Servia and Rahal Qualified 12th and 23rd Respectively for the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing

Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach

Verizon IndyCar Series

QUALIFYING NOTES/QUOTES – April 12, 2014

 

SERVIA AND RAHAL QUALIFIED 12TH AND 23RD RESPECTIVELY FOR THE TOYOTA GRAND PRIX OF LONG BEACH

 

1)         Ryan Hunter-Reay    1:07.8219 / 104.462 mph       (Set in Round 3)

12)       Oriol Servia               1:08.3532 / 103.650 mph       (Set in Round 2)

23)       Graham Rahal           1:09.0562 / 102.595 mph       (Set in Round 1)

 

GRAHAM RAHAL, No. 15 National Guard Dallara/Honda/Firestone:  “It was a struggle today. We tried to make more changes to get the balance in the car better and then tried some bigger ones for qual­i­fying. We are just strug­gling with overall grip. Oriol had a big grip gain on alter­nate tires and I didn’t feel it. We have a lot of work to do. From being second here last year and being fast, the where we are now is a mystery. Oriol did a great job. We will look at what they have done to their car and try to improve ours. Tomorrow we can try alter­nate strategy, pit early and see how far forward we can go.”

  • FAST FACTS: Will be his EIGHTH Champ or Indy car race here, ninth overall, and second for his father’s team.  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.

ORIOL SERVIA, No. 16 Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Dallara/Honda/Firestone:  “Not that you should be happy starting 12th but consid­ering where we were before qual­i­fying and the gains I think we can still make on the car, I’m happy. With as compet­i­tive as the field is, going from one round to the second round is a very big achieve­ment. I didn’t make the second round and a couple of tenths (of a second) would have made it. It’s just that compet­i­tive. Even if we are still unhappy with the car, we need to keep our heads down and work a little more on the details and hope­fully be a little better than the others in the race. I find the tire this year is a little more diffi­cult to figure out. Maybe it has a little less grip than last year. I don’t think anyone is completely happy so we just need to be a little less unhappy than the others and keep improving. I’m really happy. I think I did a good job. It always feels good when you can put a good lap together.”

  • FAST FACTS: Will be his 13th race here and first with RLL at this track. His best finish is second in 2007 with Forsythe and best start is fourth in 2011 with Newman/Haas Racing…  In 12 events, he has earned one podium (2nd in 2007), one top-five and five top-10 finishes. He retired with mechan­ical failure four times and once after contact… Servia, 39, a native of Pals, Spain, has made 191 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 100 top-10 finishes.  He competed for the team in the 2009 Indi­anapolis 500 and was in ninth place halfway through the race when a mechan­ical failure led to his retire­ment in 26th place.

RLL IN LONG BEACH POLES, 6 PODIUMS IN 14 INDY CAR RACES FOR RLL AT LONG BEACH: This will mark the third 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 14 previous Indy car races in Long Beach, the team entered 24 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) and James Jakes (2013).  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).

NEXT UP:  Race morning warm-up will take place tomorrow morning from 9:00 – 9:30 a.m. PT. The Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach will be tele­vised live on NBCSN at 4:00 PM ET Sunday, April 13.

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