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
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  The Itaipava São Paulo Indy 300 will be tele­vised live on NBC Sports Network at 11:00 AM ET Sunday, May 5.
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