Jakes and Rahal 9th and 22nd Fastest Respectively in Practice for the Honda Indy GP of Alabama

Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama – Barber Motor­sports Park
PRACTICE NOTES/QUOTES – Friday, April 5, 2013
IZOD IndyCar Series 
 
JAKES AND RAHAL 9TH AND 22ND RESPECTIVELY IN PRACTICE FOR THE HONDA INDY GRAND PRIX OF ALABAMA
 
FASTEST:        Helio Castron­eves         1:08.5540 / 120.781 mph
9th:                   James Jakes                 1:08.9479 / 120.091 mph           
22nd:                Graham Rahal               1:09:6315 / 118.912 mph                       
 
GRAHAM RAHAL, No. 15 Midas / Big O Tires Dallara/Honda/Firestone:  “We tried to come back here with a setup more like what Mike (Conway) and James (Jakes) ran at the test. There are a few minor differ­ences but I can’t think that those would tip the car over but we’re strug­gling with the same things that we did at the test. I just can’t turn the car; the car is steering me, not me steering it.  At the same time, without a doubt we didn’t get a new tire run at the end and I will say that on the one lap that I did, up until the point that I went into Viso’s (who went off course) gravel, I was up about a half of a second.  Clearly there is a lot of time there in the tires, A half of a second would move us halfway up the grid at least right now. We haven’t made the gains that I am hoping for but we’re going to keep working on it. Last year I started up front and had a great race here and I expect to do the same this year in the Midas / Big O Tires car. We just have a bit of work to do.”
 
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:  “It was a pretty good session consid­ering we ran one set of tires for the session.  You look at the guys that ran one set in that session — although you can’t know for sure who did but you think you know – we’re pretty happy. We are pretty happy with our progress and will just keep making improve­ments and concen­trate on making sure we improve the car in every session like every­body else. We’re always right there, or in the ball­park with everyone else in the first session but we just need to make sure that we improve like every­body else. The Acorn Stair­lifts car was actu­ally very good. I made a mistake on my fastest lap and did a little bit of grass tracking so I was quite shocked when we came up with the lap time still. We will work overnight to keep improving but we are hoping to get the Acorn Stair­lifts car up there this weekend.”
 
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:  Prac­tice will take place tomorrow morning from 8:00 – 8:30 a.m. CT. Qual­i­fying will take place from 10:25 – 11:35 AM on Saturday and will be tele­vised by NBC Sports Network at 5 p.m. ET.  Timing and Scoring infor­ma­tion is avail­able for all sessions from www.indycar.com.  The Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama will be tele­vised live on NBC Sports Network at 3:00 PM ET Sunday, April 7.
 
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