Rahal Letterman Lanigan RacingGMR Grand Prix – Indianapolis Motor Speedway
NTT INDYCAR SERIES
RACE NOTES/QUOTES – May 14, 2022
INTERMITTANT WEATHER CONDITIONS LED TO AN EVENTFUL RACE; LUNDGAARD FINISHED EIGHTH, HARVEY 13TH AND RAHAL 16TH IN THE GMR GRAND PRIX
GRAHAM RAHAL, No. 15 Fifth Third Bank Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “The Indy Grand Prix has come to a close and it was just a terrible day for us. We gambled on strategy, I hit Kyle (Kirkwood) — sorry to Kyle for that – and just the gamble on strategy after just put us way behind the eight ball. We tried to recover but frankly weren’t ever in a position to do so. My visibility – I had oil on my screen from the first stint, my visibility in the rain went to zero. I spun coming onto the banking out of Turn 11. Our car in the rain was ridiculously understeer-y so we had to put in, I don’t even know, maybe 10 turns or something to get it to respond. I don’t even know how we finished 16th but on to the 500. Here we go.”
- FAST FACTS: Started 12th and ran as high as sixth but the gamble for rain tires during ever-changing weather conditions challenged the field, including Rahal and Rossi initially, and others later. Slick track conditions led to him running into the back of Kirkwood, which drew a penalty and a trip to the back of the field in 19th. He ultimately took the checkered flag in 16th place when the race went to the timed length after 75 of the planned 85 laps… The GMR GP was Rahal’s 11th Indy car race on the road course at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. After a second-place finish on the road course at IMS in 2015 and 2020, Graham hopes to build on the knowledge gained from fifth and seventh-place finishes on the IMS road course in 2021 in May and August… 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 12th in NTT INDYCAR SERIES point standings with 74.
CHRISTIAN LUNDGAARD, No. 30 Shield Cleansers Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “It was a tough race here at IMS. It was not really a result we expected. We might have crossed the line P9, but unfortunately hitting Callum over the (start/finish) line. I couldn’t see anything. I was pretty much complaining for the last 10 laps. It was just so low visibility. I’m grateful both of us are okay. We met each other in the medical room which is not the place I want to see him but we are both good so we have to go on next time and hope we can get it at the Indy 500.”
- FAST FACTS: Lundgaard started eighth but fell back on the start that was declared “wet” and ran 13th. He pit on Lap 3 to switch to slicks and ran 27th until the rest of the field did the same. Intermittent rain on different parts of the track made the decision to choose rain tires or slicks a gamble. Late in the race the rain picked up and he reported that he couldn’t see anything. After the race ended on a time limit rather than distance, Lundgaard took the checkered flag but lack of visibility contributed to him hitting eighth place Illot on the front straight and he came to a stop there, in ninth place. He was checked and cleared by the INDYCAR Medical staff… The 2022 race will be his second on the IMS road course and sixth INDYCAR race overall. While an FIA Formula 2 driver, Lundgaard made his INDYCAR debut with the team at the August 14 Grand Prix at IMS. The Danish driver tested an Indy car for the first time with the team at Barber Motorsports Park on July 26 and had plenty of new elements to adjust to during a compressed, two-day event schedule but surprised many when he qualified fourth for the race and went on to finish 12th… He is the highest ranked rookie in 16th place in the point standings with 64.
JACK HARVEY, 45 Hy-Vee Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “That was a super disappointing end to our race. We had a mega start on the opening laps and then once we got going again on the slick tires the No. 45 Hy-Vee Honda was absolutely flying. I was overtaking cars into Turn 12, into Turn 1. I was super happy with the balance. We ended up getting squeezed by another car which broke my front wing a little bit even though we were still quick at that point. It would have been good to keep fighting for a podium, which would have been super nice. The car was absolutely awesome today so I have to say thanks to everyone at Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing for that. We will just keep trying to get a good result in the next one. The next one is the one that counts so here we go.”
- FAST FACTS: Harvey ran as high as third place in one of the craziest races in recent INDYCAR history but a penalty for making contact with Ericsson after leaving his pit box relegated him to the back of the field. He had been running seventh prior to his stop but some ahead were expected to pit soon for rain tires so a podium was still in his sights. Once he went to the back of the field in 20th place, he climbed up to 13th before the race ended after 75 of the 85 laps due to a time limit…The race marked the seventh INDYCAR Series event on the road course for Harvey and 11th overall including four Indy Lights races from 2014-2015. His highest series start is second place and he has accomplished the feat three times, including here (2020 – IMS road course, Road America Race 2; 2021 – St. Pete). The IMS road course is also the site of his highest series finish of third place in 2019. He has three top-three series starts on the IMS road course, which is a personal best of any track on the schedule. In Indy Lights, he competed in four races on the IMS road course and has two poles and two wins, three top-three starts, and three top-two finishes. Last year in the two IMS road course races, he started third and finished 23rd in May and started seventh and finished sixth in August… He is ranked 22nd with 49 points.
NEXT UP: Opening Day for the 106th Running of the Indy 500 is Tuesday, May 17.