Rahal Qualified 11th for Race 1 of the Harvest GP; Sato Lost His Fastest Lap And Will Start 24th

Rahal Letterman Lanigan RacingHarvest GP – Indianapolis Motor Speedway – RACE 1


1)        Rinus Veekay     1:09.6903 / 125.992 mph    (Group 2)
11)      Graham Rahal    1:09.8830 / 124.644 mph    (Group 2)       
24)      Takuma Sato      1:14.8983 / 117.231 mph    (Group 1; fastest lap – 1:10.8465)

GRAHAM RAHAL, No. 15 United Rentals Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “To say I’m disappointed with qualifying is an understatement. We ended up sixth in our group by only one-tenth-and-a-half or two-tenths of a second. It’s hard to swallow. You think about all the places that maybe you lost one-tenth (of a second). One-tenth (of a second) would have moved us up to second or third so it’s a hard one to swallow. Coming from eleventh place tomorrow is going to take some work but we’ve started in the back and finished third here before so we can do it again. We just have to have good strategy, be able to get by some of these guys and hope our fitness comes into play and go from there. But when you look at the data, there’s two corners in the snake – Turn 8 and 9 –and literally that’s our loss to everybody ahead of us. We are quicker in every other part of the race track but Turns 8 and 9 so I’ve got to figure it out and we’ve got to get the car a little better. We’ll try to get this United Rentals car up front tomorrow.”

  • FAST FACTS: The 2020 Harvest GP doubleheader will be Rahal’s eighth and ninth Indy car races on the road course at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. In July, he earned his top start of fourth place here and matched his best finish of second place (2015, 2020) in seven starts but looked likely to win.  In seven events, he has six top-10 finishes of second (2015, 2020), 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… He is currently ranked sixth in NTT INDYCAR SERIES point standings with 301 and is only -37 behind third place Pato O’Ward (338).

TAKUMA SATO, No. 30 ABeam Consulting Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “The car was reasonably good in practice and after the session we felt we made good improvement. In qualifying, we were fifth in our group on black tires after the first run. It wasn’t great but it was better than practice.  On the second run, the tire wasn’t up to temp and I was on the curb and lost grip and went off track. On the red tire, maybe I was relying too much on them and their grip. We lost a set of reds because of that, which is huge, because in the dry race, the red tire was more durable and faster.”

  • FAST FACTS: The 2020 Harvest GP will be Takuma’s eighth and ninth races here.  His best start is 11th in 2018 and 2019 with RLL and his best finish is ninth in 2017 with Andretti Autosport… Has SIX INDYCAR SERIES wins (2013 – Long Beach street course, 2017 – Indy 500 oval, 2018 – Portland road, 2019 – Barber road, St. Louis short oval, 2020 – Indianapolis 500) 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)… He is ranked seventh in series point standings with a total of 300 and only -38 behind third place O’Ward.

RLL AT THE IMS ROAD COURSE…. The Harvest GP will mark the eighth and ninth NTT INDYCAR SERIES races on the 2.439-mile road course.  The team’s best finish here is second in 2015 and July 4, 2020 by Rahal and best start is fourthin 2020, also by Rahal.

NEXT UP:  USA Network will begin coverage of Race 1 of the Harvest GP at 2:30 p.m. ET on Friday.