Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix
Verizon IndyCar Series
PRACTICE NOTES/QUOTES – June 1, 2018
RAHAL WAS SIXTH FASTEST OVERALL IN PRACTICE FOR THE CHEVROLET DETROIT GRAND PRIX DOUBLEHEADERS; SATO WAS 13TH
1) Ryan Hunter-Reay 1:16.3598 / 110.791 mph
6) Graham Rahal 1:16.7098 / 110.286 mph (3rd in Practice 1)
13) Takuma Sato 1:17.1359 / 109.677 mph (12th in Practice 1)
GRAHAM RAHAL, No. 15 United Rentals Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “In the end, the United Rentals car was not bad. We certainly weren’t great but our pace is close. We struggled with the car being very, very lose compared to last year. We made a big change mid-session, before we had even done any real running. We just took a big swing at it just because we felt that with the red flag (King) we were going to lose time if we didn’t just try it. It was probably the wrong way to go so now we know that and we will go back and adjust for qualifying and hopefully we will be okay.”
- FAST FACTS: The event will mark Graham Rahal’s 12th and 13th races here. Last year Rahal was either first or second in every on-track session including qualifying and each race. In Dual 1 last year, Rahal earned his first pole since Kansas 2009 and led a dominating 55 of 70 laps en route to his fifth series victory and first ever from pole. He handily held the lead with the exception of pit cycles and built a gap of more than 13 seconds at one point before he ultimately won by a six-second margin over Scott Dixon. For Dual 2, Rahal set the second fastest time in his qualifying group 2 to Sato to start third. In the race, he passed Hunter-Reay on Lap 8 and closed the gap to pole sitter and leader Sato but could not pass. Sato pit one lap earlier than Rahal, who took the lead on Lap 23 before he made his first of two stops on Lap 24 and returned to the track behind Newgarden who was on a three-stop strategy. Once Newgarden pit on Lap 29, Rahal took over the lead and steadily built his gap to second place to 16 seconds over Sato before his second and final stop on Lap 47. He then proceeded to build an 18 second gap over second place before he caught traffic. That reduced his lead to new second place runner Newgarden to 5.5 seconds before a red flag came out for the car of Pigot, who experienced a smoky end. All race cars were stopped in pit lane for approximately 10 minutes while the track was cleared and an attempt to remove marbles was made. The race resumed with a two lap shootout and Rahal utilized his 57 seconds of Push to Pass over Newgarden’s 36 to keep the lead on the restart before he was able to pull a slight gap before the checkered flag to become the first winner of both races in Detroit. In total, he led 41 of 70 laps. His other podiums in the race came in 2014 with second place in Dual 1 and third place in Dual 2 in 2015. Overall, he has two wins, four podiums and one pole in 11 races here… 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 is ranked sixth in series point standings with a total of 183 points, only 35 behind fourth place Scott Dixon.
TAKUMA SATO, No. 30 Fifth Third Bank Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “The day was a little bit of a mixture of results. We found some positives but mostly we were struggling with issue with the brakes and other things so and never really solved them. It never felt comfortable unfortunately and with the short sessions, that’s what we’ve got. At least we have been competitive here most of the time so we will see how it turns out in qualifying.”
- FAST FACTS: The 2018 races will be Takuma’s 12th and 13th here. In his 11 previous races, his best start is two poles (2014 with A.J. Foyt Racing, 2017 with Andretti Autosport), best finish is second in 2015 with AFR and he has led a total of 44 laps in three races. He started in the top-five in four of 11 races and earned two, top-five and four, top-10 finishes. Last year, he qualified third for Dual 1 and finished eighth and won pole for Dual 2 and finished fourth for Andretti Autosport after leading 22 laps. And in his previous race with RLL here in 2012, he qualified 12th and retired in 20th after contact… 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 currently ranked 15th in series point standings with 100 points.
RAHAL LETTERMAN LANIGAN RACING AT DETROIT … This will be RLL’s 19th year to compete at the Raceway at Belle Isle Park and the team’s 24th and 25th races. The team’s highest start of pole came last year in Dual 1 with Graham Rahal earning his first pole since 2009. Bobby and Graham Rahal have earned a combined total of three wins for the team here. Bobby won the inaugural race in 1992 and Graham won both races here last year. In total, the team has earned seven podiums (2nd – G. Rahal 2014, Jakes 2013 & Max Papis 2000), (3rd – G. Rahal 2015) eight top-five finishes and 16 top-10’s here (chart available). Prior to 2018, the team prepared a total of 28 entries for drivers such as Bobby Rahal (1992-1998), Mike Groff (1993-94), Raul Boesel (1995), Bryan Herta (1996-99), Max Papis (1999-2001), Kenny Brack (2000-01), Ryan Hunter-Reay (2007-08) Takuma Sato (2012), Graham Rahal (2013-2017), James Jakes (2013) and Oriol Servia (2017).
NEXT UP: Qualifying for Dual 1 will take place tomorrow from 10:55-11:25 a.m. ET and the 70 lap Dual 1 will take the Green Flag at 3:50 PM. Timing and Scoring information and live streaming video is available for all sessions from www.indycar.com and includes live commentary by the Advance Auto Parts INDYCAR Radio Network. The Chevrolet Grand Prix of Detroit Dual 1 will be televised live on ABC beginning at 3:30 PM ET Saturday, June 2.