Archives for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing PR

Verizon IndyCar Series – NOTES/QUOTES – Saturday, April 18, 2015

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach

 STEAK ‘N SHAKE DRIVER RAHAL TO START EIGHTH IN THE TOYOTA GRAND PRIX OF LONG BEACH; BEST STARTING POSITION FOR 2015

POLE:             Helio Castroneves    1:06.6294 / 106.331 mph       (Round 3; Group 1)
8th:                 Graham Rahal           1:07.1290 / 105.540 mph       (Round 2; Group 1) 

GRAHAM RAHAL, No. 15 Steak ‘n Shake Dallara/Honda/Firestone:  “Everything went pretty well in qualifying; obviously the Steak ‘n Shake car was pretty close. We missed a top-six spot in Round 2 to advance to Round 3 by less than one-tenth of a second; it’s a close field.  Obviously we would like to start a little higher up. If we couldn’t be on pole we wanted to be the fastest Honda today and we came up just short.  The guys have been working awfully hard and I think this team is turning it around so hopefully we can have a good day tomorrow. I think racing is typically our thing versus qualifying so starting eighth makes it a lot easier than where we have started.  I think it’s going to be an exciting race. For all the guys out here, I figured it would be pretty exciting to have the Maxim girls out here. It’s cool to have them on board. Biglari Holdings owns both Steak ‘n Shake and Maxim and it’s exciting to have them involved. It’s a new sponsor for Indy car racing. The fan support for Steak ‘n Shake in particular has been absolutely incredible.  Keep those social media posts coming and go out and enjoy a Steakburger!”

FAST FACTS: Will be his ninth Champ or Indy car race here, 10th overall, and third with RLL.  In 2014, he finished seventh after struggling in practice and qualifying 23rd.   In 2013, he finished second after starting 11th.  In 2012, he qualified 15th for SCCGR, started 8th due to penalties to Chevy-powered teams, ran as high as fourth but finished 24th due to contact with Marco Andretti. In 2011, he qualified 16th for SCCGR and finished 13th.  In 2010 he started and finished 22nd for Sarah Fisher Racing after contact.  In 2009, he started seventh and finished 12th for NHLR. In 2008 he started ninth and had a podium in sight when he was alongside third place but contact during this pass led to a 13th place finish.  Started fifth in 2007 but the pit strategy of others and slow fuel flow related to teething problems for the all-new Panoz Champ Car on two stops limited his finish to eighth place.  In the 2006 Champ Car Atlantic Series race here he started seventh and finished fifth.

3 POLES, 6 PODIUMS FOR RLL IN 15 INDY CAR RACES AT LONG BEACH: This will mark the fourth time for RLL to compete in the Indy car race at Long Beach since 2003 when Michel Jourdain, Jr. won pole, led a race high 48 laps and was in the lead when his car stuck in gear on his final stop with seven laps to go and ultimately retired in 15th place.  In their 15 previous Indy car races in Long Beach, the team entered 26 cars for drivers such as Bobby Rahal (1992-1998), Mike Groff (1994), Raul Boesel (1995), Bryan Herta (1996-1999), Max Papis (1999-2001), Kenny Brack (2000-2001), Jimmy Vasser (2002), Jourdain (2002-2003), Takuma Sato (2012), Graham Rahal (2013-2014),  James Jakes (2013) and Oriol Servia (2014).  In total, the team 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 (3rd – Herta 1998-1999). Last year in Long Beach, Rahal finished seventh after struggles in practice led to a 23rd place start. Oriol Servia qualified 12th but contact with Conway and Andretti broke two different front wings in the race and he soldiered on to finish 13th.

NEXT UP:  Race day warm-up will take place tomorrow from 10:00-10:30 a.m. PT. The Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach will be televised live on NBCSN at 4:00 PM ET Sunday, April 19.

RAHAL LETTERMAN LANIGAN RACING TO PREPARE AN ENTRY FOR ORIOL SERVIA FOR THE 99TH RUNNING OF THE INDY 500

BROWNSBURG, Ind. (April 14, 2015) – Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing (RLL) announced today that the team will prepare an entry for veteran Oriol Servia for the 99th running of the Indianapolis 500 on May 24. Servia competed for the team in the Indy 500 in 2009 and in four races in 2014.

The 2015 Indy 500 will be Servia’s seventh in the famed race and third with RLL. His best finish overall is fourth in 2012 with Dreyer & Reinbold and best start is third in 2011 with Newman/Haas Racing.  In the 2009 Indianapolis 500 with RLL, Servia was in ninth place halfway through the race when a mechanical failure led to his retirement in 26th place.  In 2014, he competed for the team in Long Beach, at Barber Motorsports Park and two events at Indianapolis Motor Speedway where he led seven laps in the road course race but finished 12th, qualified 18th for the Indy 500 and finished 11th.

“I honestly couldn’t be any happier to announce that I will be entering the 99th Indianapolis 500 with Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing,” said Servia. “There is a saying in Spanish “A la tercera va la vencida” (Third time lucky) that I feel fits our effort very well. This will be our third attempt together to cross the most famous brickyard first after 500 miles. The first two efforts were very promising and encouraged all parties to go for it again with the most ambitious aspirations. I have followed closely all the changes that the team has gone through over the winter and I am really excited as I have worked with most of the new hires. I believe the whole team is perhaps the strongest and most talented group in the whole Indy car paddock. I must thank the whole team and especially the bosses, Mr. Rahal, Mr. Letterman and Mr. Lanigan for their confidence and support. I can’t wait to jump in the car and team up with Graham again. This will be a great month of May.”

“Oriol is a very talented driver,” said Bobby Rahal, co-owner of Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing with CBS Late Show host David Letterman and Mi-Jack co-owner Mike Lanigan.  “He’s a smart driver and he’s got a lot of experience so we’re looking forward to bringing him back to run the Indy 500 with us for the third time.  Having teamed with Graham before at Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing and again last year, their setups seem to be quite similar so you can really take advantage of having a multi-car team.  When we looked at who the best driver was to join us for the Indy 500, Oriol was our first choice. He’s competitive; he’s smart, has good race craft and brings it home.”

Servia, a native of Pals, Spain, has made 195 starts in CART, Champ Car and the IndyCar Series since his rookie season in 2000.  His Indy car highlights include one win (Montreal 2005) and one pole (Surfers Paradise, Australia 2005) as well as a total of 19 top-three, 51 top-five and 101 top-10 finishes.  He will participate in the open test at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Sunday, May 3.

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, CBS LATE SHOW host David Letterman and Mi-Jack co-owner Mike Lanigan.  In 2015 the team will compete in their 24th year of open wheel competition and attempt to add to their 20 wins – including the 2004 Indy 500 from pole with Buddy Rice — their 29 poles, 81 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. In 2014, BMW Team RLL competed in the GTLM class of the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship with a two-car program and earned six podium finishes including four second-place finishes. In 2015, the team opened the season by scoring their 50th podium finish of second place at the Rolex 24 at Daytona and will attempt to add to their 10 wins.

NOTES/QUOTES – Friday, April 17, 2015

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
Grand Prix of Long Beach
Verizon IndyCar Series

NOTES/QUOTES – Friday, April 17, 2015

STEAK ‘N SHAKE DRIVER RAHAL SEVENTH OVERALL IN PRACTICE FOR THE TOYOTA GRAND PRIX OF LONG BEACH

1) Will Power 1:07.5485 / 104.885 mph
7) Graham Rahal 1:08.1294 / 103.990 mph

GRAHAM RAHAL, No. 15 Steak ‘n Shake Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “I thought the crowd today was great but with this weather, why wouldn’t it be? We had a mechanical issue this morning and only got to run a handful of laps. The second practice was more of what I expected. Our car was good this morning but we just didn’t get to see it through before we had the issue. We are the fastest Honda but we have a little work to do to catch the Penske’s. I was on a lap that was about a tenth (of a second) and a half quicker but I just screwed it up, ate too much curb off in Turn 8 and lost it. I feel like there is a lot of potential. But we’re pretty close and if you put Will, Simon and a few others aside, we’re kind of the best of the rest but we’ll keep fighting hard to improve the Steak ‘n Shake car tomorrow. We’re in the hunt.”

FAST FACTS: Will be his ninth Champ or Indy car race here, 10th overall, and third with RLL. In 2014, he finished seventh after struggling in practice and qualifying 23rd. In 2013, he finished second after starting 11th. In 2012, he qualified 15th for SCCGR, started 8th due to penalties to Chevy-powered teams, ran as high as fourth but finished 24th due to contact with Marco Andretti. In 2011, he qualified 16th for SCCGR and finished 13th. In 2010 he started and finished 22nd for Sarah Fisher Racing after contact. In 2009, he started seventh and finished 12th for NHLR. In 2008 he started ninth and had a podium in sight when he was alongside third place but contact during this pass led to a 13th place finish. Started fifth in 2007 but the pit strategy of others and slow fuel flow related to teething problems for the all-new Panoz Champ Car on two stops limited his finish to eighth place. In the 2006 Champ Car Atlantic Series race here he started seventh and finished fifth.

3 POLES, 6 PODIUMS FOR RLL IN 15 INDY CAR RACES AT LONG BEACH: This will mark the fourth time for RLL to compete in the Indy car race at Long Beach since 2003 when Michel Jourdain, Jr. won pole, led a race high 48 laps and was in the lead when his car stuck in gear on his final stop with seven laps to go and ultimately retired in 15th place. In their 15 previous Indy car races in Long Beach, the team entered 26 cars for drivers such as Bobby Rahal (1992-1998), Mike Groff (1994), Raul Boesel (1995), Bryan Herta (1996-1999), Max Papis (1999-2001), Kenny Brack (2000-2001), Jimmy Vasser (2002), Jourdain (2002-2003), Takuma Sato (2012), Graham Rahal (2013-2014), James Jakes (2013) and Oriol Servia (2014). In total, the team 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 (3rd – Herta 1998-1999). Last year in Long Beach, Rahal finished seventh after struggles in practice led to a 23rd place start. Oriol Servia qualified 12th but contact with Conway and Andretti broke two different front wings in the race and he soldiered on to finish 13th.

NEXT UP: Practice will take place tomorrow morning from 10:00-10:45 p.m. PT. Qualifying will take place from 2:00-3:15 PM and air on NBCSN at 6:30 PM ET Saturday. Timing and Scoring information and live streaming video is available for all sessions from www.indycar.com . The Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach will be televised live on NBCSN at 4:00 PM ET Sunday, April 19.

After Top-Five Runs in the Past Two Races, Rahal Looks Forward to Long Beach in the Steak ‘n Shake Honda

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
Pre-Race Notes
Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach – Streets of Long Beach, California
Round 3 of 16 in the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series
DATE: Friday – Sunday, April 17-19, 2015
QUALIFYING BROADCAST: NBC Sports Network at 6:30 p.m. ET Saturday, April 18; live on the IMS Radio
Network and www.indycar.com (timing & scoring)
RACE BROADCAST: Live on NBC Sports Network, Sunday, April 19 at 4 p.m. ET
RADIO BROADCAST: The race will air on IMS Radio Network, XM 211 & Sirius 211
TRACK LAYOUT: 1.968-mile, 11-turn street course
RACE LENGTH: 80 laps / 157.4 miles
2014 WINNER: Mike Conway
2014 POLESITTER: Ryan Hunter-Reay (1:07.8219 / 104.462 mph)

RLL’S BEST START/FINISH AT LONG BEACH: 3 poles (Herta 1998, Vasser 2002, Jourdain, Jr. 2003) / 2nd – four times (Rahal 1992-1993,
Vasser 2002, G. Rahal 2013)
RAHAL’S BEST START/FINISH AT LONG BEACH: 5th in 2007 / 2nd in 2013; will be his ninth Indy car race here and 10th overall

RAHAL’S BEST INDY CAR START/FINISH: Pole at St. Pete 2009 & Kansas 2009 / 1st in St. Pete in 2008

NEWS & NOTES:

DEBUT OF STEAK ‘N SHAKE AS PRIMARY SPONSOR IN LONG BEACH
The 2015 Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach (TGPLB) marks the first race for Steak ‘n Shake as a primary sponsor of an Indy car. The team announced in March that Steak ‘n Shake would be the primary sponsor of the No. 15 entry for Verizon IndyCar Series events in Long Beach, two events at Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Detroit, and Mid-Ohio. Maxim Magazine branding will also be featured on the race car. Both are owned by Biglari Holdings Inc. Steak ‘n Shake is a definitive American brand and home of the original Steakburger(TM) and hand-dipped milkshakes. Rahal is making an appearance at their Third Street Promenade location in Santa Monica from 12-2 PM PT Wednesday. After running in the top-five in the 2015 season-opening race in St. Petersburg and last weekend in New Orleans, Rahal can’t wait to get behind the wheel of the Steak ‘n Shake entry in Long Beach.
“I have been pleasantly surprised by the fan support and excitement since we announced Steak ‘n Shake as a sponsor. The fans have taken the news by storm and the support has been pretty incredible. It seems that every day someone tags me in a tweet with a picture of themselves at Steak ‘n Shake. I’m looking forward to getting out there in the Steak ‘n Shake Maxim car and seeing how we can do. It’s a racy-looking machine; I think the colors suit the car well. The last time we ran red and white, we finished second at Long Beach (2013, Big O Tires) so hopefully that carries forward.”

16TH INDY CAR RACE IN LONG BEACH FOR RLL; THREE CARS ENTERED FOR WEEKEND
The 2015 Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach (TGPLB) marks the 16th 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 2009, the team returned to the streets of Long Beach in the ALMS with BMW Team RLL and has finished on the podium each year since then including a win in 2011 with Joey Hand and Dirk Mueller and a 1-2 finish in 2013 with Bill Auberlen and Maxime Martin (1st) and Dirk Mueller and Joey Hand (2nd). In 2014 the team finished second and sixth.

In their 15 previous Indy car races in Long Beach, the team entered 27 cars for drivers such as Bobby Rahal (1992-1998),
Mike Groff (1994), Raul Boesel (1995), Bryan Herta (1996-1999), Max Papis (1999-2001), Kenny Brack (2000-2001), Jimmy Vasser (2002), Jourdain (2002-2003), Takuma Sato (2012), Graham Rahal (2013-2014), James Jakes (2013), Mike Conway (2013) and Oriol Servia (2014). In total, the team 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 (2nd – Rahal 1992-1993, Vasser 2002 & G. Rahal 2013; 3rd – Herta 1998-1999).

In 2014, Rahal drove to a seventh place finish after struggles in practice led to a 23rd place start. The team also prepared an entry for Oriol Servia who qualified 12th but contact with Conway and Andretti broke two different front wings in the race and he soldiered on to finish 13th.

The team has prepared three cars for the Long Beach weekend – the No. 15 Steak ‘n Shake Honda/Dallara/Firestone entry for Sunday’s Verizon IndyCar Series race and two entries under the name BMW Team RLL that will compete in the GTLM class of the United SportsCar Series race on Saturday.

GRAHAM ON EXPECTATIONS FOR “HOME RACE” AFTER RUNNING IN THE TOP-FIVE IN BOTH 2015 RACES
“Long Beach is kind of a home race for me these days so it will be exciting to be out there with a lot of friends and family,” said Rahal who is tied for seventh place in the point standings with 43. “Hopefully we can put on a good show for them. The St. Pete and Long Beach tracks are a little bit different but I do think that having had a competitive run at St. Pete indicates that we should have a good run at Long Beach. I feel pretty confident in our street course car. Long Beach has kind of been one of our strong suits as far as the street courses have been, certainly the last couple of years, so I’m looking forward to it. Long Beach is a very technical track, there are a lot of bumps, a lot of different variations of speed and cornering; it should be a lot of fun.”

Rahal Finished Eighth in the Indy GP of Louisiana After Running as High as Fourth in the Timed Race

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
Indy Grand Prix of Louisiana
Verizon IndyCar Series
NOTES/QUOTES – Sunday, April 12, 2015
RAHAL FINISHED EIGHTH IN THE INDY GRAND PRIX OF LOUISIANA AFTER RUNNING AS HIGH AS FOURTH IN THE TIMED RACE

GRAHAM RAHAL, No. 15 D-A Lubricant Company Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “In the wet, the car was really good and I was able to move my way up quickly and get a good spot to contend the rest of the day. I had a couple of good restarts, picked off a couple more spots but unfortunately in the end the guys up front got lucky with the yellows and strategy. We played it right but unfortunately it just didn’t stay green. There was nothing we could do about that. I thought we had a car that was pretty capable today, particularly in the wet. We just didn’t get to see it through though the way the race played out.”

* FAST FACTS: Qualifying was cancelled due to severe weather and Rahal started 11th based on entrant point standings. In the race he moved from 11th to fifth and made his first stop, he moved from eighth to fourth before his next stop and was 11th when a three car accident happened to move him to eighth before the race ended due to a time limit. It was Rahal’s first time to race at NOLA Motorsports Park… Prior to 2015, the Ohio native recorded 110 starts between the Champ Car World Series and IZOD IndyCar Series capturing one win, two poles, 21 top-five finishes — including his 2008 win at St. Petersburg — 49 top-10’s, and led a total of 121 laps. In addition, he won poles at St. Petersburg (street course) and Kansas Speedway (oval) in 2009. Rahal came close to winning again in 2012 as he led the closing laps at Texas Motor Speedway before a slight brush of the wall with two laps to go forced him to settle for second place. He finished second again in Long Beach in 2013 and had competitive runs at Iowa, where he won Heat Race 1, Sonoma and Baltimore in 2013. The highlight of his 2014 season was a second place finish in Dual 1 in Detroit.

NEXT UP: The team will return to the race shop on Monday morning to begin preparation of the No. 15 Steak ‘n Shake entry and depart for California on Monday night for the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach that will air on NBCSN at 4:00 PM ET Sunday, April 19.

Rahal to Start 11th in the Indy GP of Louisiana After Qualifying Was Cancelled Due to Severe Weather; Grid Set Based on Entrant Points

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
Indy Grand Prix of Louisiana
Verizon IndyCar Series
NOTES/QUOTES – Saturday, April 11, 2015
RAHAL TO START 11TH IN THE INDY GRAND PRIX OF LOUISIANA AFTER QUALIFYING WAS CANCELLED DUE TO SEVERE WEATHER; GRID BASED ON ENTRANT POINTS

GRAHAM RAHAL, No. 15 D-A Lubricant Company Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “I didn’t get much time on track (in qualifying) so I don’t have much to say about the session. I was just trying to get a gap to attack and do a lap. The car actually felt pretty good on the few turns I did but unfortunately the fans came out today and we didn’t put on a show for them which is disappointing. I think we will be okay starting 11th. This team can work hard, give me some good stops to move forward and I will try to make some good restarts and we will move our way forward.”

* FAST FACTS: It is Rahal’s first time to race at NOLA Motorsports Park… Prior to 2015, the Ohio native recorded 110 starts between the Champ Car World Series and IZOD IndyCar Series capturing one win, two poles, 21 top-five finishes — including his 2008 win at St. Petersburg — 49 top-10’s, and led a total of 121 laps. In addition, he won poles at St. Petersburg (street course) and Kansas Speedway (oval) in 2009. Rahal came close to winning again in 2012 as he led the closing laps at Texas Motor Speedway before a slight brush of the wall with two laps to go forced him to settle for second place. He finished second again in Long Beach in 2013 and had competitive runs at Iowa, where he won Heat Race 1, Sonoma and Baltimore in 2013. The highlight of his 2014 season was a second place finish in Dual 1 in Detroit.

INAUGURAL RACE AT NOLA MOTORSPORTS PARK FOR RLL: The Indy Grand Prix of Louisiana marks the inaugural IndyCar Series event at this track.

NEXT UP: Pre-race warm-up will take place tomorrow from 10:00-10:30 a.m. CT. The Indy Grand Prix of Louisiana will be televised live on NBCSN at 2:30 PM ET Sunday, April 12.

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Rain Limited Running on the First Day of the Indy GP of Louisiana; Rahal was 16th Overall with Time Set in First Practice

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg
Verizon IndyCar Series
NOTES/QUOTES – Friday, April 10, 2015

RAIN LIMITED RUNNING ON THE FIRST DAY OF THE INDY GRAND PRIX OF LOUISIANA; RAHAL WAS 16TH OVERALL WITH TIME SET IN FIRST PRACTICE

1) Tony Kanaan 1:18.8753 / 125.058 mph (Set in Practice 1; P2 was delayed & wet)
16) Graham Rahal 1:19.8876 / 123.473 mph (Set in Practice 1; P2 was delayed & wet)

GRAHAM RAHAL, No. 15 D-A Lubricant Company Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “We didn’t have the best first session but I really do feel that we learned a lot and figured some stuff out with the car. We’re going to go back more towards what we ran here at the test, which will probably help us. The track temp was so much warmer today than when we tested here. It’s really kind of hard to tell exactly where we need to be with the car setup but I think we’ll be okay. We have learned a lot and the guys are doing a great job. We’ll just keep working hard on this thing and get it better and better. We’re not far off, it’s just so competitive. We’ll be there; we’ll be fine. There wasn’t much to be learned in the wet session but we had a couple of things we wanted to check and were able to do that.

(On racing in the rain:) “Racing in the rain is always a different art. I think the biggest thing here is to see how the drainage will be. We’re going to have to see how that plays out. It is a permanent road course so that should help versus some of the street courses.”

* FAST FACTS: It is Rahal’s first time to race at NOLA Motorsports Park… Prior to 2015, the Ohio native recorded 110 starts between the Champ Car World Series and IZOD IndyCar Series capturing one win, two poles, 21 top-five finishes — including his 2008 win at St. Petersburg — 49 top-10’s, and led a total of 121 laps. In addition, he won poles at St. Petersburg (street course) and Kansas Speedway (oval) in 2009. Rahal came close to winning again in 2012 as he led the closing laps at Texas Motor Speedway before a slight brush of the wall with two laps to go forced him to settle for second place. He finished second again in Long Beach in 2013 and had competitive runs at Iowa, where he won Heat Race 1, Sonoma and Baltimore in 2013. The highlight of his 2014 season was a second place finish in Dual 1 in Detroit.

INAUGURAL RACE AT NOLA MOTORSPORTS PARK FOR RLL: The Indy Grand Prix of Louisiana marks the inaugural IndyCar Series event at this track.

NEXT UP: Practice will take place tomorrow from 12:30-1:15 p.m. CT. Qualifying will take place from 4:15-5:30 PM. Timing and Scoring information and live streaming video is available for all sessions from www.indycar.com. The Indy Grand Prix of Louisiana will be televised live on NBCSN at 2:30 PM ET Sunday, April 12.

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D-A Lubricant Co. Makes its Return as a Primary Sponsor in This Weekend’s Indy GP of Louisiana; Rahal Hoping to Carry Momentum To NOLA

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
Pre-Race Notes
Indy Grand Prix of Louisiana – NOLA Motorsports Park, Avondale, LA
Round 2 of 16 in the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series

 

DATE: Friday – Sunday, April 10-12, 2015
QUALIFYING BROADCAST: Live on NBCSN at 5 p.m. ET, Saturday, April 11. Also on the IMS Radio Network, www.indycar.com (timing & scoring + commentating), and www.indycarradio.com
RACE BROADCAST: Live on NBCSN, Sunday, April 12 at 2:30 p.m. ET
RADIO BROADCAST: The race will air on IMS Radio Network, XM 209 & Sirius 213
TRACK LAYOUT: 2.74-mile, 13-turn street course
RACE LENGTH: 75 laps / 205.5 miles
2014 WINNER/POLESITTER: Inaugural event

RAHAL’S HIGHEST SERIES START/FINISH: Pole at St. Pete 2009 (street) & Kansas 2009 (oval) / 1st in St. Pete in 2008

NEWS & NOTES:

RAHAL LETTERMAN LANIGAN RACING AT NOLA
The Indy Grand Prix of Louisiana will be the inaugural IndyCar Series event at NOLA Motorsports Park in Avondale, La., approximately 20 minutes from New Orleans and the famed French Quarter. Graham Rahal will pilot the No. 15 D-A Lubricant Company entry. This partnership marks a return to Indy car racing for D-A Lubricant Co., based in Lebanon, IN, who sponsored entries in the Indianapolis 500 from 1955 – 1958 with a highest finish of sixth in “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing” in 1956 with driver Bob Sweikert. D-A-sponsored cars also ran in the USAC Championship Car series during that time period, earning one win in 1957 and four wins in 1958. RLL’s first test with the new Honda aero kit took place at this track on March 14.

RAHAL ON EXPECTATIONS FOR THE INDY GP OF LOUISIANA
“We’re looking forward to running the D-A Lubricant Company colors at NOLA. They have been a great partner so far and bring a lot of enthusiasm so we want to have a good race weekend for them. New Orleans is tricky because it’s a very flat track so there aren’t a lot of reference markers for the drivers. When we normally race you see a certain marker, spot on the ground or, at times, a shadow and you know you have to brake right at that point. The NOLA track is very flat so it’s hard to have any of that. It’s a track that’s very demanding and it’s very important to get the maximum out of the car. It seems to be one of the most difficult tracks to put a lap time together completely and get the best out of yourself and every corner. Having said all of that, we’re looking forward to going there. Even with an eleventh place result in St. Pete, we feel we had one of the best cars in the race and the team has a lot of momentum and can’t wait to get on track again. I really think that all signs are pointing to us being able to have a great year. Our goal is to go to New Orleans and try to rack up as many points as we can, move ourselves up in the championship and kick off Long Beach and the rest of the season.”

GRAHAM ON THE LEVEL OF COMPETITION AT ST. PETE
“For sure the competitiveness of the teams and of the series is tremendous. Penske was very good in qualifying and they obviously had a good race too but I think we are seeing that there are a lot of teams that are very, very close together. You certainly can’t slip up and in qualifying we slipped up a little bit and had our worst session of the weekend and that really hurt us. We need to make sure we are on top of our game because there is no margin for error with the field as tight as it is. You have to be on it and that’s what makes the Verizon IndyCar Series so exciting right now.”

NOLA COULD BE THE MOST PHYSICAL RACE OF THE SEASON
“Physically at St. Pete I felt extremely good. After the race I felt like I had just completed a practice session and not a full race distance. I feel like I have done a pretty good job of getting my cardio, race-shape strong which is going to be important in NOLA. The track is very physical on the neck which is going to make for a long day but hopefully it will play out in our favor.”

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Rahal Ran as High as Fifth in the Firestone GP of St. Pete But Was Penalized for Avoidable Contact and Finished 15th

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg
Verizon IndyCar Series
NOTES/QUOTES – Sunday, March 29, 2015

RAHAL RAN AS HIGH AS FIFTH IN THE FIRESTONE GRAND PRIX OF ST. PETERSBURG AFTER STARTING 15TH BUT WAS PENALIZED FOR AVOIDABLE CONTACT AND FINISHED 11TH

GRAHAM RAHAL, No. 15 Mi-Jack Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “The car was really good, I was very pleased with it. I thought we had a car that could have won today. When we got into fifth place after passing Bourdais in Turn 1, Pagenaud in Turn 4 and then Charlie, I had Helio in my sights. I was strong on restarts so I thought I would be able to fight my way up there and catch up to Power. I knew we had reds (alternate tires) to come which in the end proved to be a strong suit. But then we got penalized. Kimball had a broken car and I didn’t know what he was doing. He was so slow off of Turn 9 that I thought he was pulling over and then he accelerates into the kink. He had a broken car and was slow. I went inside of him and then he broke deep. He was cranking in well before the apex so I was trying to bail out and I just tapped him. Sure enough, I dive inside him and he comes over. It’s a shame because the car was good today.”

FAST FACTS: Rahal started 15th and gained three spots on the first lap and ran as high as fifth place midway through the race but was penalized for “avoidable contact” after he made contact while trying to pass the damaged car of Charlie Kimball. He dropped to the back of the field and ultimately finished 11th in the 110 lap race… Made his eighth start at this track today. 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 as the youngest driver to do so… In 2014, the start of qualifying was delayed over three hours after an afternoon storm. Rahal was in Group 1 that ran on a wet track on rain tires. Conditions improved as each of the three rounds took place and teams switched to “slick” tires. Rahal lost control of the car on the slick course and made contact with a tire barrier which brought out a red flag. His two fastest laps were omitted, one of which was sixth fastest and would have allowed him to progress to Round 2 and start in the top-12. On the opening lap, Rahal charged from his 21st place starting spot to 12th and was in 14th when he made his first pit stop. Different pit strategies played out in a race that saw only 10 caution laps of 110 total. In the closing laps of the race, Rahal was 13th but lost a position to Bourdais with two laps to go and finished 14th… Qualified 15th in 2013 for RLL and was in ninth place when the team discovered an electrical issue on Lap 22 under caution that shut the engine off intermittently 6-7 times and dropped him to 21st place. He soldiered on to finish 13th… He qualified 11th in 2012 and finished 12th and qualified 12th in 2011 and finished 17th – both for Service Central Chip Ganassi Racing (SCCGR). He qualified 16th and finished 9th for Sarah Fisher Racing in 2010. While with Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing, he won pole in 2009 and finished seventh and qualified ninth, led 19 laps and won in his series debut in 2008 at the age of 19 years, 93 days old… His highest series start is pole at St. Pete (2009; street) and Kansas (2009; oval) and his highest finish is a win in St. Pete (2008) in his IndyCar Series debut to make him the youngest winner in series history at 19 years, 93 days old.

NEXT UP: The series will take next weekend off before reconvening for the inaugural Indy Grand Prix of Louisiana at NOLA Motorsports Park. The race will be broadcast on NBCSN beginning at 3:00 PM ET Sunday, April 12.

NOTES/QUOTES – Saturday, March 28, 2015

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing

Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg

Verizon IndyCar Series

RAHAL QUALIFIED 15TH FOR THE FIRESTONE GRAND PRIX OF ST. PETERSBURG VERIZON INDYCAR SERIES SEASON OPENER

POLE:             Will Power                 1:01.4709 / 105.416 mph       (Round 3; Group 2)

15th:               Graham Rahal           1:02.1850 / 104.205 mph       (Round 1, Group 1)  

GRAHAM RAHAL, No. 15 Mi-Jack Dallara/Honda/Firestone:  “We just seem to struggle with power down. We were only a couple of hundredths (of a second) away from advancing to Round 2 so if we can figure out how to maximize power down and get off the corner well enough, we will be in a better position. In fact the lap before my best lap was a tenth (of a second) better down the front straight and that’s probably the tenth we needed to advance. It’s going to be a long day of work tomorrow starting from 15th. I think we’ll be okay in the race but starting from where we are is going to make for a long day.”

FAST FACTS: In qualifying today, Rahal was eighth fastest in Group 1 of Round 1 with a lap time of 1:01.5742. He was less than three-hundredths of a second away from sixth fastest Simona de Silvestro, who advanced to Round 2 with a lap time of 1:01. 5475… Will make his eighth 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 as the youngest driver to do so… In 2014, the start of qualifying was delayed over three hours after an afternoon storm. Rahal was in Group 1 that ran on a wet track on rain tires. Conditions improved as each of the three rounds took place and teams switched to “slick” tires. Rahal lost control of the car on the slick course and made contact with a tire barrier which brought out a red flag. His two fastest laps were omitted, one of which was sixth fastest and would have allowed him to progress to Round 2 and start in the top-12.  On the opening lap, Rahal charged from his 21st place starting spot to 12th and was in 14th when he made his first pit stop. Different pit strategies played out in a race that saw only 10 caution laps of 110 total. In the closing laps of the race, Rahal was 13th but lost a position to Bourdais with two laps to go and finished 14th… Qualified 15th in 2013 for RLL and was in ninth place when the team discovered an electrical issue on Lap 22 under caution that shut the engine off intermittently 6-7 times and dropped him to 21st place. He soldiered on to finish 13th… He qualified 11th in 2012 and finished 12th and qualified 12th in 2011 and finished 17th – both for Service Central Chip Ganassi Racing (SCCGR).  He qualified 16th and finished 9th for Sarah Fisher Racing in 2010.  While with Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing, he won pole in 2009 and finished seventh and qualified ninth, led 19 laps and won in his series debut in 2008 at the age of 19 years, 93 days old… His highest series start is pole at St. Pete (2009; street) and Kansas (2009; oval) and his highest finish is a win in St. Pete (2008) in his IndyCar Series debut to make him the youngest winner in series history at 19 years, 93 days old.

EIGHTH ST. PETE EVENT FOR RLL: This will mark the eighth IndyCar race for the team in St. Pete and the 13th car entered. 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), Graham Rahal (2013-2014) and James Jakes (2013) 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 sixth place by Hunter-Reay in 2008.

NEXT UP:  Morning warm-up will take place tomorrow from 12:00-12:30 p.m. ET and the season-opening Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg will be televised live on ABC beginning at 3:00 PM ET Sunday, March 29.

 

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