Rahal Led Practice Day 3 for the Indy 500; Servia and Sato Faced a Few Challenges

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing

102nd Running of the Indianapolis 500

Verizon IndyCar Series




1)         Graham Rahal           226.047 mph             102 laps

16)       Oriol Servia               223.641 mph             62 laps

33)       Takuma Sato             221.776 mph              89 laps

GRAHAM RAHAL, No. 15 United Rentals Dallara/Honda/Firestone:  “Today was definitely a better day for sure. From the get-go, I knew that yesterday we didn’t put in any effort to actually put in a decent lap. I found myself all day yesterday in the middle of the pack. It’s impossible to put up a number from that position. So there was a lot of reason and motivation to go and try to put together a decent one today. It was obviously our second lap. I went out and was trying to do a qualifying simulation. I just went out, a bunch of guys came out. Stefan Wilson came out in front of me. He was at the end of the back straight as I was going out of two. I thought, for once I’m just going to do this, just stay in it. Not normally my MO, but I thought I might as well put a good one up there, at least lower my dad’s blood pressure for the night, Lanigan and everybody. It was a solid run. We tried another qual sim. Every qual sim I did today everybody came out in front of me. I didn’t get a qual sim today. Not a single one. Hopefully Mother Nature will be nice to us tomorrow.For sure today was, in the end, a very good day. We had the car. We showed that it had the pace, number one. Number two, at the end of the day we found and made some big strides with our racecar. That’s more what I was focused on. But that last run, that was by far the best I have felt. Obviously there’s a lot of cars out there, a bunch of people, it was by far the best that I have felt in traffic to this point. I felt a lot stronger than a good amount of guys that I was around. It’s still hard to pass when you’re 20th and 15th in line. This car, it’s very disruptive back there. The last car was, too. I think it’s going to go out there and race just fine. Today was definitely a good day for us overall just to make a huge step forward in a lot of phases of it. We can all rest a little bit easier. For tomorrow we’ve been scratching our heads like crazy. Everybody has been nervous. Everybody has been trying a hundred different things. I have to say Takuma and Oriol have been extremely influential and beneficial to our program. It’s great to have three guys that have so much experience around this place. I can guarantee you that come Monday, we’ll be much better off from a racing perspective than where we are even today.”

  • FAST FACTS: Will be his 11th 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 six of his nine previous races here. Detailed Indy 500 information available upon request. Has SIX IndyCar Series wins (2008 – St. Pete street course; 2015 – Fontana Super Speedway, Mid-Ohio road course; 2016 – Texas Super Speedway; 2017 Detroit Race 1, Detroit Race 2) and THREE poles (2009 – St. Pete street course, Kansas oval; 2017 – Detroit Race 1 street) and his highest series season-ending standing is fourth place in 2015… He dropped from being tied for third in the standings to sixth with 142 points, only 10 out of third place.

TAKUMA SATO, No. 30 Mi-Jack / Panasonic Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “We did a qualifying sim, four short ones actually. One was reasonably successful and the other three I had to abort due to the balance of the car. We were struggling to find speed on qualifying simulation to find any speed. And then in later afternoon, we went back to the race trim and carried over the positives from yesterday and I felt that was good but today turned out to be a really difficult day. I struggled a lot with grip, speed, balance. We will have a look at the data. Tomorrow will be a completely different day. We bump up the boost which I’m quite excited about but before that I think we need to really understand what happened today.” 

  • FAST FACTS: Reigning winner of the 2017 Indy 500.  The 2018 race will be his ninth Indy 500 and second with RLL. In 2012 with RLL, he was alongside eventual winner Franchitti in Turn 1 on the final lap but his race ended due to contact after he was squeezed down on the apron and lost control of his race car. Prior to his 2017 win with Andretti from his best start of fourth place, his highest finish was 13th in 2013 and 2015 – both with A.J. Foyt Racing… Has TWO IndyCar Series wins (2013 – Long Beach street course, 2017 – Indy 500 oval) and SEVEN poles (2011 Iowa oval, Edmonton street; 2013 Houston Race 1 street; 2014 St. Pete street, Detroit Race 2 street; 2017 Detroit Race 2, Pocono oval).  He is 13th in series point standings with 90 points.

ORIOL SERVIA, No. 64 Scuderia Corsa / Manitowoc Dallara/Honda/Firestone, entered by Scuderia Corsa with RLL:  “We really didn’t have the day we planned, in the sense, that for the afternoon session we had a lot of things we wanted to try, but we didn’t have a chance to. The morning session went really well. We did a couple of good, solid runs on our own to start getting the set up for qualifying so that was good. But then in the afternoon we had a couple of little mechanical issues that kept us from being on track. Luckily our teammates were out there doing a lot of laps and doing some testing for us so we should gather all the information with all the engineers, and I’m sure we will put the best package together. The important thing is its only Thursdaytomorrow is Fast FridayTomorrow will be a really good indication of where we stand in terms of our own speed for qualifying. I think we should be in decent shape.”

  • FAST FACTS: The 2018 Indy 500 will be Servia’s 10th in the famed race and fifth 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… A native of Pals, Spain, Servia has made 202 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.

NEXT UP: Fast Friday practice will take place from 11-6 p.m. ET tomorrow.