Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
GoPro Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma – Sonoma Raceway
IZOD IndyCar Series
OPEN TEST NOTES/QUOTES – August 21, 2013
JAKES AND RAHAL COMPLETED A TROUBLE-FREE TEST DAY AT SONOMA IN PREPARATION FOR SUNDAY’S GOPRO INDY GRAND PRIX OF SONOMA
FASTEST: Dario Franchitti 1:18.2945 / 109.663 mph 38 laps
17th: James Jakes 1:19.5426 / 107.942 mph 44 laps
19th: Graham Rahal 1:19.7022 / 107.726 mph 58 laps
GRAHAM RAHAL, No. 15 Midas / Big O Tires Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “Overall I feel good about the progress we made today. We tried a lot of things. Sure we are disappointed that our overall lap time isn’t quite as quick as we would like but we are chipping away at it. We started our test day earlier and used up our three sets of tires earlier than everybody else so I don’t feel bad about where we are at. We finally got the car to do some things that you would expect the car to do and we haven’t had that yet this year so I feel like we made some big steps here this afternoon. Now hopefully we can just fine tune around that setup and find some time. Up to this point, every time we have hit the track it has been after a very large change. Hopefully after today we won’t have to do that.”
- FAST FACTS: Will be his sixth Indy car race here. His best start is sixth place with Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing (NHLR) in 2009 and best finish is fifth with Service Central Chip Ganassi Racing (SCCGR) in 2012. He has finished in the top-10 in all but one of his five races (broken drive shaft in ’09). He qualified 15th for SCCGR in 2012, started 13th after grid penalties were served and finished fifth. He qualified 13th for SCCGR in 2011 and finished eighth. In 2010, he qualified 16th with NHR and finished 9th. Made the final Firestone Fast Six in qualifying six times in the seven road/street races in 2009 and started sixth in Sonoma for NHLR. Contact on the opening lap with Marco Andretti forced an early stop for a new front wing but his drive shaft broke when he attempted to leave the pits. After the car was repaired in the garage area, he returned to the track many laps down in 21st position and ultimately retired in the same place after completing 30 of the 75 laps. He started 15th and finished 8th here in 2008 with NHLR… His best finish this season is second place in Long Beach and best start is 9th at Iowa… Is ranked 17th in series standings with 233 points.
JAMES JAKES, No. 16 Acorn Stairlifts Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “We thought we had made a lot of progress and then, at the end of the day, it didn’t seem to be the case. It’s pretty frustrating. Things were looking pretty good mid day and then the wind shifted and turned 180 degrees and kind of turned the track upside down. It’s back to the drawing board which is pretty frustrating. The times are pretty close to get into the top-10, we only need a few tenths (of a second) so we just need to find a little bit more time.”
- FAST FACTS: Will be his third event here and first with RLL. In 2012 he qualified 26th, started 24th after two competitors were penalized for an unapproved engine change and finished 12th. In 2011 he qualified 17th and finished 19th. Both events were with Dale Coyne Racing… It is 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 2nd at Detroit Dual 2 and best finish is also 2nd in Detroit’s Dual 2 … Is ranked 18th in series standings with 232 points.
RLL AT SONOMA: This race will mark the sixth Indy car event for RLL here and second since 2008 when Ryan Hunter-Reay started eighth and finished 18th for the team. The highest start and finish for the team here is by Buddy Rice in 2005 when he started sixth and finished second. Prior to the 2013 event, the team prepared a total of 10 Indy car entries for drivers Buddy Rice (2005-2006), Vitor Meira (2005), Danica Patrick (2005-2006), Jeff Simmons (2006), Scott Sharp (2007), Ryan Hunter-Reay (2007-2008), and Takuma Sato (2012). The team has earned one podium (2nd – Rice 2005), 1 top-five and four top-10 finishes at the track. The No. 15 Midas / Big O Tires entry for Graham Rahal and No. 16 Acorn Stairlifts entry for James Jakes will bring the Indy car total to 12 entries in 2013.
NEXT UP: The official start to the GoPro Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma is Friday, August 23. The first practice session will take place from 11-11:45 a.m. PT Friday and qualifying will take place from 2:30-3:40 p.m. PT Saturday. NBC Sports Network will air a qualifying show at 9 p.m. ET on Saturday and will begin their live broadcast of Sunday’s race at 4 p.m. ET. The race will also be 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