCAST: Live 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

2016 WINNER: Scott Dixon
2016 POLESITTER: Scott Dixon (1:22.5259; 147.008 mph)

RAHAL’S HIGHEST SERIES START / FINISH: 3 Poles – St. Pete (street) 2009, Kansas (oval) 2009, Detroit (street) 2017 / 6 Wins – St. Pete 2008, Fontana (oval; 500 miles) 2015, Mid-Ohio (road) 2015, Texas (oval) 2016; Detroit Race 1 2017, Detroit Race 2 2017

RAHAL’S BEST WGI START / FINISH: 5th in 2009 with NHLR but penalized 10 starting spots / 8th in 2008 with NHLR; will be his fourth race here

RLLR’S BEST START/FINISH AT THE GLEN 3rd / 1st – both in 2008 by Ryan Hunter-Reay

NEWS & NOTES:

RLL RACING AIMS TO ADD TO 2008 WIN HERE
The 2017 INDYCAR Grand Prix at the Glen will mark the sixth Indy car event for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing (RLLR) at Watkins Glen International (WGI) and second 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 2017 event, the team prepared a total of 10 Indy car entries for drivers Buddy Rice (2005-2006), Danica Patrick (2005-2006), Vitor Meira (2005), Jeff Simmons (2006-2007), Scott Sharp (2007), Ryan Hunter-Reay (2008) and Graham Rahal (2016). The No. 15 entry for Graham Rahal will bring the Indy car total to 11 entries in 2017.

GRAHAM AT WATKINS GLEN = HIGH EXPECTATIONS
The INDYCAR Grand Prix at the Glen will mark Graham Rahal’s fourth race here. In 2016, he started 20th after a qualifying penalty on Saturday. He had set the sixth fastest time in Group 2 of Round 1 when Takuma Sato brought out the red flag and would have advanced to Round 2 to set the top-12 positions but INDYCAR withdrew Rahal’s two fastest laps because they ruled he impeded Jack Hawksworth’s lap time. Rahal’s third fastest lap put him P10 in his group and he did not advance. He started the race on primary Firestone tires and most utilized the softer, alternate Firestones. He passed a car on the opening lap and after a multi-car incident, he was up to 15th. He passed Hunter-Reay for 14th on Lap 3 and steadily moved up to eighth place as the pit cycle was in progress. He had been saving fuel to extend the stint as long as possible and gain positions but Aleshin crashed and brought out the first caution on Lap 14. Once the pits opened, Rahal pitted from eighth place on Lap 16. He returned to the track in 18th place with the top 11 having made their first stops on Lap 14 or before. On the restart, he was passing Charlie Kimball and contact between the two forced him head-on into the tire barrier on Lap 19 and he retired in 20st place after one of the hardest impact’s he had taken in Indy car. 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. Rahal is looking forward to the return to the Watkins Glen road course and is hoping he has a competitive race like he did at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course where he qualified fourth and finished third.
“My expectations for the weekend are extremely high. Last year the car was very good at Watkins Glen so I believe we can start where we left off. The tires are the same this year so there shouldn’t be anything unexpected and it should be similar to Mid-Ohio this year.”

GRAHAM ON ROAD/STREET COURSE QUALIFYING SINCE INDY AND THE TEAM’S STRENGTH, COURSE-WISE
Since the Indianapolis 500, Rahal has qualified no lower than sixth place on the road and street courses including front row starts at Detroit’s Dual 1 with pole, and also third place in Dual 2, and a second place start on the streets of Toronto. On the two road courses, he progressed to the Firestone Fast Six both times with a sixth place start at Road America and fourth at Mid-Ohio. He is hoping to continue that through the next two road courses at Watkins Glen and Sonoma and put himself and the team in a position for a good finish.
“I think that the upcoming races fit the strengths of our team very well so I’m looking forward to them. I’m glad we’re through some of the more challenging tracks for us of the year and on to a really good track at Watkins Glen that I believe we can qualify and race well at and hopefully run up front. It’s going to be tough as always. We can’t overlook that. We will keep our heads down and push as hard as we can. We will try to start up front and go racing. Fuel strategy played a role last year, amongst other things, but hopefully we can put it all together.”

GRAHAM AND THE POINT STANDINGS
With two races remaining on the schedule, Rahal is sixth in series point standings with a total of 436. He is 111 points behind leader Josef Newgarden (547), 80 behind second place Scott Dixon (516), 69 behind third place Helio Castroneves (505), 68 behind fourth place Simon Pagenaud (504) and 28 behind fifth place Will Power (464).
“Obviously I would like to get into the top five. I’m disappointed with the way the last two races ended off after being competitive but I do believe we are a team that is capable of taking it to the big boys. We have all year and our goal is to sneak up there into the top five. Certainly a win this weekend would really help that.”

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