Rahal Letterman Lanigan RacingAcura Grand Prix of Long Beach
Round 3 of 17 in the NTT INDYCAR SERIES
PRACTICE NOTES/QUOTES – Friday, April 14, 2023
LUNDGAARD, HARVEY AND RAHAL PUT IN A SOLID PERFORMANCE ON OPENING DAY OF THE ACURA GRAND PRIX OF LONG BEACH
1) Pato O’Ward 1:06.6999 / 106.219 mph
10) Christian Lundgaard 1:07.3237 / 105.235 mph
12) Jack Harvey 1:07.3864 / 105.137 mph
16) Graham Rahal 1:07.4785 / 104.993 mph
GRAHAM RAHAL, No. 15 United Rentals Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “It was a solid start here in Long Beach. On the first run we were P4 ultimately, I think, but I messed up the last two or three corners and lost two-and-a-half-tenths and we were tracking to be P1 before that. On the second new tire run, we didn’t actually get a run. We have some improvement to do, we made one change in particular that didn’t work well so we have to think about how to skin that cat tonight but so far so good for the No. 15 United Rentals Honda.”
- FAST FACTS: Will be his 16th Champ/Indy car race here and 17th overall. His best IndyCar start here is fifth in 2007 and best finish is second place in 2013. In 2022, he started 13th and cycled into second place by stretching his first stint before he stopped on Lap 31. He returned to the track in 10th place before the next round of stops began and he pit from sixth place on Lap 56 of 85 after Herta crashed. He returned to the track in eighth place and claimed seventh when third place runner Ericsson made contact and also hit teammate Dixon, who was able to continue. Johnson and Malukas brought out another caution flag from Laps 76-79 and on the restart, Rahal had the most “push to pass” of those in the top-10. He had a run on Dixon but was unable to pass and took the checkered flag in seventh place. In 2021, he ran as high as second place two times and led four laps but the timing of a caution while he was on his in-lap for his final pit stop dropped him to 20th. He came back to finish 16th…. A recap of results is available upon request… He also competed in the 2006 Champ Car Atlantic Series race 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 currently ranked 13th in series point standings with 34 points.
JACK HARVEY, No. 30 Kustom Entertainment Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “Practice 1 for us was not too bad in truth. I felt like the car’s got potential which I felt like it was going to have coming into the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach. We’ve got work to do still but I’m very optimistic that at least it feels like this weekend we’ve moved our baseline of our car further forward. We’ve got the usual amount of work to do but hopefully it’s going to be just further to the front. So far, so good for the No. 30 Kustom Entertainment car. Just want to keep that momentum going all weekend.”
- FAST FACTS: He has competed in four INDYCAR races here with his best finish of seventh place coming in 2021 after he led one lap. He also has experience starting up front after having won pole in one of this two Indy Lights races at the track in 2015. He is ranked 22nd in series point standings with 20 points.
CHRISTIAN LUNDGAARD, No. 45 Hy-Vee Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “Practice one done here at Long Beach. It was a little interesting at the beginning. We did have a few issues with our ride. Yeah, we struggled with that. But in the end, we finished P10 which is great, I think. There’s definitely more time to gain in the lap time so it’s something we need to dig into and understand and we’ll find out.”
- FAST FACTS: The 2023 race will be his second here. In 2022, his finishing position was limited after running out of fuel entering the pits for his first stop, which put him two laps down and he ultimately finished 18th. He is ranked 14th in series point standings with 33.
3 POLES, 6 PODIUMS FOR RLL IN 22 INDY CAR RACES AT LONG BEACH: The 2023 Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach (AGPLB) marks the 23rd time for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing (RLL) to compete in the event. Although the team didn’t compete in Indy car races here from 2004-2011 while they fielded a fulltime entry in the Indy Racing League (2004-2008), they did compete in the 2003 and 2004 Atlantic races with Danica Patrick and in the 2007 American Le Mans Series (ALMS) race. In total, the team has won three poles (Herta 1998, Vasser 2002, Jourdain, Jr. 2003); made five front row starts including an all-Team Rahal front row in 1998 (2nd – Rahal 1998, Brack 2001); earned their best finish of second place four times (Rahal 1992-1993, Vasser 2002, G. Rahal 2013) and earned six podiums here (2nd – Rahal 1992-1993, Vasser 2002 & G. Rahal 2013; 3rd – Herta 1998-1999). From 2009-2019, the team competed on the streets of Long Beach in the GTLM class of the ALMS/IMSA with BMW Team RLL and as finished on the podium each year but 2016-2019 although they started from pole in 2016 and led all three of those races. The venue is still the most successful for the team on the current IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship schedule with wins in 2011, 2013 and 2015, eight podium finishes and five poles in 12 years. BMW M Team RLL has a two-car entry in the GTP class of IMSA and is competing for the overall sports car win for the first time here this weekend.
NEXT UP: Practice will take place Saturday morning from 8:45-9:45 a.m. PDT and qualifying will take place from 12:05-1:20 PM PDT. Peacock will begin live coverage of qualifying at 3 p.m. EDT Saturday. Timing and Scoring information is available for all sessions from www.indycar.com. The Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach will be televised live on NBC Sports beginning at 3:00 p.m. ET Sunday, April 16.