Rahal, Jakes & Jourdain Report Improvements to Some Areas of their Race Car Setups

Indi­anapolis 500 – Indi­anapolis Motor Speedway
IZOD IndyCar Series
PRACTICE NOTES/QUOTES – Thursday, May 16, 2013

RAHAL, JAKES AND JOURDAIN JR. REPORT IMPROVEMENTS TO SOME AREAS OF THEIR RACE CAR SET-UPS

1)         Carlos Munoz            225.163 mph / 39.9711          70 laps
29)       James Jakes              220.676 mph / 40.7838          59 laps
30)       Graham Rahal           220.555 mph / 40.8061          64 laps
32)       Michel Jour­dain Jr.   218.073 mph / 41.2705          89 laps

GRAHAM RAHAL, No. 15 Midas / Big O Tires Dallara/Honda/Firestone:  “I think today went pretty good, we found a lot of things to make our car better.  For our qual­i­fying setup, I feel really good. The Midas / Big O Tires car was second of the Honda’s on the no tow report.  We still have to work on the race setup, we have to make it better.  We’ll see what Fast Friday brings. I know there is still some stuff in the bag. We never really got a tow lap though; our fastest lap was by ourselves so I don’t feel too bad about that. It doesn’t look good if you just look at the time sheets without taking that into consid­er­a­tion but every­thing is all right.”

  • 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 made some great steps today with the Acorn Stair­lifts car. To be honest, it’s been going pretty well all week. We are just working with the plan that we have had all week, trying not to concen­trate too much on the times on the tow reports but getting the car good in traffic and then looking for single lap pace with no one else out there an we ended up fourth of the Honda’s on the no tow report. The guys did a great job today. They have had a long few days so it’s nice to get done early so they can get home, get some rest and get ready for a big weekend.”

  • 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 felt like we were making big progress on the Office Depot car, espe­cially by ourselves.  We were much happier as the day was going on but we tried to run in traffic and we just couldn’t. We have a lot of work to do to run in traffic.”

  • 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 p.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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