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Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg: RACE NOTES/QUOTES – Sunday, October 25, 2020

Rahal Letterman Lanigan RacingFirestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg
NTT INDYCAR SERIES
RACE NOTES/QUOTES – Sunday, October 25, 2020


RAHAL FINISHED NINTH IN THE FIRESTONE GRAND PRIX OF ST. PETERSBURG AND SIXTH IN INDYCAR SERIES STANDINGS; SATO FINISHED 10TH IN THE RACE AND A CAREER-BEST SEVENTH IN SERIES STANDINGS

GRAHAM RAHAL, No. 15 United Rentals Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “That was a bruiser.  Thank you so much to our sponsors for another season. Once again, we finished every lap today and raised $5000 and will crest $110,000 this year for Turns for Troops so I ‘m very proud of that. I’m proud of our year. Today was another competitive day. We got unlucky with that yellow. Our strategy was working great and our car was fast as we showed. That yellow really put a damper on our day. It took us from being quite strong to being mired back in the field. I’m proud of our organization. Our guys worked awfully hard this year.  I want to thank the fans for their support and for sticking with INDYCAR racing this year. Let’s come back in 2021 and make this sport grow even more. We love putting on a good show for you so thank you for all your support. Now it’s time for me to go home and have a kid. Well, not me, my wife, us.”

  • FAST FACTS: Rahal started 17th and passed Palou, Ericsson and Pagenaud on the start but was passed by Ferrucci to run 15th. As others made their pit stops, he was able to stay on track longer and cycled up to third before his first of two stops on Lap 34 and returned to the track eighth.  He moved into seventh when polesitter Power had trouble and into sixth after an alternate strategy driver (VeeKay) pit on Lap 44. On the third restart from caution, he lost a position to O’Ward and ran seventh. He lost another to Andretti, who was on a different strategy, on Lap 55. As the next round of stops began, he cycled to the race lead and had just set his fastest race lap on Lap 69 on his in-lap for his final stop when previous race leader Rossi crashed and brought out the caution and closed the pits. He led two laps and when the pits opened, he made his final stop on Lap 72/100 and, because his strategy was negated, he returned to the track in 15th place. Two more caution periods drive thru and other penalties and heavy sprinkles ensued, and he ultimately finished in ninth place… Made his 13th Indy car start at this track.  His best start here is pole in 2009 and best finish is a win in 2008 in his IndyCar Series debut – both history-making moments at the time as he became the youngest race winner in series history (2008), and youngest pole winner in series history (2009). Both records were eclipsed last year by Colton Herta, but he held them for 10 and 11 years, respectively.  Overall, he has earned one top-five and six top-10 starts here and has two top-five and four top-10 finishes. Year-by-year details are available upon request… 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 ended the season ranked sixth in series point standings with a total of 377.

TAKUMA SATO, No. 30 Panasonic / Mi-Jack Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “It was a tough race, but it was good to be back in St. Petersburg. At one stage we were sixth, so a top-five finish was possible, but we were involved with two Andretti cars in an incident. Obviously we were bumping each other a little bit but unfortunately I got a penalty for avoidable contact so I had to go back in the queue which essentially finished my race but we came back to a top-10, which was good just finishing with Graham. What an amazing season. Once again, thank you everyone, thank you Eddie (Jones, race engineer) and the 30 boys. RLL did a great, great job. I’m proud to be working with the team again for 2021. It was my best season ranking but I wanted to finish a little higher today. Never-the-less I think it was a fantastic season. See you all in 2021.”

  • FAST FACTS: Sato started 13th and passed Pagenaud on the start for 12th. He cycled up to fifth place before his first stop on Lap 33 and returned to the track in 13th place. He later lost a spot to Ericsson, who was on an alternate strategy. He pit from 12th for his second stop on Lap 66 and worked his way up to ninth by the time the fourth of six restarts happened on Lap 74. He had passed Harvey but the two made contact and put Sato in Andretti’s path and his wing cut Andretti’s tire. Second-place runner, Hinchcliffe, also had problems and Sato was running sixth when he was told to go to the back of the pack. He was in 15th place but two more caution periods, a drive thru penalties by a competitor and heavy sprinkles ensued before the checkered flag and he ultimately finished in 10th place… Was his 11th race here.  In 10 races, his best start is pole in 2014 with AJ Foyt Racing (AFR) and best finish is fifth place in 2011 with KV Racing. Overall, he has earned five top-five and six top-10 starts here and has two top-five and five top-10 finishes. Year-by-year details are available upon request.  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 ended the season a career-best rank of seventh in series point standings with a total of 348.

Sato and Rahal Will Start 13th and 17th, Respectively, for the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Pete INDYCAR Season Finale

Rahal Letterman Lanigan RacingFirestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg
NTT INDYCAR SERIES
QUALIFYING NOTES/QUOTES – Saturday, October 24, 2020


SATO AND RAHAL WILL START 13TH AND 17TH, RESPECTIVELY, FOR THE FIRESTONE GRAND PRIX OF ST. PETERSBURG INDYCAR SEASON-FINALE

1)         Will Power            1:01.0369 / 106.165 mph       (Group 2, Round 3)
13)       Takuma Sato        1:00.9423 / 106.330 mph       (Group 1, Round 1)
17)       Graham Rahal      1:01.1458 / 105.976 mph       (Group 1, Round 1)  

GRAHAM RAHAL, No. 15 United Rentals Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “We didn’t perform very well today. In the first practice, we didn’t get a run on the reds. It’s my fault. I wanted to complete a run on blacks and should have just come in and given ourselves an opportunity and I didn’t do that. And then the red came out and reduced the session. Then we went into qualifying a little blind.  I think we had enough speed.  I pushed it really hard into Turn 1 on Lap 2, got four wheels locked up and about went around and it really hurt us. I’m going to take this one on the chin and we’re going to move on. Tomorrow’s going to be a tough day from where we start but I think my second-best finish here of second place, I started second to last so anything can happen. Its 100 laps and there is going to be plenty of excitement tomorrow. Let’s try to finish this thing off strong.”

  • FAST FACTS: Will make his 13th Indy car start at this track.  His best start here is pole in 2009 and best finish is a win in 2008 in his IndyCar Series debut – both history-making moments at the time as he became the youngest race winner in series history (2008), and youngest pole winner in series history (2009). Both records were eclipsed last year by Colton Herta but he held them for 10 and 11 years, respectively.  Overall, he has earned one top-five and six top-10 starts here and has two top-five and four top-10 finishes. Year-by-year details are available upon request… 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 sixth in series point standings with a total of 354 and only -22 behind fifth place O’Ward.

TAKUMA SATO, No. 30 Panasonic / Mi-Jack Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “I brushed the wall, it was my mistake.  Since the field was so tight, little things bit us. We made quite a few small changes on the car which we felt was positive but then putting everything together (in one lap) is always tough business. A small mistake made us not be able to transfer to the next round so that was a shame. We are going in a positive direction though and have the warmup session to continue to improve the car. We will look at the data tonight and I think we can move forward in tomorrow’s warm up.” 

  • FAST FACTS: Will be his 11th race here.  In 10 races, his best start is pole in 2014 with AJ Foyt Racing (AFR) and best finish is fifth place in 2011 with KV Racing. Overall, he has earned five top-five and six top-10 starts here and has two top-five and five top-10 finishes. Year-by-year details are available upon request.  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 328 and only -26 behind sixth place Rahal.

NEXT UP:  The morning warmup will take place tomorrow from 10:40-11:10 a.m. ET.  The Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg will be televised live on NBC beginning at 2:30 PM ET Sunday, October 25 and the Green Flag will fly at 2:32 PM ET.

Takuma Sato Returns to Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing for 2021 Lineup

TAKUMA SATO RETURNS TO RAHAL LETTERMAN LANIGAN RACING FOR 2021 LINEUP

BROWNSBURG, Ind. (October 24, 2020) – Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing (RLL) announced today that the team has come to terms with 2020 Indianapolis 500 champion Takuma Sato for the 2021 NTT INDYCAR SERIES season.  Sato first joined the team in 2012 and returned in 2018. He has earned six wins in the series to date, four of which have come with the team including the team’s second Indy 500 win in 2020.  The 2021 season will be his fourth consecutive with RLL, and fifth overall. 
 
“I am very pleased that we were able to come to terms with Takuma to continue with us in 2021,” said Bobby Rahal, co-owner of Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing with David Letterman and Mike Lanigan. “Clearly it has been a successful partnership over the last several years, culminating in this year’s Indy 500 victory and I look forward to further success with Takuma throughout 2021.”
 
In addition to his six series wins, Sato has earned a total of 10 pole positions including one this season for Race 2 of the Bommarito 500 at World Wide Technology Raceway (WWTR) on August 30. He also finished second in Race 1 of the Bommarito 500 and has led a total of 172 laps so far this season. He is ranked seventh in NTT INDYCAR SERIES point standings with 328 heading into this weekend’s season-finale.  His highest series, season-ending point-standing is eighth in 2017.
 
“It has been a pleasure working with Takuma for many years and sharing with him all of the successes he has had,” said Mike Lanigan, co-owner of Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing with Bobby Rahal and David Letterman. “Winning the Indy 500 together exceeded my own dreams and we at RLL look forward to more success in the new season. Having Takuma back with our team in 2021 provides continuity and will allow us to build upon the competitiveness we have shown this season.”

“I am very excited to continue with Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing for the 2021 season,” said Takuma Sato. “The 2020 season was an unforgettable one for many reasons. Needless to say, it was an extremely challenging situation world wide but the team continued to work very hard to be competitive under the difficult circumstances and Bobby, Mike and the entire team deserve huge credit for this. Our Indy 500 win was a truly special moment and I want to thank everyone at the team again. We are already focused on the future and I am really looking forward to 2021.”

Sato, a native of Tokyo, Japan, has made 181 starts in the INDYCAR SERIES since his rookie season in 2010.  His Indy car highlights include wins in the 2017 and 2020 Indianapolis 500, 2013 Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, 2018 Portland Grand Prix, 2019 Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama and Bommarito 500 at WWT Raceway, with four of the six coming with RLL.  Of his 14 podium finishes to date, 10 have come with RLL and he has earned 10 Indy car poles, three of which are with RLL.  Prior to joining the INDYCAR SERIES, he competed in 90 Formula One races between 2002-2008 with his highest finish of third at the 2004 United States Grand Prix. 

Taku Sato, who will return to Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing for the 2021 NTT INDYCAR® SERIES, celebrates his victory in the 104th Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge (Photo Courtesy of Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing)

Rahal and Sato Return to the Streets for the 2020 INDYCAR Season-Finale Firestone Grand Prix of St. Pete

Takuma Sato, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Honda

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing

Pre-Race Notes
Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg – Streets of St. Petersburg, Florida
Round 14 of 14 in the 2020 NTT INDYCAR SERIESDATE:           
Saturday – Sunday, October 24-25, 2020

PRACTICE BROADCAST:           Live on INDYCAR Pass on NBC Sports Gold, on Saturday from 10:55 – 12:25 p.m. ET and Sunday from 10:40 – 11:10 p.m. ET.  Also live on the INDYCAR Radio Network (IRN) and www.indycar.com (timing & scoring + live analysis).

QUALIFYING BROADCAST:           Live on INDYCAR Pass, the IRN and www.indycar.com (timing & scoring + live analysis) from 3:05-4:20 p.m. ET Saturday. Tape delayed on NBCSN from 8-9 p.m. ET Saturday.

RACE BROADCAST:           Live Sunday, October 25 from 2:30-4:30 p.m. ET on NBC. And also on INDYCAR Pass, IRN, Sirius 211 and XM 205.

TRACK LAYOUT:           1.8-mile, 14-turn street course
RACE LENGTH:           100 laps / 180 miles (10 less laps than 2019)
2019 WINNER:           Josef Newgarden
2019 POLESITTER:           Will Power (1:00.4594; 107.179 mph)

RLL’S TOP START / FINISH AT ST. PETE:           5th by Sato in 2018 / 2nd by Rahal in 2018; will be team’s 13th event here

RAHAL’S BEST START / FINISH IN ST. PETE:           1st in 2009 / 1st in 2008 – both with Newman / Haas / Lanigan Racing; will be his 13th race here

RAHAL’S HIGHEST SERIES START / FINISH:           3 poles – Pole at St. Pete (street) 2009, Kansas (oval) 2009, Detroit Race 1 (street) 2017 / 6 wins – 1st in St. Pete in 2008, Fontana & Mid-Ohio 2015, Texas 2016, Detroit Race 1 & Race 2 2017

SATO’S BEST START / FINISH IN ST. PETE:           1st in 2014 with A.J. Foyt Racing / 5th in 2011 with KV Racing; will be his 11th race here

SATO’S HIGHEST SERIES START / FINISH:           10 Poles – Iowa (oval) 2011, Edmonton (street) 2011, Houston Race 1 (street) 2013, St. Pete (street) 2014, Detroit Dual 2 (street) 2014, Detroit Dual 2 2017, Pocono (oval) 2017, Barber (road) 2019, Texas (oval) 2019, St. Louis (oval; Race 2) 2020 / 6 Wins – Long Beach (2013), Indianapolis 500 (2017), Portland (2018), Barber (2019), St. Louis (2019), Indianapolis 500 (2020)


NEWS & NOTES:

RAHAL LETTERMAN LANIGAN RACING AT ST. PETE
The 2020 Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg will mark the 13th INDYCAR SERIES race for Rahal Letterman Lanigan (RLL) Racing in St. Petersburg. The team has entered the No. 15 United Rentals Honda for Graham Rahal and the No. 30 Panasonic / Mi-Jack Honda for Takuma Sato.  The team prepared Indy cars for Danica Patrick (2005, 2006), Buddy Rice (2005, 2006), Vitor Meira (2005), Jeff Simmons (2007), Scott Sharp (2007), Ryan Hunter-Reay (2008), Takuma Sato (2012, 2018-19), Graham Rahal (2013-2019), James Jakes (2013) and Spencer Pigot (2016) prior to this year. The team led 11 laps with Takuma Sato in 2012 and four laps with Hunter-Reay in 2008 (G. Rahal won w/NHLR) and has earned three top-10 finishes with the best being fifth by Meira in 2005.  The highest starting position by the team is fifth place by Sato and highest finish is second by Graham Rahal – both in 2018.

GRAHAM’S HISTORY-MAKING APPEARANCES IN ST. PETE
In 2020, Graham will make his 13th Indy car start at this track.  His best start here is pole in 2009 and best finish is a win in 2008 in his IndyCar Series debut – both history-making moments at the time as he became the youngest race winner in series history (2008), and youngest pole winner in series history (2009). Both records were eclipsed last year by Colton Herta but he held them for 10 and 11 years, respectively.  Overall, he has earned one top-five and six top-10 starts here and has two top-five and four top-10 finishes. Year-by-year details are available upon request. Graham is hoping to end the season with a win. 
           “We’re looking forward to St. Pete. We’ve done well there before and have been very competitive there in the past, having won years ago. But also we’ve had some good runs over the last few years. We’re used to St. Pete starting the season off and getting the mojo for the whole year going and obviously this year it’s ending our season but will quickly start our next so we need to make sure we well prepared and do a good job this weekend. It’s critical that our cars are competitive, that Takuma and I work well together and try to close this season off on a really-high note. As far as the No. 15 car this year, I‘m really proud of how everyone has worked together. I think we’ve had a pretty stellar year. Obviously, I would have liked to get the win at Indianapolis but in general I think our guys have done a great job and have been pretty locked in and pretty focused. We’d like to get them a win, would like to finish this year off that way. It’s been since 2017 since we’ve won so we’re pretty focused on trying to make that happen and it would be great to do it in St. Pete.”

2019 ST. PETE RACE REWIND FOR GRAHAM
In 2019, Graham set the third fastest lap (1:00.5933) in Group 2 of Round 1 and advanced to Round 2. He didn’t get a good out lap therefore the rear tires didn’t reach their maximum potential and he set the 11th fastest lap time and did not progress to Round 3.  He started 10th and passed Hinchcliffe for ninth at the start of the 110-lap race. He made his first pit stop on Lap 12 and moved up to seventh place while multiple pit strategies were playing out and some competitors encountered problems. On Lap 32 the team called him in during a caution when a tire pressure sensor alerted them of a right rear tire puncture, likely caused by running over debris from previous accidents.  This necessitated a strong fuel conservation to finish the race in two more stops. He made his third stop on Lap 71 from eighth place and continued to conserve fuel after he returned to the track.  Due to being unable to maintain a strong pace, the team elected to come in for a splash of fuel on Lap 101/110 while running ninth. He dropped to 12th place and took the checkered flag in that position. 

TAKUMA AT ST. PETE
The 2020 race will be Takuma’s 11th here.  In 10 races, his best start is pole in 2014 with AJ Foyt Racing (AFR) and best finish is fifth place in 2011 with KV Racing. Overall, he has earned five top-five and six top-10 starts here and has two top-five and five top-10 finishes. Year-by-year details are available upon request.  St. Pete is one of Takuma’s favorite INDYCAR SERIES venues and he is appreciative of the fact that the promoter, Savoree Green, was able to reschedule the race.
           “It feels time has passed and it has been a long time since our last visit. We just never knew what was going to happen in the world at that time and it has changed a lot in particular in the US but we appreciate so much that we are able to have a race. St. Pete has been recognized so well for the season opener for a long time so it feels a little different when you realized that it will be our last race of the season. Nevertheless, St. Pete has been one of the greatest tracks and we all love it so I am very happy to go back there. We are so fortunate to be able to race in these unprecedented times because a lot of athletes couldn’t even have the opportunity to perform. The Tokyo Olympics had to postpone to 2021 so everyone involved in our sport did a fantastic job to have our season.”

2019 RACE REWIND FOR TAKUMA
Last year, Sato had his fastest lap taken away after he drove into a runoff area during qualifying which brought out a local yellow flag. In the race, he had moved up from his 20th place start and had been running eighth before his third stop on Lap 75/110 but began having a shifting problem on his in-lap and was unable to continue once he was in his pit. It was discovered that debris had clogged the gearbox electronic cooling duct which led to overheating and a malfunction of the gear control unit. 

TAKUMA ON THE ONE AND ONLY STREET RACE IN 2020 AND THE PREPARATION
It’s hard to believe that the previous NTT INDYCAR SERIES street race was over a year ago in Toronto on July 14, 2019. Due to the close confines of a street course, most races are unpredictable. That may add an extra challenge for those trying to balance pushing the envelope for the highest season-ending points finish possible while also hoping for a trouble-free race. Sato is looking forward to the challenge.
           “It’s sad that this is the only street race of this year but we all understand and we live under very difficult and challenging circumstances. I always enjoy driving the St. Pete course and we went to the simulator in the spring so we did our prep as much as we could then. Needless to say, we are looking forward to this challenging street race so much. Yes, it will add an element of unpredictability as it’s the nature of the street course race but that’s all good for the show and we think we will be competitive! It was a special season for me and it’s great that we delivered such an amazing race win (at the Indy 500) with the team particularly after our memory in 2012. I like to say big thank you to the entire team, owners, loyal sponsors and fans! It’s hard to believe this is the final race.”

TAKUMA ON THE AEROSCREEN
Developed by Red Bull Advanced Technologies and tested multiple times since its first on-track assessment in October 2019, the Aeroscreen will make its first appearance on the street course that was intended to be the location of its debut. The Aeroscreen is INDYCAR’s latest safety innovation to reduce the risk of driver injury from flying debris or other objects striking the cockpit area and it proved a valuable asset throughout its debut season.”
           “It certainly did a very impressive job for the main purpose for the safety and has proven it’s a great device as we observed several incidents this season,” said Sato. “It added more challenge for driving and engineering but that’s the nature of racing so INDYCAR and the safety team did an outstanding job.”

THE POINT STANDINGS
Graham Rahal is ranked sixth in NTT INDYCAR SERIES point standings with 354 and is only -22 behind fifth place Pato O’Ward (376). Takuma Sato is seventh with a total of 328 and he could possibly better his highest season-ending standing of eighth in 2017. Both are focused on maximizing the potential.
           “We’re sixth in points and could move forward with a really strong weekend,” said Rahal.  “I’m not so worried about moving backward, obviously that still is a threat but the point is I would rather just take some chances and advance our position and go forward in the championship so that’s what we’re going to try to do. All in all, we’re looking forward to the challenges ahead with one last go this season and will close 2020 off hopefully on a very high note.”
           “Regardless of the season-ending position, we have to just focus on doing the best possible job we try to achieve,” added Sato.

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing to Build State-of-the-Art Racing Headquarters in Indiana

ZIONSVILLE, Ind. (Oct. 7, 2020) – Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing (RLL), an automotive racing organization, announced plans today to expand its Indiana operations, establishing its global headquarters in Zionsville and creating up to 73 new jobs by the end of 2024.

“Indiana’s reputation as a leader in motorsports continues to pick up speed with companies like Rahal Letterman Lanigan choosing to invest in our state,” Governor Eric J. Holcomb said. “We look forward to supporting RLL’s continued growth in Indiana as the company leverages our state’s business-friendly environment and skilled workforce while racing to the checkered flag.”

The company, which has four entries in the NTT INDYCAR SERIES and International Motor Sports Association (IMSA)’s WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, will invest more than $20 million to build and equip a state-of-the-art racing headquarters at the northeast corner of Creek Way and 106th Street in Zionsville. The 100,000-square-foot facility, which will occupy 13 acres southeast of the downtown area, will allow RLL to consolidate its existing INDYCAR operations in Brownsburg, as well as its IMSA operations in Ohio. The new building will feature office and event space as well as automotive R&D and light manufacturing operations to support the dynamic functions of RLL’s racing teams. The company expects to break ground on its headquarters late 2020 and be fully operational by spring 2022.

“We are very excited about this project, and excited about being in a park-like setting in Zionsville,” said Bobby Rahal, co-owner of RLL. “We feel that this building will make a statement about who we are at RLL and what our intentions are about the future. Having our entire organization based in the Indianapolis area, in Zionsville, is going to be a big plus for our organization. We have done a great job of having two facilities, as is showcased by our wins in the Rolex 24 at Daytona and the Indianapolis 500 this season, but it is certainly demanding having people in two places. We have had time to really look at the building and design every aspect with input from our personnel to maximize the space.”

Founded in 1992, RLL is co-owned by three-time INDYCAR champion and 1986 Indianapolis 500 winner Bobby Rahal, former CBS Late Show host and Indiana native David Letterman, and Mi-Jack co-owner Mike Lanigan. This year, RLL earned its second Indy 500 win and first since 2004, when Takuma Sato also took home his second victory at the historic race. RLL’s INDYCAR team is also headlined by Graham Rahal, son of Bobby Rahal, who is a six-time winner in the NTT INDYCAR SERIES.

“We have been working on building a race shop for over five years and are now ready to move forward,” said Mike Lanigan, co-owner of RLL. “I am personally very excited and honored to be working with the town of Zionsville. I used to live in the area years ago and look forward to our team integrating ourselves into the community and their various programs. Having our racing teams under one roof will not only maximize our abilities, it will provide economies of scale to keep the cost down. That savings will enable us to reinvest more back into the company.”

Indiana is globally recognized as a leader in motorsports. Home to the “Racing Capital of the World,” Indiana welcomes visitors from around the world to Indianapolis for world-class racing events like the Indy 500, Brickyard 400 and IndyCar Grand Prix. Motorsports-related businesses operate in all of Indiana’s 92 counties, with more than 2,400 motorsports businesses like RLL supporting more than 421,000 motorsports-related jobs across Indiana.

“Our efforts to seek the right fit for Creekside Corporate Park have proven successful with Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing expanding to Zionsville and choosing Creekside Corporate Park for their corporate headquarters,” said Zionsville Mayor Emily Styron. “In Zionsville, we have the best of both worlds – a thriving business community and an unparalleled quality of life. RLL fits in well with the local culture and business environment and I know their team will love being part of this community. We are thrilled to welcome RLL to town.”

The Indiana Economic Development Corporation will offer RLL up to $1.2 million in conditional tax credits based on the company’s job creation plans and up to $300,000 in conditional tax credits from the Hoosier Business Investment (HBI) tax credit program based on the company’s planned capital investment in Indiana. These tax credits are performance-based, meaning until Hoosiers are hired, the company is not eligible to claim incentives.

About Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, based in Hilliard, Ohio and Brownsburg, Ind., is co-owned by three-time IndyCar Champion and 1986 Indianapolis 500 winner Bobby Rahal, former CBS Late Show host David Letterman and Mi-Jack co-owner Mike Lanigan. In 2020, the team is in the midst of their 29th year of open wheel competition and has 29 wins – including the 2004 Indy 500 from pole with Buddy Rice and the 2020 Indy 500 with Takuma Sato — their 33 poles, 107 podium finishes and 1992 series championship. The team also competed in the American Le Mans Series from 2009-2013 as BMW Team RLL where they won both the Manufacturer and Team Championships in the GT category in 2010 and swept all three GT titles in 2011 – Manufacturer, Team and Driver. In 2012, the team finished second in the Team Championship and third in the Manufacturer Championship and in 2013, the team finished second in the Driver, Team and Manufacturer Championship. Since 2014, BMW Team RLL has competed in the GTLM class of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship with a two-car program and has brought their total to 22 wins – including the 2019 and 2020 Rolex 24 at Daytona endurance races, 28 poles and 82 podium finishes as well as a second place finish in the Manufacturer, Team and Driver championships in 2015 and 2017.

About IEDC
The Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC) leads the state of Indiana’s economic development efforts, helping businesses launch, grow and locate in the state. Governed by a 15-member board chaired by Governor Eric J. Holcomb, the IEDC manages many initiatives, including performance-based tax credits, workforce training grants, innovation and entrepreneurship resources, public infrastructure assistance, and talent attraction and retention efforts. For more information about the IEDC, visit www.iedc.in.gov.

Harvest GP – Race 2 Notes/Quotes

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing

Harvest GP – Indianapolis Motor Speedway
NTT INDYCAR SERIES
RACE 2 NOTES/QUOTES – October 3, 2020

RAHAL FINISHED SEVENTH IN RACE 2 OF THE HARVEST GP AND SATO FINISHED 14TH

GRAHAM RAHAL, No. 15 United Rentals Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “Another seventh-place finish. I’m disappointed from the standpoint that I thought yesterday the United Rentals car had good pace but today we struggled a little. I think a lot of guys struggled more today just for whatever reason it was kind of a handful out there. We got two seventh-place finishes, we’re still sixth in the points and 22 behind Pato so we’ve got to have a good weekend in St. Pete, and we can get into the top-five.  But we were just missing it a little bit this weekend. We’ll work hard and try to figure it out and come back stronger. In the end it was a good weekend for Turns for Troops and Soldier Strong with our United Rentals program. We raised a lot of money to help our veterans.”

  • FAST FACTS: Rahal qualified 10th for the 75-lap race and gained four spots on the opening lap to run sixth. He started on primary Firestone tires and Santino Ferrucci utilized his quicker red tires to regain a spot. Rahal ran second for two laps but knew he wouldn’t be able to conserve fuel and hold off hard charging run from Harvey or Newgarden and ran ninth on Lap 10 until the pit cycle started. After his first of two stops, he settled into seventh place and held the position through his second stop and to the checkered flag … 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 maintained his sixth-place rank in NTT INDYCAR SERIES point standings with 354 and is only -22 behind fifth place Pato O’Ward (376).

TAKUMA SATO, No. 30 Keihin Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “It was a hard race today. Once again there were no yellows, so it was very difficult to make up positions and strategy-wise it was almost fixed.  We fought, almost all the race long and in the end, we gained some positions. One guy pushed me off to the grass which was a shame because we lost a few positions but, in the end, we finished 14th after a hard battle which was a little frustrating but at least we raced hard today.”

  • FAST FACTS: Sato started 17th and claimed two spots at the start but Hinchcliffe regained his spot on Lap 2. He gained a spot when Hunter-Reay had to pit after contact and ran ahead of Marcus Ericsson and had to fend off advances.  He passed VeeKay for 14th on Lap 17 and made his first of two stops on Lap 25. Hunter-Reay made his second stop and Sato moved into 15th, ahead of Ericsson again. After the two utilized a good portion of their Push-to-pass, Ericsson moved ahead on Lap 39. Sato pit from 16th on Lap 50 and almost got out ahead of Ericsson, who also stopped.  After the round of stops, he settled into 15th place behind Ericsson but passed him on Lap 73 and took the checkered flag in 14th place.… 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 maintained his seventh-place rank in series point standings with a total of 328 and is -26 behind sixth place Rahal.

NEXT UP:  The Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg INDYCAR SERIES season-finale will take place October 24-25.

Race 1 of the Harvest GP

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
Harvest GP – Indianapolis Motor Speedway
NTT INDYCAR SERIES
RACE 1 NOTES/QUOTES – October 2, 2020
RAHAL LED FIVE LAPS AND FINISHED SEVENTH IN RACE 1 OF THE HARVEST GP; SATO FINISHED 18TH

GRAHAM RAHAL, No. 15 United Rentals Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “It was a tough day. I spun early and luckily it didn’t end up hurting us. We were able to pass a lot of guys today but in the end, we had to go to blacks (primary tires) and I think it hurt us and we also ran out of overtake. We still got Dixie (Dixon) back when he made his mistake, but it was definitely hard. (Will) Power was flying hard. His straight-line speed was extremely strong, so it was hard for us to get by him but we’re back at it tomorrow morning.  We will try to qualify up front and give ourselves a better shot to try to win this thing get this United Rentals car up front tomorrow.”

  • FAST FACTS: Rahal moved into ninth place from his 11th place start on the opening lap. Rosenqvist regained his spot and Rahal was running 10th when he spun and continued but dropped to 14th.  He moved into 12th when Hunter-Reay and Ferrucci made contact and conserved fuel to stretch his stint. He cycled up to fourth place when he made his first stop on Lap 20 of 85. He passed Chilton and Pagenaud before the next pit cycle started and he cycled into the lead on Lap 44 before his second stop. He returned to the track in eight place He passed Dixon on Lap 52 for seventh place and held it until the next pit cycle began. He cycled into the lead for Laps 63-66 and returned to run seventh. He used all of his Push-to Pass and Dixon, who had 35 seconds left, passed him for position on lap 77. Dixon made a mistake on Lap 84 and Rahal regained seventh place which he held until the checkered flag… 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 328 and is only -32 behind third place Colton Herta (360).

TAKUMA SATO, No. 30 ABeam Consulting Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “It was a tough day. From where we were starting, we tried to go to a two-stop strategy, which according to the calculation was seven to eight laps short anyway. We hoped we could make some of the fuel number up with yellows but regardless, we couldn’t make it, so we had to shift to the three-stop strategy. But by the time we did, we lost so much time on track. And then of course we had to go to an aggressive downforce setting to make up places but maybe we tipped over on that. The car was extremely tough to manage and also, we lost one set of reds (alternate tires) from yesterday which hurt us. All in all, it was a tough race, but it was definitely great data for tomorrow’s qualifying and race. We need to qualify in the top-10.  After today, all of the field will move up even tighter because they have all the data. But we believe we can be more competitive tomorrow.” 

  • FAST FACTS: Sato started 24th after bringing out a red flag in Friday‘s qualifying session and losing his fastest race lap. The team tried an aggressive strategy due to the starting position, but the lack of caution periods forced them to change from a two-stopper to a three and he ultimately finished 18th … 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 312 and only -34 behind fourth 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:  Qualifying for Race 2 will take place from 10:20-10:50 AM and NBC will begin coverage of the 75-lap Race 2 of the Harvest GP at 2:30 p.m. ET on Saturday.

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
NTT INDYCAR SERIES
QUALIFYING NOTES/QUOTES – October 1, 2020


RAHAL QUALIFIED 11TH FOR RACE 1 OF THE HARVEST GP; SATO LOST HIS FASTEST LAP FOR BRINGING OUT THE RED FLAG AND WILL START 24TH

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.

Sato and Rahal Return to IMS for the Harvest GP After 1-3 Finishes There in the Indy 500; Rahal Aims to Improve on 2nd Place in the July GP

Takuma Sato, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Honda

Rahal Letterman Lanigan RacingPre-Race Notes
Harvest GP – Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course
Round 12 and 13 of 14 in the 2020 NTT INDYCAR SERIES


DATE:     Thursday – Saturday, October 1-3, 2020

PRACTICE BROADCAST:     Live on INDYCAR Pass on NBC Sports Gold, on Thursday from 2:25 – 3:40 p.m. ET. Also live on the INDYCAR Radio Network (IRN) and www.indycar.com (timing & scoring + live analysis).

QUALIFYING BROADCASTS:     Live on INDYCAR Pass, the IRN and www.indycar.com (timing & scoring + live analysis) from 6:20-6:50 p.m. ET Thursday and 10:20-10:50 a.m. ET on Saturday.

RACE BROADCASTS:     Live Friday, October 2 from 3:30-6:00 p.m. ET on USA Network and Saturday,
October 3 from 2:30-4:30 p.m. ET on NBC. Both races will also air on INDYCAR Pass, IRN, Sirius 211 and XM 205.

TRACK LAYOUT:     2.439-mile, 14-turn road course
RACE LENGTH:     85 laps on Friday / 75 laps on Saturday (July 4 race was 80 laps)
2020 WINNER:     Scott Dixon (July 4)
2020 POLESITTER:     Will Power (1:10.1779 / 125.116 mph; July 3)

RLL TOP START / FINISH AT IMS (ROAD):     4th by Rahal in 2020 / 2nd by Rahal in 2015 and 2020; seven events

RAHAL’S BEST START / FINISH AT IMS (ROAD):     4th in 2020 / 2nd in 2015 and 2020; seven events
RAHAL’S HIGHEST SERIES START / FINISH:     3 poles – Pole at St. Pete (street) 2009, Kansas (oval) 2009, Detroit Race 1 (street) 2017 / 6 wins – 1st in St. Pete in 2008, Fontana & Mid-Ohio 2015, Texas 2016, Detroit Race 1 & Race 2 2017

SATO’S BEST START / FINISH AT IMS (ROAD):     11th in 2018-2019 (RLL) / 9th in 2017 with AA; seven events
SATO’S HIGHEST SERIES START / FINISH:     10 Poles – Iowa (oval) 2011, Edmonton (street) 2011, Houston Race 1 (street) 2013, St. Pete (street) 2014, Detroit Dual 2 (street) 2014, Detroit Dual 2 2017, Pocono (oval) 2017, Barber (road) 2019, Texas (oval) 2019, St. Louis (oval; Race 2) 2020 / 6 Wins – Long Beach (2013), Indianapolis 500 (2017), Portland (2018), Barber (2019), St. Louis (2019), Indianapolis 500 (2020)


NEWS & NOTES:

RAHAL LETTERMAN LANIGAN RACING & THE HARVEST GRAND PRIX
The Harvest GP (HGP) will mark the team’s 8th and 9th NTT INDYCAR SERIES races on the 2.439-mile road course.  The team’s highest finish is second by Graham Rahal in 2015 and 2020 and he also brought their highest start of fourth this July. In addition to Rahal (2014-2020) and Sato (2018-2020), other drivers that have competed for the team here include Spencer Pigot (2016, 2020) and Oriol Servia (2014).  For the second and third races on the IMS road course in 2020, RLL has entered the No. 15 United Rentals Honda for Graham Rahal, and the No. 30 ABeam Consulting Honda for Takuma Sato in Race 1 and the Keihin Honda in Race 2.

RAHAL AIMS TO ADD ANOTHER PODIUM FINISH AT IMS
Graham hopes to finish one better at the 2020 Harvest GP than he did earlier this season when he finished second in the July 4 GMR GP. 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. After starting fourth, he passed Herta for third at the start of the race.  He moved into second when previous race leader Will Power made his first stop on Lap 17 of 80, apparently on a three-stop strategy and then into the lead when Jack Harvey pit on Lap 18. He led the next nine laps until he made his first stop on Lap 26 on a two-stop strategy and returned to the track in fourth place, running handily behind those on a three-stop strategy. A caution came out for rookie Askew, who crashed, and changed the complexion of the race. Three-stoppers Power, Newgarden and Harvey pit under caution and Rahal cycled into the lead on Lap 39. Rahal was on primary Firestone’s and Dixon, who had made his second of three stops two laps before the caution, caught up to Rahal and passed him on Lap 48. Dixon ran hard and built a 7-second gap on Rahal before Rahal made his second stop on Lap 54 and Dixon made his third stop on Lap 55.  After the field made their stops, Rahal returned to second place on lap 63 and held it until the checkered flag. He is looking forward to possible redemption on the road course.
           “The team has done a great job so far in improvements for the road courses over 2019. Our package has been extremely strong. Allen (McDonald; race engineer), Eddie (Jones, Takuma’s engineer) and all the guys did a great job coming up with some setups for this year that have worked. And we feel that it will work again at IMS this weekend. I thought we were phenomenal in Race 1 (at IMS; July 4 GMR Grand Prix) and I think that Race 2 and 3 (Harvest GP) will be just as good for us, it’s just that people learned from the strategy and other things we did in the first race and it will be interesting to see how we all respond this time around. I think the main contenders will be ourselves, Andretti Autosport, Penske, Ganassi. I could literally say almost everybody. At times the Coyne cars have been fast and others have too. I expect it to be a very competitive two races.”

SATO RETURNS TO IMS AS A TWO-TIME INDY 500 CHAMPION
When Takuma arrives to IMS this week for his eighth and ninth INDYCAR races on the road course, it will be as the only active, fulltime, two-time Indy 500 Champion after he backed up his 2017 win with one on August 23.  His best INDYCAR start on the road course is 11th in 2018 and his best finish is ninth in 2017 with Andretti Autosport.  In July, Takuma started 17th for his seventh race here. After qualifying, the team found an issue that attributed to a loss of two-tenths of a second on the front straight. In the race, Sato immediately dropped to 24th while struggling from what was determined post-race as a suspension issue.  The team aborted a two-stop strategy and made their first stop on Lap 11 and Sato returned to the track in last place of 26th. He steadily picked off cars and was in eight place when he was on his in-lap for his second stop but Askew brought out a caution and closed the pits. He was forced to come in for two-seconds of fuel on Lap 36 before making a full stop when the pits opened on Lap 38. He ran in 16th place and had a mid-stint battle with Veach for a few laps before he passed him. On Lap 53 he started another charge and moved up from 16th into sixth place by Lap 56 before his final stop on Lap 57. He moved from 14th into 10th before the checkered flag after passing Harvey, Pigot, Veach and Daly. He is looking forward to his return to the track for two more chances to reach the podium.
           “I think our road course setup has been very competitive as a team but we had a couple of issues too so hopefully I will have a trouble-free weekend and get back on a good pace. Mid-Ohio was a tough one for us.  Little things made a significant difference and strategy-wise we weren’t able to do much so we couldn’t recover well in the race but I hope we will turn that around at IMS. I think everyone will have beneficial data from July. The field will be even more tight however we studied hard and the preparation will boost us more so I will expect a competitive weekend for us.”

GRAHAM AND TAKUMA ON STRATEGY FOR TWO DIFFERENT RACE DISTANCES
The GMR Grand Prix at IMS was 80 laps on July 4. Friday’s race will be 85 laps and Saturday’s race will be 75, thus necessitating different considerations in regard to pit stop strategy which will add another element to the strategy.
           “It will be different this time because you’ve got 85 laps in the first race, which is longer than we did in July, and 75 laps is obviously shorter so the Saturday race will be a little different,” said Rahal. “Seventy-five laps is a pretty easy two-stop race based on what we did before.  And 85 laps is a whole different ballgame. It will be interesting to see how it works out for everybody but we definitely hope to put the United Rentals Honda up front.”
           “We need to see what’s the optimum strategy once we know the pace and degradation for the weekend,” added Sato.

GRAHAM AND TAKUMA ON THE IMPACT OF COOLER TEMPS ON THE RACE AND DRIVERS
When the series competed in the GMR Grand Prix at IMS on July 4, the sweltering Indiana summer heat added an extra challenge for the drivers.Although it won’t be as warm, two races on the road course will still provide plenty of physical challenges and will impact the track conditions as well.
           “If it cools off, it’s just better from a physicality standpoint,” said Rahal. “We’ll all feel stronger. Hydration will be key as will taking care of our bodies with a little massage therapy on Friday night and other things too. Indy is very difficult on your neck in particular. In the heat, in the summer, its brutal all around but I think guys are going to get pretty tired with two races even in lower temps. Two races at IMS might not be as hard as two at Mid-Ohio but it certainly is physically demanding.”
           “The cooler temperatures will make a difference and usually make the car faster by itself as there is more downforce and consistent mechanical grips from the tires. The setup won’t be dramatically different from that but we will need some adjustments. We have had both cold – and I mean even winter-jacket-cold – and warm races at the Indy GP historically so we should able to respond well. A doubleheader is always physically demanding and yes it was a hot race in July but I think it will be fine for me. We will just make sure that we are going into the weekend with a good physical condition.”

THE POINT STANDINGS
Graham Rahal is ranked sixth in NTT INDYCAR SERIES point standings with 301 and is only -37 behind third place Pato O’Ward (338). Takuma Sato is seventh with a total of 300 with three races to go in the season.  Both are focused on maximizing the opportunities.
           “I would still like to get into third place and I think we can,” said Rahal.  “I feel that we have had a tremendous season. On average I feel like we have had the second-best, or third-best season of anybody. The problem is that we had two really poor races. Obviously we missed points at Texas and Race 2 at Road America and St. Louis was not good for us but I do expect us to be pretty strong to finish this off.”
           “We want to finish as high at the end of the season as everyone else does,” added Sato. “We just need to do the best possible job for the rest of season too and see where we will land.”

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ABeam Consulting to be Primary Sponsor of Takuma Sato’s Entry at Race 1 of the Harvest Grand Prix

BROWNSBURG, Ind. (September 29, 2020) – Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing (RLL) announced today that ABeam Consulting, who provides business transformation services to over 800 clients throughout Asia, the Americas and Europe, will be primary sponsor of Takuma Sato’s No. 30 Honda-powered entry at Race 1 of the Harvest Grand Prix at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on October 2.

The Harvest Grand Prix will mark Takuma Sato’s return to Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the first time since becoming the only active, two-time Indianapolis 500 champion on August 23. ABeam has been an associate sponsor of Sato’s NTT INDYCAR SERIES entry since 2017.

“I’m extremely excited to see once again ABeam Consulting as the primary sponsor of the first race of the Harvest Grand Prix” said Takuma Sato. “They have been a great supporter for many years and are passionate about motorsports. I just appreciate so much to them for being such a loyal supporter for once again this season under the very challenging time. It is always good to see ABeam on the sidepod.”

Through ABeam Consulting’s partnership with RLL and Takuma Sato, three ABeam Digital engineers attended all 2019 INDYCAR SERIES races to provide the latest digital technology to support the team and have been working remotely from Japan this season. ABeam Consulting’s leading-edge digital analytics enable advanced driving analysis, fault forecasting, and actual racing data collection and analysis to help Sato’s team achieve optimum performance.

“Since our relationship with Takuma began in 2017, we have won two Indy 500’s. We have been able to expose our brand, our company and our capabilities through these victories.” added Koh Watanabe, Managing Director for the Americas at ABeam Consulting. “ABeam Consulting and Takuma Sato have worked together with our engineers to help make him and RLL as competitive as possible through our technologies. We are proud to be the primary sponsor at Race 1 of the Harvest Grand Prix at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. This is a great way to cap off the successful 2020 season for Takuma.”

Live coverage of the Harvest Grand Prix will begin on USA Network at 3:30 p.m. ET on Friday, October 2. Sato is currently ranked seventh in NTT INDYCAR SERIES point standings with a total of 300 points after Round 11 of 14 and is only 38 behind third place Pato O’Ward.

About ABeam Consulting
ABeam Consulting provides business transformation services that create strategic advantages, improve business processes, leverage technology innovation, and enhance organizational performance for leading multinational and domestic companies worldwide. ABeam Consulting combines deep business insight with the understanding of how technology will impact industry and business models. Our future efforts will extend our work in integrating application strategy with business strategy by focusing on connected and intelligent applications, helping companies achieve new operating models to shape their future. ABeam partners with clients to diagnose and solve challenges with solutions that combine industry and operational best practices with technical expertise. Pragmatic approaches ensure that clients gain measurable value more quickly. Headquartered in Tokyo, ABeam’s 5,000 professionals serve more than 800 clients throughout Asia, the Americas and Europe. For more information, please visit http://www.abeam.com/en

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