Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
NTT IndyCar Series – Round 10 of 17
QUALIFYING NOTES/QUOTES – June 22, 2019
RAHAL AND SATO TO START FIFTH AND SIXTH FOR THE REV GROUP GRAND PRIX OF ROAD AMERICA
1) Colton Herta 1:42.9920 / 140.306 mph (Group 1, Round 3)
5) Graham Rahal 1:43.8076 / 139.204 mph (Group 1, Round 3)
6) Takuma Sato 1:43.8790 / 139.108 mph (Group 1, Round 3)
GRAHAM RAHAL, No. 15 GEHL / Manitou Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “It was a good day for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing in the end considering how we ran in Practice 3 to rebound like that and qualify fifth and sixth. It’s a good accomplishment. The Gehl car was strong in qualifying. We’ll be able to race from there. Tire wear is going to be a major issue for tomorrow so we’ll have to see how it all shakes out. Starting up front, you can’t lose the track position so we’re starting on reds and you’ve got to go. But if the (bad) weather comes, we’ll face that challenge at the time.”
- FAST FACTS: Will be Graham Rahal’s ninth race here and fifth in a Champ or Indy car. In 2007 and 2016 here, he finished third, was eighth in 2017 and sixth in 2018. An electrical failure in the season-finale Atlantic Championship race in 2006 at RoadAmerica after starting third led to a runner-up finish in the title fight with eventual champion Simon Pagenaud after he retired in 20th place. Rahal also competed in two Formula BMW events here in 2004 and once in Star Mazda in 2005… 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 eighth in series point standings with a total of 211 points.
TAKUMA SATO, No. 30 Mi-Jack / Panasonic Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “It was a great recovery from the team. We struggled and were nowhere on the time sheets. The balance, grip level, trim and all the things just felt disconnected. We didn’t make major changes but we just reviewed every single area and I think we got everything together. Graham and I were able to push 100 percent without major mistakes so I think as team, we should be happy with the performance. Tomorrow we are looking for more speed and hopefully we can have it. The red tire seems to degrade more than last year and so do the primary tires so tire wear will be the key and also the weather.”
- FAST FACTS: Will be Sato’s fourth race at Road America. He earned his best start here today with sixth place. His previous best start and finish here came last year of seventh and fourth, respectively. On the start last year, he passed Power, Bourdais and then later Wickens on the opening lap for fourth place. He made his first stop from fourth place on Lap 13 and cycled back into position once Dixon made his stop a few laps later. He made his second stop on Lap 27 from fourth and on his out lap he passed Wickens and then Rossi on the outside of Turn 5 and Rossi made an aggressive move while alongside and bumped him off track in Turn 6 for fifth place. He held the position until Rossi had a problem and pitted on L38. He held fourth through his third pit stop on Lap 41 and took the checkered flag there after 55 laps to earn his best finish of the season. In 2017, he started 20th and finished 19th with Andretti Autosport and in 2016 with A.J. Foyt Racing, he started 15th and jumped up to eighth early in the race before an electrical issue limited his finish to 17th place… Has FOUR IndyCar Series wins (2013 – Long Beach street course, 2017 – Indy 500 oval, 2018 – Portland road, 2019 – Barber road) and EIGHT 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; 2019 Barber, Texas oval). He is currently ranked fifth in series point standings with 272 points.
RAHAL LETTERMAN LANIGAN RACING AT ROAD AMERICA … The 2019 The 2019 REV Group Grand Prix at Road America will mark the 16th time for Rahal Letterman Lanigan (RLL) Racing to compete in an Indy car race here and fourth since 2003. The team competed in CART and Champ Car-sanctioned races here from 1992-2003 and again since 2016 with a best starting position of pole by Kenny Brack in 2001 and best finish of second place by Bobby Rahal in 1996. The team has earned a total of five podium finishes here (2nd – B. Rahal 1996; 3rd – B. Rahal 1992-1993, Kenny Brack 2000, Graham Rahal 2016). The team has also competed in ALMS and IMSA-sanctioned races here under the name BMW Team RLL since 2009 and has three wins (2009, 2010, 2012), three poles (2009, 2011, 2014) and a total of eight podium finishes here.