Rahal Aims to Add to Two 2016 Podium Finishes at This Weekend’s Honda Indy Toronto; Rousseau Metal Car Returns

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing logo

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing

Honda Indy Toronto – Streets around Exhibition Place

Pre-Race Notes

Round 12 of 16 in the 2016 Verizon IndyCar Series



DATE: July 15-17, 2016

QUALIFYING BROADCAST:  Live on NBCSN on Saturday, July 16 at 1:30 p.m. ET and live on www.indycar.com (timing & scoring w/radio commentary)

RACE BROADCAST: Live on Sunday, July 17 at 2:30 p.m. ET on CNBC

RADIO BROADCAST: The race will air on the Advance Auto Parts INDYCAR Radio Network, Sirius 212, XM 209 and www.indycar.com

 TRACK LAYOUT:  1.755-mile, 11-turn temporary street course

RACE LENGTH: 85 laps / 149.17 miles

2015 WINNER: Josef Newgarden

2015 POLESITTER: Will Power (106.314 mph)

RAHAL’S HIGHEST SERIES START/FINISH:Pole at St. Pete 2009 (street) & Kansas 2009 (oval) / 1st in St. Pete in 2008, Fontana 2015 (super

speedway), Mid-Ohio 2015 (road)

RAHAL’S BEST TORONTO START/FINISH: 3rd in 2009 / 5th in 2010; will be his 10th Indy car race here and 11th overall

RLL’S BEST START/  FINISH AT TORONTO: Pole 1992 (B. Rahal) / 2nd (B. Rahal 1992, 1994, 1995; Jourdain Jr. 2003)




The Honda Indy Toronto will mark the 17th year of Indy car racing for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing (RLL) here.  The team also competed in the Atlantic Series races here in 2003 and 2004.  The team earned a total of four second place finishes (Rahal 1992, 1994, 1995; Michel Jourdain Jr. 2003) and best start was pole in 1992 by Bobby Rahal.  Prior to the 2016 event, the team prepared a total of 29 Indy car entries for drivers Bobby Rahal (1992-98), Mike Groff (1994), Raul Boesel (1995), Bryan Herta (1996-99), Max Papis (1999-2001), Jimmy Vasser (2002), Michel Jourdain Jr. (2002-03), Takuma Sato (2012), Graham Rahal (2013 x 2; 2014 x2; 2015), James Jakes (2013 x 2) and Luca Filippi (2014 x2). RLL also prepared three Toyota Atlantic entries (Danica Patrick 2003-2004; Chris Festa 2004).  In total, the team has earned FIVE podiums (3rd – Rahal 1996), 9 top-five’s and 18 top-10 finishes at the track.  The No. 15 Rousseau Metal entry for Graham Rahal will bring the Indy car total to 30 entries in 2015.



“Toronto is always fun, it’s a great atmosphere and a track I really enjoy. There is a lot of history there personally for me, and we certainly would like to add to it this weekend. I am sure it will be a hard fought race and weekend, but our Rousseau team is ready to battle hard!”


In the seven road and street races so far this season, Graham Rahal has earned two podiums (2nd – Barber, 3rd – Elkhart Lake) and four, top-four finishes.  Avoidable contact from another driver in St. Pete, a fuel economy race that didn’t go his way in Long Beach and a loose brake line in Detroit Dual 2 limited those results despite competitive weekends. He is looking forward to returning to a street course in general and Toronto specifically.

“It’s very important to have a good weekend in the Honda Indy Toronto.  We really got unlucky and struggled with terrible vibrations in Iowa. We must bounce back and have a good weekend, points-wise, because we are definitely further back than we want to be or should be in points. I have high expectations.”



“I think we should be very good, but I expect us to be good everywhere. Last year at Toronto we were just okay performance-wise so we need to take what we have learned from all other street courses this year and try to improve the car. I am sure Eddie (Jones; race engineer) and the team will do just that and we will work throughout the weekend to get it honed in.”


Bobby Rahal won the inaugural Indy car race in Toronto in 1986. On the 30th anniversary of that win, Bobby and Graham share some thoughts on that.  A feature story will appear on the IndyCar Series website in the coming days that will include more comments from Bobby.

“Having raced so much earlier in my career in Canada, I always looked forward to going back to Canada,” said Bobby Rahal. “There had always been talk of a street race in Toronto and finally it happened.  There was a lot of excitement about it. For us, we had won Indy but then we had a couple of frankly average races after that so we were looking forward to getting off on a better foot at that race.  I was looking forward to the race because it was in Canada, and because of the fans in Canada who were always so knowledgeable and passionate about racing. The layout out the circuit was quite nice and Molson, who was the sponsor then, really did a good job promoting the race.  Even though I was sponsored by a competitor in Budweiser, they really showed their class and took us around town and promoted us. I got to know some people at Molson at the time that I stayed friends with for many years. It was a very good lead up to the event and then we qualified well.  In the race, the car was very good.”

“Toronto is a special race for all of us,” added Graham. “I think the Canadian fans always love and respect what we do and come out and support us in big numbers. Obviously it would always be great to win in Toronto, but doing it 30 years after dad won would certainly be cool as well. I’m more just focused on winning, whatever that may take.”


New for the 2016 Honda Indy Toronto is the location of the pit lane due to construction of a hotel behind the historic location.  Rahal expects that to provide a new challenge.

“I am sure that the pits will take some time to adjust to, and I know it’s very curvy and going to be a new challenge for the teams. I just hope we have a good spot and can have our usual good stops to help out!”

“I would say the last section of the track is my favorite just because it’s so quick. Now with the new layout it may change slightly, so it will be interesting to see how it looks now.”


With five races yet to be run this season, in addition to the rescheduled conclusion of Round 7 at Texas Motor Speedway on August 27, Rahal is ninth in series point standings with a total of 275. He is only 43 points behind fifth place Helio Castroneves (318). Series leader Simon Pagenaud has 409 points.



The 2016 Honda Indy Toronto will be Graham Rahal’s 10th Indy car race here and 11th overall.  In 2015, he started 10th and finished ninth. The timing of the first full course caution on Lap 29 for James Jakes benefitted eventual winner Josef Newgarden, who made a pit stop just before the caution and was able to move up the field to run second behind Helio Castroneves, who also stayed out during the caution to gain the lead, when the rest cycled through their stops once the pits opened… In 2014 in Race 1, he qualified 14th but started 11th in the race due to issues with three competitors in Saturday’sattempted race that was postponed until Sunday morning. After an opening lap multi-car crash that brought out a red flag he restarted the race in ninth place. He moved into eight when Filippi made contact and retired and later passed Wilson for seventh. He later moved into sixth place and held the position until the checkered flag… In Race 2 at Toronto, he started 19th based on Entrant Points and took over 15th after Lap 1. The team elected to pit early (Lap 7) to go on an alternate strategy and he was running 21st but light rain began to intermittently fall. As the rainfall picked up, many drivers slid off course and the majority of the field pitted for rain tires on Lap 14.  With 19 laps to go Rahal passed Wilson for seventh place before the race was deemed a “timed event.” Once he made another stop to switch rain tires for slicks on the rapidly drying course, he returned to the track in 14th place and was in 13th when a shifting issue surfaced. He ultimately stopped on course after he completed 50 of what would become a 56 lap race after a red flag for a multi-car accident that blocked Turn 3 and led to a subsequent restart. He retired in 20th place due to a shifting barrel failure…  In Race 1 of 2013, he started 18th and moved to 17th when Justin Wilson (and also Newgarden, behind) stalled before the standing start. On the rolling start he gained two spots and another when he passed Sato on the following lap.  He was later hit by Tristan Vautier, who was assessed a drive through penalty for avoidable contact, on Lap 35 and fell three laps down by the time he got restarted and pitted. He finished the 85-lap race in 20th place.  In 2013 Race 2, he qualified 20th but started 19th after gaining a position due to Ryan Briscoe breaking his wrist in Race 1 and being replaced by Carlos Munoz, who started in the back. He drove to a 13th place finish… In 2012, he qualified 12th, started 10th after penalties were served to two competitors ahead on the grid and was sixth when contact in Turn 1 forced him to retire from the race in 23rd with Service Central Chip Ganassi Racing (SCCGR)… In 2011 he qualified fifth, led 23 laps and finished 13th for SCCGR… In 2010, he started 14th with Newman/Haas Racing and earned his best finish since his 2008 win in St. Pete of fifth place…  In 2009, he started third with Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing but was hit by second place starter Will Power, who squeezed him to the wall on the opening lap before T1.  A forced stop to replace his front wing dropped him to the back but he charged through the field into seventh place.  He held his position behind Patrick but flat-spotted his tires which led to losing three positions before his next stop.  He tried to pass the lapped car of Ed Carpenter on the inside on a right-handed turn but the contact ended his race in 20th place after 57/85 laps… There was not a race in Toronto in 2008… Started 15th in the 2007 Champ Car race as a rookie for NHLR but an evasive move to avoid a pile up on Lap 1 led to him hitting the wall and a subsequent stop for a new front wing.  Had to pit again for another front wing later in the race after running as high as second.  Retired in 11th place after he made contact for the third time due to a broken steering rack… Started from pole in the 2006 Atlantic race but was hit by Raphael Matos on the first lap.  Repaired the damaged suspension and returned to the track a few laps down, set the fastest race lap but later retired in 15th place.