Jakes and Rahal Ran in the Top-10 in the Itaipava Sao Paulo Indy 300 But Finished 17th and 22nd Respectively

Itaipava São Paulo Indy 300 – Streets of Sao Paulo, Brazil
IZOD IndyCar Series
RACE NOTES/QUOTES – Sunday, May 5, 2013


GRAHAM RAHAL, No. 15 blu eCigs Dallara/Honda/Firestone:  “At the start, we kind of faded a little bit and I don’t know why. I couldn’t initially get by many people then all of a sudden the blu eCigs car came to us a few laps in and we started to charge back up through the field.  We got lucky with the one yellow and barely made it into pit lane. Then unfortunately got hit by James (Jakes) on the one restart and went from probably looking at a sure-bet podium to last place. We were first at the time (on a set pit strategy) and that would have put us first when it all cycled through.  At that point I had been struggling with brakes a little bit and I drove into Turn 1 and locked the right front and I couldn’t get it unlocked. I tried to center the tire to have a lane and it didn’t work. I am very frustrated. The car was quick. Was it the quickest? No, but it was quick enough so I am pretty disappointed.”

  • FAST FACTS: Was his third Indy car race here. He started 19th and ran as high as seventh place before he was involved in a multi-car incident on a restart on Lap 24 and stuck behind the stopped car of his teammate James Jakes. He dropped to 23rd and worked his way into 14th before he locked up his brakes entering Turn 1 and hit the wall. After his car was repaired, he rejoined the race four laps down in an attempt to collect as many championship points as possible and ultimately finished 22nd… 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… He dropped from his pre-race rank of seventh in the series point standings to 14th with 74.

JAMES JAKES, No. 16 Acorn Stairlifts Dallara/Honda/Firestone:  “The start went pretty much as planned really. Everyone stayed in position for a little bit but then as the tires went off we managed to move the Acorn Stairlifts car up the grid a little bit. Then we had the restart after not pitting and I made a mistake, just got the brakes too hot. I wasn’t able to stop the car and pushed Graham wide. Then we had to pit for a new wing. From then on, we were at the back but managed to pick people off again and were pretty aggressive. We got into the top six, a good position. It was difficult out there with the Chevy’s being so strong in a straight line. You really had to be aggressive in your maneuvers. I was behind Marco and I tried to set him up for one of the corners and I just ran wide and hit the wall and had to come in for a new nose. That put us in the back again and we moved up a couple of spots from there.  It was a tough weekend and we just wanted to get some solid points. They guys worked hard to switch over to the second chassis but it just wasn’t to be.  We will move on to Indy. Everyone is looking forward to going there. ”

  • FAST FACTS: Was his third race here.  He qualified 25th for the race, started 24th after Newgarden was assessed a penalty and ran as high as sixth place but was involved in a multi car incident on a restart and later brushed the wall which led to a 17th place finish… 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 53 points.

NEXT UP:  Opening Day for the 97th Running of the Indianapolis 500 is Saturday, May 11 and the race is Sunday, May 26.  RLL’s highest start and finish in the event came in 2004 when Buddy Rice won from pole. In addition, the team has earned a total of four top-three finishes (2nd – Meira 2005; 3rd – Rahal 1994, 1995). The team was in contention to win the race as recent as 2011 when Bertrand Baguette led laps 139-140 and laps 189-197 of the 200 lap race. Had a caution come our before Baguette was forced to pit for a splash of fuel, he might have been the victor. The race ultimately ended under caution when JR Hildebrand crashed on the front straight while in the lead on the final lap.  In 2012, RLL driver Takuma Sato was alongside eventual Indy 500 winner Dario Franchitti in Turn 1 on the final lap but limited traction and possible tire contact catapulted him into a spin and he ultimately finished 17th after leading the third most race laps.

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