Monthly Archives: February 2012

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Completes Successful Two-Day Test at Sebring with Sato and Four-Days Overall

SEBRING, Fla. (February 24, 2012) – Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing concluded four days of testing with Takuma Sato this week at Barber Motor­sports Park on Monday and Tuesday and two addi­tional days at Sebring Inter­na­tional Raceway on Thursday and Friday of this week.  Sato completed 130 laps today at the 1.67-mile Sebring Inter­na­tional Raceway course under warm condi­tions that reached 87 degrees for a total of 195 laps (325 miles) over the two days. 

“We had another very produc­tive day,” said Sato who ran a fast lap of 51.9 at the course.  “We ran more mileage than yesterday and made good progress through the whole day.  We carried on with the test plan from yesterday and learned many things.  I feel we really moved forward over the course of the testing. It was little windy but the track stayed very consis­tent which helped a lot. The team did a really great job and we had a solid four days of testing with no major issue.  I am very pleased with our start; the testing has gone smoothly so far.”

“I am extremely pleased with our perfor­mance at Sebring,” added Tom Anderson, Managing Director Motor­sport Oper­a­tions at Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing.  “Its amazing what a little bit of testing will actu­ally do. We look like a completely different race team from our first two days at Barber.  Obvi­ously the expe­ri­ence of working together in this envi­ron­ment helps us improve our perfor­mance.  Takuma and (tech­nical director) Jay O’Connell worked together well and did a fantastic job.  They took what they learned at the Honda test in December and expanded on that and they got us into the box as far as the setup goes.  By doing that and having the speed yesterday it really allowed us to concen­trate on other things today. We made our first full tank run and basi­cally simu­lated a race distance so I was really pleased that the car ran flaw­lessly which is a credit to the guys.  I am very opti­mistic about doing well when we come back here in March for the open test and also of being on top of our game for the start of the season.”

Testing will resume at Sebring Inter­na­tional Raceway on March 5 – 6 and 8 – 9 when the IZOD IndyCar Series will hold an all-series open test.  The field will be split into two groups that will each test two days with RLL testing on March 8 – 9.  The 2012 IZOD IndyCar Series season begins with the Honda Grand Prix of St. Pete on March 25.

- RLL – 

 

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Pleased With Two-Day Sebring Test and Four Days This Week

SEBRING, Fla. (February 24, 2012) – Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing concluded four days of testing with Takuma Sato this week at Barber Motor­sports Park on Monday and Tuesday and two addi­tional days at Sebring Inter­na­tional Raceway on Thursday and Friday of this week.  Sato completed 130 laps today at the 1.67-mile Sebring Inter­na­tional Raceway course under warm condi­tions that reached 87 degrees for a total of 195 laps (325 miles) over the two days. 

“We had another very produc­tive day,” said Sato who ran a fast lap of 51.9 at the course.  “We ran more mileage than yesterday and made good progress through the whole day.  We carried on with the test plan from yesterday and learned many things.  I feel we really moved forward over the course of the testing. It was little windy but the track stayed very consis­tent which helped a lot. The team did a really great job and we had a solid four days of testing with no major issue.  I am very pleased with our start; the testing has gone smoothly so far.”

“I am extremely pleased with our perfor­mance at Sebring,” added Tom Anderson, Managing Director Motor­sport Oper­a­tions at Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing.  “Its amazing what a little bit of testing will actu­ally do. We look like a completely different race team from our first two days at Barber.  Obvi­ously the expe­ri­ence of working together in this envi­ron­ment helps us improve our perfor­mance.  Takuma and (tech­nical director) Jay O’Connell worked together well and did a fantastic job.  They took what they learned at the Honda test in December and expanded on that and they got us into the box as far as the setup goes.  By doing that and having the speed yesterday it really allowed us to concen­trate on other things today. We made our first full tank run and basi­cally simu­lated a race distance so I was really pleased that the car ran flaw­lessly which is a credit to the guys.  I am very opti­mistic about doing well when we come back here in March for the open test and also of being on top of our game for the start of the season.”

Testing will resume at Sebring Inter­na­tional Raceway on March 5 – 6 and 8 – 9 when the IZOD IndyCar Series will hold an all-series open test.  The field will be split into two groups that will each test two days with RLL testing on March 8 – 9.  The 2012 IZOD IndyCar Series season begins with the Honda Grand Prix of St. Pete on March 25.

- RLL – 

 

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing and Sato Pleased with Pace on First Day of Testing at Sebring

SEBRING, Fla. (February 23, 2012) – Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing resumed their pre-season IndyCar Series test program today with Takuma Sato at the 1.67-mile Sebring Inter­na­tional Raceway course. Sato completed 65 laps under warm condi­tions that reached 87 degrees and was happy with the progress.

“It was a good day,” said Sato.  “I was here in December for the manu­fac­turer day with Honda but it was winter and today it was like summer. It was really warm here which made the track condi­tions very different. Everyone went really fast because of the temper­a­ture and the track was fast due to the rubber that was already down. We were able to do a lot of miles and quite a few various test items today. I am very pleased with the amount of different things we tried; it was a produc­tive day.  We will go through the data tonight and we have a few more things to try tomorrow.  Testing here is very impor­tant for our street course set up. Before we come back here for the open test we wanted to do some other vari­a­tions as well.”

The team tested with Sato on Monday and Tuesday of this week at Barber Motor­sports Park and worked on the road course setup for the all new DW12 Dallara chassis for the first time.  This was the first test day working on the street course setup.

“Testing went well today,” added Jay O’Connell, tech­nical director at Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing.  “We had a good setup on the car from the moment we unloaded and Takuma was on his game and was really flying right from the start.  The street course setup is a lot softer than the road course setup and of course the Fire­stone tires were a bit different.  We were able to build on the day of testing we had with Takuma in the Honda test car here in December and were able to draw on our team expe­ri­ence on street course setups to put a package together here.  The track had a lot of grip. It was like testing on a street course the day after a race has been run.  The data we gain here will be very impor­tant this season since there are eight street races.”

Testing will resume at Sebring Inter­na­tional Raceway tomorrow.  The 2012 IZOD IndyCar Series season begins with the Honda Grand Prix of St. Pete on March 25.

- RLL – 

 

RLL Completed Trouble-Free Two-Day Test With Sato at Barber Motorsports Park

INDIANAPOLIS (February 21, 2012) – Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing completed a successful two days of testing at Barber Motor­sports Park today in prepa­ra­tion for the 2012 IZOD IndyCar Series season.  Takuma Sato completed 52 laps in the No. 15 Honda-Dallara-Firestone race car on the 2.38-mile, 17-turn course today and ran a total of 219 trouble-free miles of testing over the two days.

“It was good to complete our first test in Barber,” said Sato.  “On the second day we had more mileage than yesterday. We tried various setups. They were not always the right direc­tion but with a new car you need to explore both ends. It was posi­tive that we expe­ri­enced quite a few different things so I look forward to reviewing the Barber test data with the engi­neers in Sebring and contin­uing to improve the car. It was also good to work with everyone. It’s a great chance for all of us to go over the proce­dure with the new car together. Each time we test, we will work together better and improve our commu­ni­ca­tion and I am looking forward to that.”

Sato will begin his third season in the IndyCar Series in 2012 after a sopho­more season that saw him earn three top-five finishes, seven top-10s and lead 61 laps on his way to a 13th-place finish in the point stand­ings. He also started from pole at the Iowa Speedway oval and tempo­rary airport course in Edmonton.

“We got a lot of running in, more today than yesterday, and we learned a lot about the car,” said RLL tech­nical director Jay O’Connell.  “We tried different setup direc­tions to see how sensi­tive the car is because it’s a new animal. The test here shows us that we are getting to under­stand the new car and we’re looking forward to getting another two days in Sebring to keep learning and getting dialed in with a different set up. Barber was about working on road course setup and Sebring will be more about street course setup to get ready for the first race in St. Pete.”

“I am excep­tion­ally pleased with the results,” added Tom Anderson, Managing Director Motor­sport Oper­a­tions. “Obvi­ously putting a team together in seven weeks is not an easy task for anyone involved. Time sched­ules, having a new car this year, late parts delivery dates and etc. has put a lot of pres­sure on the guys. They worked a lot of hours last week so it has been chal­lenging but they rose to the occa­sion. The pres­sure these guys are under will continue until St. Pete and Barber race because there is a big learning curve but every­body is having a good time. The chem­istry is still building. Takuma did an excel­lent job today and yesterday in dealing with the engi­neers for the first time.  The car ran well, the Honda engine was quite good and, as always we were very happy with the Fire­stone tires.  We’re looking forward to getting to Sebring and some warmer weather.”

Testing will resume at Sebring Inter­na­tional Raceway on Thursday and Friday.  The 2012 IZOD IndyCar Series season begins with the Honda Grand Prix of St. Pete on March 25.

 – RLL -

RLL and Sato Complete First Day of Testing in Preparation for 2012 IndyCar Series Season

INDIANAPOLIS (February 20, 2012) – Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing completed its first day of testing in prepa­ra­tion for the 2012 IZOD IndyCar Series season at the 2.38-mile, 17-turn scenic road course at Barber Motor­sports Park.  Takuma Sato completed 38 laps in the No. 15 Honda-Dallara-Firestone race car and was within 1/10ths of a second of last years pole time at the track.

“It was a good start, espe­cially since it was our very first day,” said Sato.  “It was nice to see all the boys and engi­neers and run through the things we prepared over the winter. Although it was a little bit of a slow start since the car was just shook down but I think that is natural. I am pleased to see the car runs straight away and we were able to check that every func­tion is working. Barber is a very chal­lenging track. Although I had a taste of the 2012 car at Sebring in December, there are quite different char­ac­ter­is­tics on this circuit. It seems that we adapted quickly and I am happy with the basic setup.  There is a lot of work to do but we will go over the data tonight and continue to work on it tomorrow.”

Sato will begin his third season in the IndyCar Series in 2012 after a sopho­more season that saw him earn three top-five finishes, seven top-10s and lead 61 laps on his way to a 13th-place finish in the point stand­ings. He also started from pole at the Iowa Speedway oval and tempo­rary airport course in Edmonton.

“I’m very pleased with how today went,” said team owner Bobby Rahal.  “The car ran well and Takuma did a very good job for his first time out in the car.  It’s a good start.”

Takuma made his Indy car debut in 2010 and made great improve­ments in 2011, gaining speed and posi­tions as he visited the circuits of the series for the second time. In 2011 the IZOD IndyCar Series competed on 11 tracks that were also on the 2010 schedule, and Sato improved his finish from 2010 on seven of those circuits.

RLL returns to full-time IZOD IndyCar Series compe­ti­tion in 2012 for the first time since 2008. That season saw Ryan Hunter-Reay finish seventh in the final series stand­ings, marking the 11th consec­u­tive year that a RLL driver finished the year in the top-10 in driver points. The winners of the 1992 IndyCar cham­pi­onship as well as the 2004 Indi­anapolis 500, RLL Indy cars have finished in the top 10 in more than half of its 587 career series starts.

Testing will resume at Barber Motor­sports Park tomorrow before the team travels to Florida for another two days of testing at Sebring Inter­na­tional Raceway on Thursday and Friday. 

 – RLL -

 

 

 

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Tabs Takuma Sato to Pilot its IndyCar Series Entry

INDIANAPOLIS (February 3, 2012) – In eval­u­ating the numerous prospects campaigning for a seat in the Rahal Letterman Lanigan Honda-powered Indy car for the 2012 season, the Indianapolis-based team was searching for the right balance of speed, success and expe­ri­ence to lead it into the new era of IZOD IndyCar Series competition.

With his glit­tering Formula 1 resume and strong recent results demon­strating his contin­uing climb up the IndyCar Series grid, Takuma Sato proved to have all of the tools for the job, as the team named the Japanese veteran to pilot the team’s #15 Dallara/Honda/Firestone — one of its two Indy cars in 2012.

Sato, who made 91 starts over seven seasons in F1, joins RLL after making great strides in IndyCar in 2011. A two-time IndyCar Series pole­sitter last year, Sato looks to build on a successful sopho­more season that saw him earn three top-five finishes, seven top-10s and lead 61 laps on his way to a 13th-place finish in the point standings.

RLL is extremely pleased to welcome Takuma to our IndyCar Series team for 2012, and we antic­i­pate having a very strong season together,” said team co-owner Bobby Rahal. “While we were deter­mined to have an expe­ri­enced driver for this season, we also needed someone that knew how to get to the front and Takuma has shown that he can do that, and we expect to have a great oppor­tu­nity to win races this year. He has made great strides through the last two seasons in IndyCar and I have no doubt that we can produce a strong effort with him leading the team.”

Takuma made his Indy car debut in 2010 and made great improve­ments in 2011, gaining speed and posi­tions as he visited the circuits of the series for the second time. In 2011 the IZOD IndyCar Series competed on 11 tracks that were also on the 2010 schedule, and Sato improved his finish from 2010 on seven of those circuits.

“I’m very proud, moti­vated and excited to be chosen by Bobby to join his big project,” Sato said. “This team I feel has got huge poten­tial. Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing has got a great history and record of winning so my moti­va­tion is ever so high and I am extremely thrilled to start the new season. With a new car for every­body, I am confi­dent that we’ll be up to speed very quickly.”

RLL returns to full-time IZOD IndyCar Series compe­ti­tion in 2012 for the first time since 2008. That season saw Ryan Hunter-Reay finish seventh in the final series stand­ings, marking the 11th consec­u­tive year that a RLL driver finished the year in the top-10 in driver points. The winners of the 1992 IndyCar cham­pi­onship as well as the 2004 Indi­anapolis 500, RLL Indy cars have finished in the top 10 in more than half of its 587 career series starts.

The RLL squad is currently readying the car for its first preseason tests and expects to partic­i­pate in the IndyCar Series open testing at Sebring in March. The team is also final­izing its plans for a second car and intends to have it ready for preseason testing as well. The final sponsor and driver lineup for 2012 will be announced in the near future.

 – RLL -