Rahal Letterman Lanigan RacingGMR Grand Prix – Indianapolis Motor Speedway
NTT INDYCAR SERIES
QUALIFYING NOTES/QUOTES – May 14, 2021
RAHAL TO START 11TH IN THE GMR GRAND PRIX AND SATO TO START 17TH
GRAHAM RAHAL, No. 15 Fifth Third Bank Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “It’s been a challenging day for the entire RLL crew, both on the 15 and the 30. I was happy we got the Fifth Third car to advance into the second round but honestly, I think she’s been a beast today and had to be perfect to get it through (Round 1). The first half the lap was good and then we lost it. It’s going to be a challenge tomorrow, there are some guys that are fast, I think tire degredation is going to be huge and I think we will put on an exciting show and we will see. Obviously points are on our mind and we’re going to try to have a good day. The 15 boys have had a great year, other than St. Pete where we had a little slip there but aside from that I’ve been solidly in the top five pretty much everywhere. Our guys have done a great job and we came to the (oval) test and the car was a bullet. Fingers crossed; things can change quickly around here but we’re excited, really excited for what’s to come.”
- FAST FACTS: The GMR GP will be Rahal’s 10th Indy car race on the road course at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. In July 2020, 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 nine events, he has seven top-10 finishes of second (2015, 2020), fourth (2016), sixth (2017), seventh (2019-2020) 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 fifth in NTT INDYCAR SERIES point standings with 107.
TAKUMA SATO, No. 30 Panasonic / Shield Cleansers Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “It was such a tight field. We were just six-hundredths (of a second) off from moving to the next segment. The field was tight as always, we weren’t particularly happy with the (car in) practice, so we made a change in the car and I’m sure we made progress, but we just needed a little bit more speed. I’m confident we are pointing in a good direction so in warmup we should be better and I’m looking forward to the race.”
- FAST FACTS: The 2021 GMR GP will be Takuma’s 10th INDYCAR race on the IMS road course. 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 10 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; 2020 – St. Louis Race 2)… He is ranked 12th in series point standings with a total of 84.
RLL AT THE IMS ROAD COURSE…. The GMR Grand Prix will mark the 10th NTT INDYCAR SERIES race 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: Warmup for the GMR Grand Prix will take place from 10:45-11:15 AM and NBC will begin coverage of the 85-lap race at 2 p.m. ET on Saturday.