Rahal Letterman Lanigan Completes On-Track Preparations For Sunday’s Indianapolis 500


INDIANAPOLIS (May 27, 2011) – Rahal Letterman Lanigan has offi­cially done all it can do on the 2.5-mile Indi­anapolis Motor Speedway oval to prepare for Sunday’s running of the Indi­anapolis 500, today completing the final Indy Car prac­tice session for Sunday’s centen­nial Indy 500.

Having qual­i­fied in the middle of Row Five for Sunday’s race, Bertrand Baguette (#30 RACB/Aspria Dallara/Honda/Firestone) spent much of the hour-long Carb Day session running prac­tice pit stops and gath­ering as much infor­ma­tion as he could about the car despite the fact that Friday’s weather was nearly 20 degrees colder than it is fore­cast to be on Race Day.

“It was a short session for us to see if every­thing was OK with the car, but we couldn’t work on much because the condi­tions will be so different on Sunday,” Baguette said after completing 40 laps with a top speed of 222.678 mph (40.4171 seconds). “We did some running in traffic and the car felt good. The Fire­stone tires gave me great grip and perfor­mance today and helped to boost our confi­dence for the race.”

Jay Howard (#88 Service Central Dallara/Honda/Firestone) spent Carb Day running on full fuel tanks, working on getting the car to work in traffic, as the Englishmen plots his strategy for moving up from his starting spot on the outside of Row Seven. Howard ran 25 laps with a best orbit of 223.041 mph (40.3514 seconds)

“This is the first time that I have run full tanks in this car and I was very happy with the way the car handled,” Howard said. “We are still looking for a little balance on the car, but we got some good infor­ma­tion and we should be able to make the neces­sary adjust­ments to be good in the race. The Rahal Letterman Lanigan guys have been working very hard all month to get this Service Central car toward the front of the grid and I am confi­dent that we will have a good car on Sunday.”

The team will spend the remainder of Friday and Saturday going over every inch of the Indy Cars, tearing them down and checking every nut, bolt and fitting to ensure that the cars are ready for 500 grueling miles on Sunday. Howard and Baguette will partic­i­pate in the 500 Festival Parade tomorrow after­noon and will be set to take the green flag for the Indy 500 at noon on Sunday. Fans can follow all of the action live on ABC, or on their local IMS Radio Network affiliate.

Today’s 100th anniver­sary Indy 500 fun fact

Bobby Rahal won the 1986 Indy 500, beating Kevin Cogan with a late-race pass. Bobby set the fastest race lap on the 200th and last lap of the race to seal the victory. This marks the only time since IMS started logging fastest race laps in the 1950s that the fastest lap of the race occurred on the final trip around the race track.