Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing

Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix

Verizon IndyCar Series

PRACTICE NOTES/QUOTES – June 2, 2017

 

 

RAHAL WAS SECOND FASTEST OVERALL IN PRACTICE FOR THE CHEVROLET DETROIT GRAND PRIX DOUBLEHEADERS; SERVIA 15TH IN RETURN TO THE TRACK SINCE 2012

 

1)         Helio Castroneves    1:15.1511 / 112.573 mph      

2)         Graham Rahal           1:15.3328 / 112.302 mph       (1st in Practice 1)

15)       Oriol Servia               1:16.1488 / 111.098 mph       (11th in Practice 2)

 

GRAHAM RAHAL, No. 15 SoldierStrong / TurnsforTroops.com Dallara/Honda/Firestone:  “First of all, it’s great to be back here. We appreciate everything Roger (Penske) has done here in the city to put this on. Certainly they made some improvements on the track, on the straightaways, which is nice. It’s been a track that’s been good to me in the past. I had a couple podiums here and finished fourth last year in Race 1. Overall, it’s been a place I’ve had some success, which is nice. Obviously today started off on the right foot and the United Rentals car seems to be very strong, very competitive right off the trailer this morning. In the first session, we didn’t even change anything. There was no reason to. Definitely as the track heated up in the afternoon, it got slippery for me. I’m sure everybody will say the same. In fact, on my fastest lap, I was pretty much turning right — supposed to be turning right into Turn 11, but I was looking at the left-hand side wall. I know we had a couple more tenths in it. It’s going to be tricky out there. It’s bumpy. It’s going to beat us up pretty good. We’ll just have to go out there tomorrow and test it. Hopefully the car will be nice and reliable, we’ll get to the end and have a good day.”

 

FAST FACTS: The event will mark Rahal’s 11th and 12th races here. In his previous 10 races here, his best finishes have come in 2014 with second place in Dual 1 and third place in Dual 2 in 2015.  Last year he finished fourth in Dual 1 and started seventh in Dual 2.  He was on track for the pace laps when an issue with his brakes surfaced so he pitted and the team checked the car. As the field took the green, a multi-car accident happened and the caution flag came out.  Rahal was sent back on track and stayed out until the pits opened then returned to the pits so the team could bleed the brakes. He returned to the track after the issue was fixed and had to catch up to the field but was able to stay on the lead lap due to the caution. Alternate strategy played out until he was running fifth as others cycled through their final stops. The team called him into the pits but before he could get to the entry, a caution flag was brought out on Lap 50/70 for Hawksworth’s crash and the pits were closed thus negating him to take advantage of the strategy that had worked out thus far.  Only four cars had yet to pit, including Rahal who was now third behind Bourdais and Kimball. He held the position through the restart and went on to take the lead on Lap 59/70 before he pitted for a splash of fuel only and ultimately finished 11th.

 

 

ORIOL SERVIA, No. 16 Fifth Third Bank Dallara/Honda/Firestone:  “The first session felt a little more challenging than I expected.  I had a very good record at this track and not only had my first podium here but also all top-six finishes and I like this place but I was having a hard time finding the limit of the car.  I can only put it down to the whole track being concrete vs. the last time I was here and it was asphalt.  Obviously concrete is a lot different and I was having a hard time finding where the grip is but the more laps I did, the more I got used to it.  And then the track started gripping up and there was more rubber down so it started to become more normal.  Thankfully the Fifth Third Bank car that the team gave me is awesome as we can see by the great job Graham is doing.  It’s great to have a reference like that.  I’m trying to not make a mistake and use every lap.  We were eleventh in Practice 2 and I lost a tenth-of-a-second and a half in the last corner so we would have been seventh.  I’m happy with the progress.  We are still not at the end of the tunnel but we are getting there. I’m very happy.”

 

FAST FACTS: The doubleheaders will be Servia’s fifth and sixth Indy car starts here and his return to the track for the first time since 2012.  In four Indy Car races, his best start is third in 2008 with KVRT and best finish is third in 2000 with PPI, which was his first career podium finish.  In four Indy car starts, he has a third (2000, PPI), fourth (2008, KVRT), fifth (2012, Panther/DRR) and sixth (2001, Sigma) place finish. He also competed in two Indy Lights races here in 1998 and 1999 for Dorricott Racing where his best start – pole — and best finish of second place came in 1999.

 

RAHAL LETTERMAN LANIGAN RACING AT DETROIT … This will be RLL’s 18th year to compete at the Raceway at Belle Isle Park and the team’s 22nd and 23rd races. The team’s highest start of second place came in the inaugural running on Belle Isle in 1992 by Bobby Rahal and in 2013 by James Jakes in Dual 2. Bobby Rahal brought the team its highest finish with a win in 1992, Jakes added a third podium for the team in 2013 with his second place finish and Graham Rahal added a fourth and fifth podium with his second place finish in Dual 1 in 2014 and third place finish in Dual 2 in 2015. In total, the team has earned five podiums (2nd – G. Rahal 2014, Jakes 2013 & Max Papis 2000), (3rd – G. Rahal 2015) seven top-five finishes and 15 top-10’s here (chart available).