Rahal and Jakes to Switch to Primary Cars for Tomorrow’s Indy 500 Practice; Jourdain Jr. Continues to Log Miles

Indi­anapolis 500 – Indi­anapolis Motor Speedway
IZOD IndyCar Series
PRACTICE NOTES/QUOTES – Tuesday, May 14, 2013

RAHAL AND JAKES SWITCH TO PRIMARY CARS FOR TOMORROW’S INDY 500 PRACTICE; JOURDAIN JR. CONTINUES TO LOG MILES

1)         James Hinch­cliffe     224.210 mph / 40.1410          26 laps
29)       James Jakes              219.191 mph / 41.0601         35 laps
32)       Michel Jour­dain Jr.   217.118 mph / 41.4522          57 laps
33)       Graham Rahal           216.633 mph / 41.5450          46 laps

GRAHAM RAHAL, No. 15 Midas / Big O Tires Dallara/Honda/Firestone:  “Every­thing went to plan today. Our focus today was just to mileage this engine out and move on. I’m proud of the guys at Honda that we made it there without issue.  We’re focused on tomorrow now to see what we get. We’re going to shake down the new car tomorrow with a new engine in it. It might be a whole different beast. The Midas / Big O Tires car will be all new and I’m excited about it.”

  • FAST FACTS: Will be his sixth Indy 500.  He ran in the top-five in four of his five previous races here.  In 2008, with Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing, he was the highest Indy 500 starter of the Champ Car tran­si­tioning teams with his 13th place qual­i­fying effort but made contact on L36 after driving high to avoid the slower car of Lloyd and retired in 33rd place.  He qual­i­fied fourth for NHLR in the 2009 Indy 500 but made contact on L56 while fifth and retired in 31st. In 2010, he competed for his father’s team – RLL – for the first time in an Indy car. He qual­i­fied seventh and ran as high as second but a blocking penalty on L188/200 dropped him from third to a 12th place finish. He qual­i­fied 29th with Service Central Chip Ganassi Racing in 2011 and earned his best finish at Indy to date of third place after he led six laps. In 2012, he qual­i­fied 12th, ran as high as third and finished 13th 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 is 14th in the series point stand­ings with 74.

JAMES JAKES, No. 16 Acorn Stair­lifts Dallara/Honda/Firestone:  “We did another race simu­la­tion early in the day and I think we made some progress compared to Monday on the Acorn Stair­lifts car.  Everyone seems pretty excited. And the rest of the after­noon the guys were busy putting a new engine and switching every­thing to the other chassis. It was nice that we were able to get the work done well over the last two days so the guys have got quite a bit of time to work on the car today and it means they won’t get to bed too late tonight and will be able to spend some time with their wives and chil­dren. Everyone’s pretty excited to roll out tomorrow. Both the No. 15 and 16 cars will be fresh chassis and motors so I think everyone is opti­mistic and excited as to where we will end up.”

  • FAST FACTS: Will be his second race here. He qual­i­fied 17th and finished 15th in 2012. In 2011, he attempted to qualify but the car was not fast enough. Both events were with Dale Coyne Racing… 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.

MICHEL JOURDAIN JR, No. 17 Office Depot Dallara/Honda/Firestone:  “We continued to work on the car; I haven’t been comfort­able at all.  I am kind of feeling the same as Graham in that we’re not feeling confi­dent in the car.  We made some changes in the after­noon and it was better but still on the last run I had to catch it two times.  Its better, I have a little bit better feel and a little bit more confi­dence in it but we have to make some changes and improve­ments.  Of course the strong winds are not helping a lot but there are some things that happen in all four corners and normally the wind only makes an impact on one or two corners.  We are going to continue to work on it to improve the car.”

  • FAST FACTS: Jour­dain is making his third attempt at the Indy 500 and second with RLL… His No. 17 Honda-Dallara-Firestone entry is spon­sored by Office Depot Mexico with asso­ciate spon­sor­ship from Grupo Indi and Grupo Multi… He started 22nd in his second Indi­anapolis 500 race in 2012 and finished 19th with RLL. He was called into a closed pit then penal­ized with a drive-through which put him one lap down after he ran in the top half of the field mid-race.  He qual­i­fied eighth and finished 13th in 1996.  When he partic­i­pated in the 2012 Indy 500, Indi­anapolis Motor Speedway was the site of his first laps behind the wheel of an Indy car since 2004… He made 152 starts in the CART/Champ Car World Series and three in the IRL/IndyCar Series (1996/97 season) between 1996 – 2004… His highest finish in the IRL/IndyCar Series is second place at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in 1996 and he earned two wins in CART/CCWS in 2003 at Montreal and Milwaukee while driving for Team Rahal… With support from Ford Motor Company, he moved to NASCAR’s Nation­wide Series from 2005 – 2008 and also competed in the Camping World Truck Series in 2006. Since then, he competed in various rally and sports car series.

RAHAL LETTERMAN LANIGAN RACING AT INDY The team’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 podiums (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… The 2013 race will mark the 16th year for the team in the event.  Prior to 2013, the team prepared a total of 28 entries for drivers such as Bobby Rahal (1992 – 1995), Mike Groff (1994), Raul Boesel (1995), Jimmy Vasser (2002 – 2003), Kenny Brack (2003, 2005), Buddy Rice (2004, 2006; DNC 2005 due to prac­tice crash), Vitor Meira (2004, 2005), Roger Yasukawa (2004), Danica Patrick (2005, 2006), Jeff Simmons (2006, 2007), Scott Sharp (2007), Ryan Hunter-Reay (2008), Oriol Servia (2009), Graham Rahal (2010), Bertrand Baguette (2011), Jay Howard (2011), Takuma Sato (2012) and Michel Jour­dain (2012).  The No. 15 Midas / Big O Tires entry for Graham Rahal, No. 16 Acorn Stair­lifts entry for James Jakes and No. 17 Office Depot entry for Michel Jour­dain will bring that total to 31 in 2013.

NEXT UP: Prac­tice will resume tomorrow from 12 – 6 PM ET.  The 97th Indi­anapolis 500 race will be May 26 and will be tele­vised by ABC at 12 a.m. (ET) and 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.

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