Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama – Barber Motorsports Park
IZOD IndyCar Series
QUALIFYING NOTES/QUOTES – Saturday, April 6, 2013
ACORN STAIRLIFTS DRIVER JAKES TO START 11TH FOR THE HONDA INDY GRAND PRIX OF ALABAMA; MIDAS/BIG O TIRES DRIVER RAHAL TO START 21ST
POLE: Ryan Hunter-Reay 1:07.0871 / 123.422 mph (Set in Round 3)
11th: James Jakes 1:07.8832 / 121.974 mph (Set in Round 2, Group 2)
21st: Graham Rahal 1:07:4184 / 122.815 mph (Set in Round 1, Group 1)
SUMMARY: Graham Rahal set the 11th fastest lap in Group 1, Round 1 and did not advance to Round 2. Near the end of his run, he was on what was his fastest lap to that point and closed on a car that had ended his run and Graham’s overall lap time suffered. His best lap time would have allowed him to advance to Round 2 had he been in Group 2. James Jakes advanced from Round 1, Group 2 to Round 2 by setting the fifth fastest lap time (1:07.54). In Round 2, Jakes set the 12th fastest lap time to earn his best starting position at this track.
GRAHAM RAHAL, No. 15 Midas / Big O Tires Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “The Midas / Big O Tires car is not too far off. In our qualifying group, Dixon blocked me on our fast lap. Was it going to be that much better? No, probably only a tenth or two and we wouldn’t have advanced based on lap times. It looks like we got the harder group because we would have been around third with our lap time in the second group and advanced. Unfortunately our group was stacked and I was P11 with a 1:07.4 and that would have put me in the top-six in Group 2 and would have advanced if we did that time there. We just have to keep our heads down and work hard for tomorrow. We will have to have an alternate strategy because you can’t pass all of those cars.”
FAST FACTS: Will be his fourth race here. Started 8th, led 1 lap and finished 4th here in 2012 with Service Central Chip Ganassi Racing. Started 10th and finished 18th in 2011 with SCCGR. Started 15th and finished 17th for Sarah Fisher Racing in ‘10… This will be Rahal’s first full season at RLL, sixth in the IZOD IndyCar Series and seventh in a top open wheel racing series (CCWS 2007)… The Ohio native recorded 92 starts between the Champ Car World Series and IZOD IndyCar Series (2007 – 2012) capturing one win, two poles, 19 top-five and 44-top 10 finishes. He led a total of 28 laps in 2012 – 27 at Texas Motor Speedway where he nearly claimed victory — had an average start of 12.4 and average finish of 11.2, earned three podium finishes and completed 87.2 percent of the laps run (1,841 of 2,111).
JAMES JAKES, No. 16 Acorn Stairlifts Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “I was a little disappointed in qualifying to be honest; we thought we had a little bit more than that in the Acorn Stairlifts car. We were relatively quick on Friday and this morning we seemed to have taken a few steps back. But we are in a position where we can get a good result so we will make sure we work hard overnight, have a good strategy and get a good result for the Acorn Stairlifts team.”
FAST FACTS: Will be his third race here. He qualified 20th and finished 16th in 2012 and qualified and retired in 25th place in 2011 due to mechanical failure – both with Dale Coyne Racing. He was 9th fastest in Practice 4 of the 2013 Open Test at BMP and 11th overall.… Jakes began racing in 2002 in the British T-Car series where he finished second. He graduated to the British Formula Renault Series in 2004 – 2005. In 2005 he finished second in the standings after seven podium finishes and two poles and was named a Rising Star by the prestigious British Racing Drivers Club and was a McLaren Autosport Award finalist. He progressed to the British Formula 3 Series and Formula 3 Euro Series (2007 – 2008) where he won the Pau Grand Prix from pole in 2008 and set the fastest race lap. He earned two podiums in the GP2 Asia series (2008 – 2009) and a pole and two podiums in GP3 (2010) and finished eighth in series standings despite missing four races because of injury… Will compete 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.
RAHAL LETTERMAN LANIGAN RACING AT BARBER… This will mark the second IndyCar race for the team at Barber Motorsports Park. In 2012, the team prepared an entry for Takuma Sato who set the third fastest time in Friday’s first practice and was fastest in the wet second session but traffic limited his qualifying performance to 16th. In the race he passed four cars for 12th place on red alternate tires but struggled on primary tires and ultimately retired in 24th place due to mechanical failure after 52/90 laps.
NEXT UP: The morning warm-up will take place tomorrow from 11:00 – 11:30 a.m. CT. The 90-lap Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama will be televised by NBC Sports Network beginning at 3 p.m. ET. 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 and video. Register for access at: http://www.indycarmedia.com/pages/ApplyforAccess
April 6, 2013