Monthly Archives: May 2013

Rahal, Jakes and Jourdain Continue to Make Progress on Their Second Day of Practice for the Indy 500

Indi­anapolis 500 – Indi­anapolis Motor Speedway
IZOD IndyCar Series
PRACTICE NOTES/QUOTES — Monday, May 13, 2013

 
RAHAL, JAKES AND JOURDAIN JR. CONTINUE TO MAKE PROGRESS ON THEIR SECOND DAY OF PRACTICE FOR THE INDIANAPOLIS 500
 
1)         Marco Andretti                      225.100 mph / 39.9823          54 laps
25)       Graham Rahal                       220.360 mph / 40.8423          57 laps
30)       James Jakes                          218.351 mph / 41.2181          114 laps
32)       Michel Jour­dain Jr.               216.603 mph / 41.5506          47 laps
 
 
GRAHAM RAHAL, No. 15 Midas / Big O Tires Dallara/Honda/Firestone:  “We started with a little bit of issues and couldn’t quite get them sorted while we were in the pits so we came back to the garage and found a couple of things. We went back out and imme­di­ately the Midas / Big O Tires car was miles and miles better. I think we are prob­ably still conser­v­a­tive compared to others on wing and that sort of thing so I feel pretty good about it. Frankly I wasn’t expecting to go 220 (mph). I thought the maximum we could do at that time with the gears we had was maybe upper 218’s or some­thing. I thought the car was really comfort­able in traffic so we’ll keep working on it and getting it better.”

  • FAST FACTS: Will be his sixth Indy 500.  He ran in the top-five in four of his five previous races here.  In 2008, with Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing, he was the highest Indy 500 starter of the Champ Car tran­si­tioning teams with his 13th place qual­i­fying effort but made contact on L36 after driving high to avoid the slower car of Lloyd and retired in 33rd place.  He qual­i­fied fourth for NHLR in the 2009 Indy 500 but made contact on L56 while fifth and retired in 31st. In 2010, he competed for his father’s team – RLL – for the first time in an Indy car. He qual­i­fied seventh and ran as high as second but a blocking penalty on L188/200 dropped him from third to a 12th place finish. He qual­i­fied 29th with Service Central Chip Ganassi Racing in 2011 and earned his best finish at Indy to date of third place after he led six laps. In 2012, he qual­i­fied 12th, ran as high as third and finished 13th for SCCGR… This is Rahal’s first full season at RLL, sixth in the IZOD IndyCar Series and seventh in a top open wheel racing series (CCWS 2007)… His best finish this season is second place in Long Beach and best start is 11th — also in Long Beach… He is 14th in the series point stand­ings with 74.

JAMES JAKES, No. 16 Acorn Stair­lifts Dallara/Honda/Firestone:  “It was a busy day; we got a lot of race work done. We were trying to mileage out our engine as much as possible today and ran 114 laps.  We were just trying to get a feel for the Acorn Stair­lifts car in traffic and work on race stuff. I’m excited to get back out there tomorrow and finish the mileage off and then we can work on qual­i­fying stuff at the end of the week.” 

  • FAST FACTS: Will be his second race here. He qual­i­fied 17th and finished 15th in 2012. In 2011, he attempted to qualify but the car was not fast enough. Both events were with Dale Coyne Racing… Jakes is competing in his third season in the IndyCar Series and first with RLL. In 31 Indy car starts with Dale Coyne Racing from 2011 – 2012, his best finish was eighth at Toronto and series-best start of eighth was at Motegi… His best start to date this season is 11th at Barber and best finish is 12th at Long Beach although he had the poten­tial to finish higher in each race… Is ranked 22nd in series stand­ings with 53 points.

 
MICHEL JOURDAIN JR, No. 17 Office Depot Dallara/Honda/Firestone:  “We went out this morning and didn’t have a lot of confi­dence in the car so we have been making changes to get more confi­dence in it.  I would have liked to start running in traffic a little bit but right now, with how the car is, we don’t have the gears to do that.  We learned some things but we still need to make some changes to improve the Office Depot car. I would like to have a better feel in the car but we have a little time.”

  • FAST FACTS: Jour­dain is making his third attempt at the Indy 500 and second with RLL… His No. 17 Honda-Dallara-Firestone entry is spon­sored by Office Depot Mexico with asso­ciate spon­sor­ship from Grupo Indi and Grupo Multi… He started 22nd in his second Indi­anapolis 500 race in 2012 and finished 19th with RLL. He was called into a closed pit then penal­ized with a drive-through which put him one lap down after he ran in the top half of the field mid-race.  He qual­i­fied eighth and finished 13th in 1996.  When he partic­i­pated in the 2012 Indy 500, Indi­anapolis Motor Speedway was the site of his first laps behind the wheel of an Indy car since 2004… He made 152 starts in the CART/Champ Car World Series and three in the IRL/IndyCar Series (1996/97 season) between 1996 – 2004… His highest finish in the IRL/IndyCar Series is second place at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in 1996 and he earned two wins in CART/CCWS in 2003 at Montreal and Milwaukee while driving for Team Rahal… With support from Ford Motor Company, he moved to NASCAR’s Nation­wide Series from 2005 – 2008 and also competed in the Camping World Truck Series in 2006. Since then, he competed in various rally and sports car series. 

 
RAHAL LETTERMAN LANIGAN RACING AT INDY The team’s highest start and finish in the event came in 2004 when Buddy Rice won from pole. In addi­tion, the team has earned a total of four podiums (2nd – Meira 2005; 3rd – Rahal 1994, 1995). The team was in contention to win the race as recent as 2011 when Bertrand Baguette led laps 139 – 140 and laps 189 – 197 of the 200 lap race. Had a caution come our before Baguette was forced to pit for a splash of fuel, he might have been the victor. The race ulti­mately ended under caution when JR Hilde­brand crashed on the front straight while in the lead on the final lap… The 2013 race will mark the 16th year for the team in the event.  Prior to 2013, the team prepared a total of 28 entries for drivers such as Bobby Rahal (1992 – 1995), Mike Groff (1994), Raul Boesel (1995), Jimmy Vasser (2002 – 2003), Kenny Brack (2003, 2005), Buddy Rice (2004, 2006; DNC 2005 due to prac­tice crash), Vitor Meira (2004, 2005), Roger Yasakawa (2004), Danica Patrick (2005, 2006), Jeff Simmons (2006, 2007), Scott Sharp (2007), Ryan Hunter-Reay (2008), Oriol Servia (2009), Graham Rahal (2010), Bertrand Baguette (2011), Jay Howard (2011), Takuma Sato (2012) and Michel Jour­dain (2012).  The No. 15 Midas / Big O Tires entry for Graham Rahal, No. 16 Acorn Stair­lifts entry for James Jakes and No. 17 Office Depot entry for Michel Jour­dain will bring that total to 31 in 2013.
 
NEXT UP: Prac­tice will resume tomorrow from 12 – 6 PM ET.  The 97th Indi­anapolis 500 race will be May 26 and will be tele­vised by ABC at 12 a.m. (ET) and broad­cast by the IMS Radio Network on Sirius XM (XM 94 and Sirius 212). Timing and Scoring infor­ma­tion is avail­able for all sessions from www.indycar.com.
 
PHOTO AND VIDEO AVAILABLE: Media members who register on the IndyCar Series media site have access to photog­raphy as well as video. Register for access to photos at: http://www.indycarmedia.com/pages/ApplyforAccess

BMW Team RLL Finishes Third at ALMS Monterey; Müller Takes GT Driver Points Lead

Wood­cliff Lake, N.J. – May 11, 2013… Dirk Müller and John Edwards, driving the No. 56 BMW Z4 GTE, scored a third place finish in today’s four-hour Amer­ican Le Mans Monterey race. A second consec­u­tive podium finish for the No. 56 machine and a win for the No. 55 car at Long Beach in only the third race of the new program keeps BMW in second place in the GT class manu­fac­turer point stand­ings and moves Müller to the top of the GT class driver points.

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After Being a Contender in the Final Laps of the Indy 500 in Recent Years, RLL Aims for Victory with Rahal, Jakes and Jourdain in 2013

97th Running of the Indi­anapolis 500 – Indi­anapolis Motor Speedway
Pre-Race Notes
 
 
NEWS & NOTES:
 
DATE:                                              Opening Day — May 11; Pole Day – May 18; Race Day – May 26
QUALIFYING BROADCAST:          May 18 from 11 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. ET and 4:30 – 6:30 p.m. and on May 19 from 12:00 – 6:30 p.m. ET
                                                         on NBC Sports Network and www.indycar.com (timing & scoring)
RACE BROADCAST:                      Live on Sunday, May 26 at 12:00 p.m. ET on ABC
RADIO BROADCAST:                    The race will air on IMS Radio Network, XM channel 94 & Sirius channel 212
TRACK LAYOUT:                           2.5-mile oval
RACE LENGTH:                             200 laps / 500 miles 
2012 WINNER:                                Dario Fran­chitti
2012 POLESITTER:                        Ryan Briscoe (226.484 mph avg.)
 
RAHAL’S BEST
OVAL START/FINISH:                    Pole (Kansas 2009) / 2nd (Texas 2012 and Milwaukee 2011)
RAHAL’S BEST INDY
START/FINISH:                               4th in 2009 / 3rd in 2011 (five previous Indy 500’s)
 
JAKESBEST
OVAL START/FINISH:                   17th (Indy 2012) / 10th (Texas 2012)
JAKESBEST INDY
START/FINISH:                               17th / 15th – both in 2012 (one previous Indy 500’s)
 
JOURDAIN’S BEST
OVAL START/FINISH:                   2nd (Milwaukee 2003) / 1st (Milwaukee 2003)                           
JOURDAIN’S BEST INDY
START/FINISH:                               8th / 13th – both in 1996 (2 previous Indy 500’s)
 
RLL’S TOP START/
FINISH AT INDY:                             Won the 2004 race from pole with Buddy Rice (15 previous Indy 500’s)
 
 
NEWS & NOTES:
 
POLE &WIN AT INDIANAPOLIS MOTOR SPEEDWAY (IMS) FOR RLL RACING
The 2013 entry will mark the 16th year for the team in the event.  Prior to 2013, the team prepared a total of 28 entries for drivers such as Bobby Rahal (1992 – 1995), Mike Groff (1994), Raul Boesel (1995), Jimmy Vasser (2002 – 2003), Kenny Brack (2003, 2005), Buddy Rice (2004, 2006; DNC 2005 due to prac­tice crash), Vitor Meira (2004, 2005), Roger Yasakawa (2004), Danica Patrick (2005, 2006), Jeff Simmons (2006, 2007), Scott Sharp (2007), Ryan Hunter-Reay (2008), Oriol Servia (2009), Graham Rahal (2010), Bertrand Baguette (2011), Jay Howard (2011), Takuma Sato (2012) and Michel Jour­dain Jr. (2012).  The No. 15 Midas / Big O Tires entry for Graham Rahal, the No. 16 Acorn Stair­lifts entry for James Jakes and the No. 17 Office Depot entry for Michel Jour­dain will bring that total to 31 in 2013.

The team’s highest start and finish in the event came in 2004 when Buddy Rice won from pole. In addi­tion, the team has earned a total of four podiums (2nd – Meira 2005; 3rd – Rahal 1994, 1995). The team was in contention to win the race as recent as 2011 when Bertrand Baguette led laps 139 – 140 and laps 189 – 197 of the 200 lap race. Had a caution come our before Baguette was forced to pit for a splash of fuel, he might have been the victor. The race ulti­mately ended under caution when JR Hilde­brand crashed on the front straight while in the lead on the final lap.  In 2012, RLL driver Takuma Sato was along­side even­tual Indy 500 winner Dario Fran­chitti in Turn 1 on the final lap but limited trac­tion and possible tire contact cata­pulted him into a spin and he ulti­mately finished 17th after leading the third most race laps
 
The team continued to work on the Indy cars on Opening Day and plan to get on track with Rahal. Jakes and Jour­dain begin­ning Sunday, May 12.
 
GRAHAM AT INDY
The 2013 race will mark Graham’s sixth Indy 500.  He ran in the top-five in four of his five previous races here.  In 2008, with Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing (NHLR), he was the highest Indy 500 starter of the Champ Car tran­si­tioning teams with his 13th place qual­i­fying effort but made contact on L36 after driving high to avoid the slower car of Lloyd and retired in 33rd place.  He qual­i­fied fourth for NHLR in the 2009 Indy 500 but made contact on L56 while fifth and retired in 31st. In 2010, he competed for his father’s team – RLL – for the first time in an Indy car. He qual­i­fied seventh and ran as high as second but a blocking penalty on L188/200 dropped him from third to a 12th place finish. He qual­i­fied 29th with Service Central Chip Ganassi Racing in 2011 and earned his best finish at Indy to date of third place after he led six laps. In 2012, he qual­i­fied 12th, ran as high as third and finished 13th for SCCGR.  He believes his expe­ri­ence running up front, coupled with a strong race car, will help him and the team fight for their second victory here after being a contender the previous years.
                “The 2011 race was my best finishing posi­tion and it was actu­ally the worst starting posi­tion at Indy I ever had.  It gives me a lot of confi­dence knowing that I know how to run up front at Indy. I know how to be right there at the end to give myself a chance to win and that is exactly what we have to do this year. I’m really looking forward to that aspect, that with my knowl­edge now from the years that I have been in this, combined with the team’s knowl­edge, I think we’ll have a good shot.”
 
GRAHAM ON BEING NERVOUS GOING INTO THE INDY 500 WITH HIS FATHER’S TEAM
“I was pretty nervous the first time that I ran with dad in 2010. This year I’m prob­ably the most nervous I have ever been going into the month of May and maybe that’s a good thing. I just think we’re going to have a fantastic shot at winning this race. I’ve been thinking about it quite a lot and — fingers crossed — every­thing goes well. I think the team is ready and every­body is eager to get started; this is what we all go racing for.”
 
GRAHAM AND JAKES ON RLL AT INDY
“If you look back at the record books, the team has always been strong at Indy,” said Rahal. “Clearly they won in 2004 but if luck had been on their side I think they would have a few by now. Without a doubt, it’s a big race and I think we’ll have as good a shot at winning as anybody. I think that how solid the team has been here over the years gives me a lot of confi­dence.”
                “Obvi­ously I am very excited to be going back to Indy with Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing,” added Jakes. “I think we can roll off the trailer pretty strong. Hope­fully the weather will be good for the month. It looks a bit mixed right now.  The team has nearly won it two years in a row now. They were there fighting for it in the last 10 laps so its exciting to be part of RLL heading to Indi­anapolis.”
 
JAMES JAKES AT INDY
The 2013 race will be James Jakes’ second race here. He qual­i­fied 17th and finished 15th in 2012. In 2011, he attempted to qualify but the car was not fast enough. Both events were with Dale Coyne Racing.  He plans to build on his expe­ri­ence in his second Indy 500.
                “The car wasn’t very good in 2011 and we didn’t qualify.  We ran as high as eighth last year and just didn’t quite have the pace to stay there really and finished second to Rubens in the rookie race. We were pretty good early on and managed to get into the top-10 but didn’t have the pace really.”
 
JAKES ON HIS APPROACH TO THE MONTH OF MAY
“You have to be patient. You get a lot of track time if the weather is good and if the weather isn’t good, you still have to stay patient. You’re going to get some days that are bad and you can’t run.  You just need to make sure you take advan­tage of the days you do run. Hope­fully we will get good weather like we had last year and we can get some good work done. I’m confi­dent that we will have a great car the minute we roll onto the track.”
 
MICHEL AT IMS
The 2013 event will be the third Indy 500 for Michel. He returned to RLL and Indy car racing in 2012 after an eight year hiatus and qual­i­fied 22nd and finished 19th. In the race, he was called into a closed pit then penal­ized with a drive-through which put him one lap down after he ran in the top half of the field mid-race.  He qual­i­fied eighth and finished 13th in 1996.  He is encour­aged by the fact that the team ran well last year despite the chal­lenges and is looking forward to getting back behind the wheel of an Indy car.
                “At the start of the race last year, I’m sure everyone is quite conser­v­a­tive and I was a prob­ably a little bit more but the car felt quite good. After five or six laps I started passing some cars. The first pit stop was really good and we gained a couple of spots. The second pit stop I made a little mistake, I wasn’t used to the hand clutch and things like this. I had it in neutral when I thought I had it in first gear so I just couldn’t go then we lost a lap because of that. After that we ran really good trying to get our lap back. We did almost two stints with the guys in the front, Scott Dixon and the others around him. The car felt ok.  Then when we were about to get our lap back I was called into the pits when the pits were closed. After that it was a mess; a lot of the cars I was racing with got their lap back and we were at the back of the pack. There were no more stops so we didn’t have a chance to get our lap back. After so much time has passed, I feel like the whole month went really good. It felt good to be disap­pointed about the race result because that means that we felt we had a chance of getting a much better finish.”
 
MICHEL ON THE GAME PLAN FOR INDY
“We will approach the event very similar to last year. Although last year I hadn’t been in one of these cars in eight years, now it’s from the stand­point of not having been in one of these cars in a year. It’s a lot less but still it’s a long time. We have to be conser­v­a­tive. For me, I’m trying to take it exactly the same as last year. I have a little bit less running because I don’t have the rookie sessions and I am taking it as conser­v­a­tive as last year.  It’s easier to go from conser­v­a­tive to more aggres­sive than from more aggres­sive to conser­v­a­tive. Normally that means you had a problem. We will take the same approach as last year and we’ll see where we are at.”
 

RLL

Challenges Limited Rahal and Jakes’ Starting Positions to 19th and 25th in Sao Paulo

Itaipava São Paulo Indy 300 – Streets of Sao Paulo, Brazil
IZOD IndyCar Series
QUALIFYING NOTES/QUOTES – Saturday, May 4, 2013
 
 
CHALLENGES LIMITED RAHAL AND JAKESSTARTING POSITIONS TO 19TH AND 25TH FOR THE ITAIPAVA SAO PAULO INDY 300
 
POLE:    Ryan Hunter-Reay               1:20.4312 / 113.508 mph  (set in Round 3)
19th:       Graham Rahal                     1:22.2998 / 110.931 mph  (set in Round 1; Group 1)
25th:       James Jakes                        No Time / No Speed         (set in Round 1; Group 2, Red Flag penalty deleted his 2 lap times)
                       
GRAHAM RAHAL, No. 15 blu eCigs Dallara/Honda/Firestone:  “We started off right where we wanted to be, pretty compet­i­tively; the blu eCigs car felt pretty good.  Unfor­tu­nately as the track gripped up, the handling started to go away from us a little bit. We tried to chase it between Prac­tice 2 and qual­i­fying and unfor­tu­nately we put some wing back in it for qual­i­fying and it looks like it cost us. But the timing of the red flag killed us though. So instead of starting where we have been starting — around 13th place, because that’s what lap time we did — we’re going to start near the back. It’s pretty frus­trating because we had a pretty good car this morning we just lost it a bit. We’re going to have to do some work overnight here. I think there will be some oppor­tu­ni­ties to move up between strategy and passing. We’re going to have to do every­thing we can to make up the positions.”

  • FAST FACTS: Will be his third Indy car race here.  He earned his best start and finish here in 2011 when he qual­i­fied fifth and finished second for SCCGR. In 2012, he qual­i­fied sixth, made five stops, and finished 16th for SCCGR… This is Rahal’s first full season at RLL, sixth in the IZOD IndyCar Series and seventh in a top open wheel racing series (CCWS 2007)… His best finish this season is second place in Long Beach and best start is 11th also in Long Beach… Is ranked seventh in series stand­ings with 66 points.

 
 
JAMES JAKES, No. 16 Acorn Stair­lifts Dallara/Honda/Firestone:  “We were working on the Acorn Stair­lifts car all day and made some improve­ments before qual­i­fying but we went out to make a run and had a problem with the engine. We’re not quite sure what it is right now but we will iden­tify it and try to come up with a solu­tion.  If we have a good car we will be able to pass and there are a few places to pass on this track so that should help but this is obvi­ously not ideal.”

  • FAST FACTS: Will be his third race here.  He qual­i­fied 17th and finished 15th in 2012 and qual­i­fied 24th and finished 15th in 2011… Jakes is competing in his third season in the IndyCar Series and first with RLL. In 31 Indy car starts with Dale Coyne Racing from 2011 – 2012, his best finish was eighth at Toronto and series-best start of eighth was at Motegi… His best start to date this season is 11th at Barber and best finish is 12th at Long Beach although he had the poten­tial to finish higher in each race… Is ranked 22nd in series stand­ings with 40 points.

 
 
RAHAL LETTERMAN LANIGAN RACING PODIUM IN LONE SAO PAULO RACEThis will mark the second time for RLL to compete in the Indy car race in Sao Paulo, Brazil.  In 2012, then-driver Takuma Sato was penal­ized 10-grid spots for an unap­proved engine change prior to qual­i­fying but was unable to make an attempt due to the engine change still being performed and ulti­mately started 25th of 26 cars. In the race he passed four cars at the start but was later given a drive-through penalty for exceeding the speed limit on his first of three stops.  He capi­tal­ized on mistakes of others and good pit strategy to move to fifth late in the race. On the second to last restart he passed Fran­chitti and Castron­eves for third and held the posi­tion for his best series finish to date…. OTHER BRAZIL RACES: Team Rahal competed in CART-sanctioned events in Rio de Janeiro from 1996 – 2000 with Bobby Rahal (1996 – 1998), Bryan Herta (1996 – 99), Max Papis (1999 – 00), and Kenny Brack (2000).  The best start for the team on the 1.86-mile, D-shaped oval in Rio was third by Rahal in 1997. The team’s best finish in Brazil is fourth, by Herta (1998) and Papis (1999). Over the 10 entries between 1996 – 00, the team had four top-five and eight top-10 starts as well as two top-five and seven top-10 finishes. (chart avail­able) 
 
NEXT UP:  Pre-race warm-up will take place tomorrow morning from 8:00 — 8:30 a.m. local time (7 – 7:30 AM ET). Timing and Scoring infor­ma­tion is avail­able for all sessions from www.indycar.com.  The Itaipava São Paulo Indy 300 will be tele­vised live on NBC Sports Network at 11:00 AM ET Sunday, May 5.
 
PHOTO AND VIDEO AVAILABLE: Media members who register on the IndyCar Series media site have access to photog­raphy and video. Register for access at: http://www.indycarmedia.com/pages/ApplyforAccess