Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
GMR Grand Prix – Indianapolis Motor Speedway
NTT INDYCAR SERIES
QUALIFYING NOTES/QUOTES – July 3, 2020
RAHAL EARNED HIS BEST START OF FOURTH PLACE ON THE IMS ROAD COURSE FOR THE GMR GRAND PRIX; PIGOT AND SATO TO START 16TH AND 17TH RESPECTIVELY
1) Will Power 1:10.1779 / 125.116 mph (Group 2, Round 3)
4) Graham Rahal 1:10.5844 / 124.396 mph (Group 2, Round 3)
16) Spencer Pigot 1:10.6350 / 124.307 mph (Group 2, Round 1)
17) Takuma Sato 1:10.8853 / 123.868 mph (Group 1, Round 1)
GRAHAM RAHAL, No 15 Fifth Third Bank Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “It was a good end to our first day here at the GMR Grand Prix with qualifying obviously. We’ll start fourth so it’s a really good run for us in the Fifth Third Bank team. The guys did a great job. We had a really good lap in Round 2 to get us into Round 3 and then in Q3 we had one going that was just a hair better but it still ended up being our best lap. All in all I’m happy with P4; we can go race from there, we can do a good job from there. Honda has done an amazing job; you could see it. The other guys (Takuma and Spencer) didn’t have the luck we did today in getting through but they will. They will have a good day tomorrow. We’re pretty pleased with today.”
- FAST FACTS: The 2020 GMR GP will be Rahal’s seventh Indy car race on the road course at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. His highest finish here is second place (2015) and his highest start is seventh (2019) although he qualified third in 2016 but his car was disqualified for being underweight. In six events, he has five top-10 finishes of second (2015), fourth (2016), sixth (2017), seventh (2019) and ninth (2018). 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.
TAKUMA SATO, No. 30 Panasonic / One Cure Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “It was a tough one. Starting off I thought the car was pretty good. I thought we were hovering on position three or four on the black tires and then I put the red on and just didn’t get any bite with it; the car started to slide. And the grip wasn’t there as expected so unfortunately, I wasn’t able to improve the time a lot and ended up 17th. But Graham did a great job and had a great qualifying. We’ll go have a look and compare data to see what we can do and hopefully all three of us will be strong for the race.”
- FAST FACTS: The 2020 GMR will be Takuma’s seventh race here. His best start is 11th in 2018 and 2019 with RLL and his best finish is ninth in 2017 with Andretti Autosport… Has FIVE INDYCAR SERIES wins (2013 – Long Beach street course, 2017 – Indy 500 oval, 2018 – Portland road, 2019 – Barber road, St. Louis short oval) and NINE 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).
SPENCER PIGOT, No. 45 Mi-Jack / Shield Cleansers Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “Overall the day wasn’t too bad. I think we made some good adjustments and changes throughout the first practice. Qualifying was just really tricky; it was super-hot. It was easy to miss a little bit of time. I think we have a pretty-solid car. It was pretty good on blacks (primary Firestone tires) and on reds, we’re just missed it a little bit. Hopefully tomorrow we can make a few ore changes in warmup and have a good debut race for everyone at RLL with Citrone/Buhl Autosport.”
- FAST FACTS: The 2020 GMR Grand Prix will be Spencer’s fifth race on the IMS road course. His best start is 9th in 2018 and his best finish is fifth in 2019 – both with Ed Carpenter Racing… His highest series start is third at IMS (oval; 2019) and his highest series finish is second at Iowa Speedway (2018).
RLL AT THE IMS ROAD COURSE…. The GMR Grand Prix will mark the seventh NTT INDYCAR SERIES race on the 2.439-mile road course. The team’s best finish here is second in 2015 by Rahal and best start is fourth in 2020, also by Rahal.
NEXT UP: The pre-race warm-up will take place tomorrow from 9-9:30 a.m. ET and NBC will begin their broadcast of the GMR Grand Prix beginning at 12 PM ET.