Sato Was The 12th Fastest in Practice for the Grand Prix of Portland and Rahal was 22nd

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing

Grand Prix of Portland

Verizon IndyCar Series



1)         Sebastien Bourdais  57.3975 / 123.183 mph         

12)       Takuma Sato             57.7915 / 122.343 mph

22)       Graham Rahal           58.0963 / 121.701 mph

GRAHAM RAHAL, No. 15 One Cure Dallara/Honda/Firestone:  “It’s a tight field so it’s a bad weekend to be off slightly. We need to keep working hard. There are no quick and easy solutions. Everyone is trying awfully hard and we’re just missing it a little bit. The track is slightly different but in most respects it’s the same. It’s great to be back. These cars are fast around here, they really scream around this track. If you are watching these things in person or watching the onboard cameras, that comes across. We are hauling the mail; just flying around this place.”

  • FAST FACTS: It will be the fourth overall race for Graham at PIR and second in the headline event.  He competed in the 2007 Champ Car World Series race where he started eighth and finished ninth in his rookie season for Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing.  He started from pole in the Atlantics race here in 2006 but was hit by Simon Pagenaud on Lap 1 and finished 27th.  In 2005, he earned his first professional win at PIR in the Star Mazda race after starting fourth and winning by a margin of 0.0317 seconds over James Hinchcliffe.  Has SIX IndyCar Series wins (2008 – St. Pete street course; 2015 – Fontana Super Speedway, Mid-Ohio road course; 2016 – Texas oval; 2017 – Race 1 & 2 Detroit streets) and THREE poles (2009 – St. Pete street course, Kansas oval; 2017 – Detroit Race 1 street).  His highest series season-ending standing is fourth place in 2015.  He is currently ranked fourth in series standings with 63 points. He is currently ranked eighth in series point standings with 351 points. 

TAKUMA SATO, No. 30 Mi-Jack / Panasonic Dallara/Honda/Firestone:  “It was a mixed day today. After a good day yesterday where we got more understanding of the car and the track, this morning I felt pretty positive, the car was competitive.  We were comfortably in the top-10, there were a lot of cars in the same second and we were only a couple of tenths off of the leader and that was quite encouraging. The balance was good too. We tried to improve the balance of the car for this afternoon and of course it was in warmer temperatures and a hotter track.  The temperature made the car have less grip but not only that, it didn’t feel as good as this morning. We need to look at the data. Both cars also underperformed on the red tires. Luckily we have one more day to work on it before the race so hopefully tomorrow is a better day. This is a fantastic track. It’s a little road course but it is quite challenging. You need a lot of commitment. It’s a busy track, especially considering you have two long straights.  There are so many corners together. It’s just nonstop, constant work.  It’s a great track. We had a good autograph session today. There were so many fans here and they were so enthusiastic that INDYCAR is back. It’s a great venue and it’s so close to downtown, which has great food and a great atmosphere.”

  • FAST FACTS: Will be his first race at PIR… 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 ranked 13th in series point standings with 290.

RAHAL LETTERMAN LANIGAN RACING AT PORTLAND … Indy car racing is returning to Portland International Raceway (PIR) for the first time since the 24th consecutive race was held in 2007.  It will mark the 13th time for Rahal Letterman Lanigan (RLL) Racing to compete in an Indy car race here and first since 2003 when Michel Jourdain Jr. started second but contact with Paul Tracy led to a 12th place finish.  The team competed in CART and Champ Car-sanctioned races here from 1992-2003 with a best starting position of pole by Bryan Herta in 1998 and Max Papis in 2001 and best finish of first place by Max Papis in 2001. RLL has earned a total of three podium finishes (3rd – B. Rahal 1995, Herta 1998) and has led a total of 89 laps here (1998: Herta, 20; 2001 Papis, 69). In addition, the team competed in the Toyota Atlantic races here in 2003 (Danica Patrick, Jon Fogarty) and 2004 (Patrick and Chris Festa). 

NEXT UP:  Practice 3 will take place tomorrow from 11:10-11:55 a.m. PT and qualifying will take place from 3:20-4:35.  NBCSN will broadcast qualifying coverage on a tape delayed basis at 7:30 PM ET Saturday. Timing and Scoring information and live streaming video is available for all sessions from and includes live commentary. The Grand Prix of Portland will be televised live on NBCSN beginning at 12:30 PM ET Sunday, September 2.