Rahal Second Fastest in Practice for the Grand Prix of Baltimore; Jakes Hindered by Brake Pedal Problems

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing

Grand Prix of Balti­more – Streets of Balti­more, Maryland

IZOD IndyCar Series




FASTEST:         Tristan Vautier   1:19.4792 / 92.402 mph

2nd:                  Graham Rahal   1:19.5630 / 92.304 mph

20th:                 James Jakes     1:20.9139 / 90.763 mph

GRAHAM RAHAL, No. 15 blu eCigs Dallara/Honda/Firestone:  “Well it’s an improve­ment over where we’ve been. I think that if we felt confi­dent at any of our disci­plines this year, the street courses seem to be where our team has been pretty strong. Combining that with the gains that we found at Sonoma, it seems to be working pretty well. We’re all very pleased with the blu eCigs car, I think that the guys have done a phenom­enal job putting us in a good spot to start with. Really, what’s been nice is that we’ve only been just doing fine tweaks, we haven’t made any big changes, and that’s some­thing all year that we’ve done. From one session to another it’d be a big roll center, and this that and the other thing, and you never can work on the car then, you’re always chasing your­self. I think we found some things and I hope it carries over to tomorrow. I’m sure every­body will say this, but I know on old tires I can get up a couple of tenths on my best lap to the sector through here, so I know there’s a little bit more time in it. However I was pretty surprised that those times held up, because we started this session on new tires and we did that time pretty early. I really thought that someone else would jump up there in the mean­time, but it feels good, just going to keep working it.”

  • FAST FACTS: Will be his third race here and first with RLL… His best start is second place and best finish is 10th – both in 2011 with Service Central Chip Ganassi Racing (SCCGR).  In 2012, he had a problem in the qual­i­fying session and was unable to post a single lap and qual­i­fied 23rd/last but started 21st due to two unap­proved engine change penal­ties ahead on the grid. He ran as high as second (eight laps) but made five pit stops to the winners two which included a drive through penalty on Lap 47/75 for passing under yellow and finished 11th… His best finish this season is second place in Long Beach and best start is 9th at Iowa… Is ranked 16th in series stand­ings with 252 points.

JAMES JAKES, No. 16 Acorn Stair­lifts Dallara/Honda/Firestone:  “We have an issue with the brake pedal and I think it has been going on for some time now maybe going back to Mid-Ohio or further. We’ve got to figure it out and see what’s going on because as of right now it’s almost undrive­able. It’s frustrating.”

  • FAST FACTS: Will be his third event here and first with RLL.  In 2012 he qual­i­fied 22nd, started 19th after three competi­tors were penal­ized for an unap­proved engine change, ran as high as sixth and finished 24th after contact on Lap 32/75 while 11th.  In 2011 he qual­i­fied 11th and was running 12th on Lap 38/75 when a multi car acci­dent, that began with contact between Hunter-Reay and Briscoe, led to a blocked track and Hinch­cliffe, Jakes and Pantano were collected which led to a 27th place retire­ment.  Both events were with Dale Coyne Racing… 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 19th in series stand­ings with 237 points.

RLL AT BALTIMORE: The Balti­more Grand Prix will mark the second IndyCar race for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing (RLL) here and THIRD overall after competing in the ALMS race in 2011 – 2012. Takuma Sato led 12 laps here last year before a fuel pres­sure problem surfaced and he retired in 21st. In 2011 at Balti­more, the team’s ALMS GT program – BMW Team RLL — qual­i­fied on pole (No. 55) and in third (No. 56). The No. 55 car was taken out of the lead by contact from a Corvette and the team finished fifth (No. 55) and second (No. 56). In the 2012 ALMS race, the No. 55 qual­i­fied second and was in the lead when it was penal­ized for “intim­i­da­tion” of a slower car — that had spun and was not touched by the 55 – and ulti­mately finished eighth. No 56 qual­i­fied fifth and finished fourth.  The No. 15 blu eCigs entry for Graham Rahal and No. 16 Acorn Stair­lifts entry for James Jakes will bring the Indy car total to three entries in 2013.  

NEXT UP: Prac­tice will take place tomorrow morning from 9:05 — 9:50 a.m. ET and qual­i­fying will take place from 12:00 – 1:10 PM and will be tele­vised by NBC Sports Network at 6 p.m. ETNBC Sports Network will begin their live broad­cast of Sunday’s race at 2 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