Sato, Rahal and Ferrucci Gained Baseline Knowledge for Saturday’s Qualifying & Dual 1 of the Chevrolet Grand Prix

Rahal Letterman Lanigan RacingChevrolet Detroit Grand Prix


1)         Will Power                  1:17.2768 / 109.477 mph      
12)       Takuma Sato             1:18.5177 / 107.746 mph
16)       Graham Rahal           1:18.8195 / 107.334 mph
22)       Santino Ferrucci       1:19.3407 / 106.629 mph      

GRAHAM RAHAL, No. 15 Fifth Third Bank Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “The car is just not great. We’re struggling a little bit with the Fifth Third Bank car to get the balance right, and you can see a lot of guys are. We’re 16th, but other than the first few we’re not that far off the rest so it’s one of those things that it looks like a second is a long time but actually around here that’s a few corners that you can make that up. If you look at my delta to Will (Power), it’s literally like three corners where we’re really bad. We’ve got to make these cars a lot better. Takuma looked like he was struggling, me, and Santino; we’ve got to improve and we are going to keep trying our best tonight and come up with some different concepts, go back out there tomorrow and give it our best shot in qualifying and then the race. I think people are going to be very, very tired this weekend. This is going to wear on everybody including the crew guys. The conditions are hot here, it’s really humid, and it’s just sweaty. It’s going to be a tough one.”

  • FAST FACTS: The event will mark Rahal’s 16th and 17th races here. In 2019, he earned two seventh place finishes. Rahal’s most successful race weekend came in Detroit in 2017 where he won Dual 1 from pole and won Dual 2 from a third place start. His other podiums in the race came in 2014 with second place in Dual 1 and third place in Dual 2 in 2015.  Overall, he has two wins, four podiums and one pole in 15 races here…  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 ranked eighth in series point standings with a total of 148 points after six of 16 races.

TAKUMA SATO, No. 30 Panasonic / Mi-Jack Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “It’s nice to be back in Detroit. It’s a very hot day, it was quite fun and very physical as well. It was a 75-minute session but it was interrupted by red flags so it was cut really short. I think we felt pretty positive initially with the car but then later on we didn’t get the proper chance to go to the red tires at the right time because of the traffic and etc., etc.  So there is a little bit of a worry about it but we need to gather the data from the three cars because we were not very happy with the balance but hopefully we can improve for tomorrow.”

  • FAST FACTS: The 2021 races will be Takuma’s 16th and 17th here.  In 15 races, his best start is two poles (2014 with A.J. Foyt Racing, 2017 with Andretti Autosport), best finish is second in 2015 with AFR and third in 2019 with RLL and he has led a total of 44 laps in three races.  He started in the top-five in four of 15 races and earned four, top-five and six, top-10 finishes. In 2019, he started ninth and finished third in Race 1. In Race 2, he started 16th and finished 13th… Has SIX INDYCAR SERIES wins (2013 – Long Beach street course, 2017 – Indy 500 oval, 2018 – Portland road, 2019 – Barber road, Gateway oval; 2020 Indy 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 road, Texas oval; 2020 St. Louis – Race 2).  He is 11th in series standings with 131 points.

SANTINO FERRUCCI, No. 45 Hy-Vee Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “Practice 1, the only practice, is done. It is very hard to get that lap out there; Detroit is obviously a tight track, and very short. It is way bumpier than I remember but definitely working on the Hy-Vee 45 here with Chester the Cheetah making us quicker, and we will be good for tomorrow’s qualifying and have some fun.”

  • FAST FACTS: After a strong result of sixth place in the Indy 500, Ferrucci joins the team for the doubleheader in Detroit. He competed with Dale Coyne Racing here in 2018 and 2019 with a best start of 13th place in Race 2 in 2018 and best finish of 10th in Race 2 in 2019.

RAHAL LETTERMAN LANIGAN RACING AT DETROIT: The 2021 event will mark the 21st year for Rahal Letterman Lanigan (RLL) Racing to compete at the Raceway at Belle Isle Park and the team’s 28th and 29th races here.  The team’s highest start of pole came in 2017 with Graham Rahal earning his first pole since 2009 in Race 1Bobby and Graham Rahal have earned a combined total of three wins for the team here. Bobby won the inaugural race in 1992 and Graham is the only driver to have won both races on the same weekend, which he did in 2017. In total, the team has earned eight podiums (2nd – G. Rahal 2014, Jakes 2013 & Max Papis 2000), (3rd – G. Rahal 2015, Takuma Sato 2019) nine top-five finishes and 19 top-10’s here (chart available).

NEXT UP:  Qualifying for Dual 1 will take place tomorrow from 11-11:45 a.m. ET and the 70 lap Dual 1 will take the Green Flag at 2:05 PM.  Qualifying for Race 1 is live on NBCSN and Peacock. Qualifying for Race 2 is live on NBCSN and Peacock from 9-9:45 a.m. on Sunday, June 13 and also live on the AAPIRN and (timing & scoring + live analysis). The Chevrolet Grand Prix of Detroit Duals will be televised live on NBC beginning at 2:00 PM ET Saturday, June 12 and 12 PM ET, Sunday, June 13.