Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
101st Running of the Indianapolis 500 Presented by PennGrade
Verizon IndyCar Series
PRACTICE NOTES/QUOTES – May 16, 2017
RAHAL AND SERVIA WORKED ON RACE SETUPS ON DAY 2 OF PRACTICE FOR THE INDY 500
1) Will Power 224.656 mph 71 laps
18) Oriol Servia 221.921 mph 65 laps
20) Graham Rahal 221.738 mph 100 laps
GRAHAM RAHAL, No. 15 Steak ‘n Shake Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “I think the car, naturally, has a lot of pace and a lot of speed. That isn’t something casual fans necessarily understand that statement but sometimes you get what’s called ‘slow car syndrome’ and sometimes there are cars that are just fast and I think our car has some pace to it. The flip side is that, mechanically, we need to get the car a little more comfortable. (Will) Power looks strong but I don’t see anybody that looks dominant to me but still, we need to get the car more comfortable to be able to run in traffic. The competition is pretty strong, contrary to what they want to believe. You never know what they have in store until it gets closer to Pole Day. It’s been a benefit to have Oriol here. He has had several reads that are very similar to mine. His sense of the car – the good things and bad things — is identical to mine so it is a benefit. Not that we’re bad, but we need to be better. We need to work through a checklist of things tomorrow because we really only have another day and a half of race running before we have to get into qualifying work.”
FAST FACTS: Will be his 10th Indy 500. His best qualifying position in the Indy 500 is fourth in 2009 with Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing and best finish is third with Service Central Chip Ganassi Racing in 2011 after he led six laps. He ran in the top-five in five of his eight previous races here. In 2008, with Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing, he was the highest Indy 500 starter of the Champ Car transitioning teams with his 13th place qualifying effort but made contact on L36 after driving high to avoid the slower car of Lloyd and retired in 33rd place. He qualified fourth for NHLR in the 2009 Indy 500 but made contact on L56 while fifth and retired in 31st. In 2010, he competed for his father’s team – RLL – for the first time in an Indy car. He qualified seventh and ran as high as second but a blocking penalty on L188/200 dropped him from third to a 12th place finish. He qualified 29th with Service Central Chip Ganassi Racing in 2011 and earned his best finish at Indy to date of third place after he led six laps. In 2012, he qualified 12th, ran as high as third and finished 13th for SCCGR. In 2013, he qualified 26th and pitted from ninth place for his second to last stop and his outside rear tire changer had a mechanical problem and Rahal returned to the track in 21st place. He was in 17th with eight laps to go and lost control of his car in Turn 2 and made contact with the wall. In 2014, he started 20th but finished 33rd due to an electrical problem that kept shutting his engine off. In 2015, he drove to a fifth place finish after starting 17th… Started 26th for the 2016 race and ran 10th in the final stage despite many challenges before a Lap 190/200 stop for a splash of fuel was followed by a 14th place finish in a race in a race where the outcome was dictated by fuel strategy. Rahal lost his left rear winglet and 100 lbs. of downforce after his Lap 96/200 pit stop, had to make an extra stop for a splash of fuel in a closed pit before it opened and avoid two near misses when Montoya and Aleshin crashed in separate incidents immediately in front of Rahal. He also took a hit to the right rear of the car by Servia. Despite those incidents, he would have been in a decent position if he had been able to stretch his fuel mileage until the checkered flag.
ORIOL SERVIA, No. 16 Manitowoc Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “You wouldn’t think it by looking at the time sheets but I am actually happier today than yesterday. I think we ended up with a car more racer-friendly than yesterday which is what we need in a 500-mile race with 32 cars around you. We just focused on that today honestly and I think we made a good step.”
FAST FACTS: Will be his 200th Indy car start… The 2017 Indy 500 will be Servia’s ninth in the famed race and fourth with RLL. His best finish overall is fourth in 2012 with Dreyer & Reinbold and best start is third in 2011 with Newman/Haas Racing. In the 2009 Indianapolis 500 with RLL, Servia was in ninth place halfway through the race when a mechanical failure led to his retirement in 26th place. In 2014, he competed for the team in Long Beach, at Barber Motorsports Park and two events at Indianapolis Motor Speedway where he led seven laps in the road course race but finished 12th, qualified 18th for the Indy 500 and finished 11th. In 2015, Servia retired in 29th place from the Indy 500 with RLL after Ed Carpenter attempted an inside pass while Servia was 15th and took both drivers out of the race after 112 of 200 laps… He will compete for RLL in the Indy 500 and doubleheaders in Detroit… A native of Pals, Spain, Servia has made 199 starts in CART, Champ Car and the IndyCar Series since his rookie season in 2000. His Indy car highlights include one win (Montreal 2005) and one pole (Surfers Paradise, Australia 2005) as well as a total of 19 top-three, 51 top-five and 101 top-10 finishes.