Sato and Jourdain Jr. Ended Day 2 of Practice for the Indy 500 in 13th and 30th Respectively

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
Indianapolis 500 – Indianapolis Motor Speedway
IZOD IndyCar Series
PRACTICE NOTES/QUOTES – Sunday, May 13, 2012


1)         Sebastian Saavedra  221.526 mph / 40.6272          44 laps
13)       Takuma Sato             218.016 mph / 41.2814          56 laps
30)       Michel Jourdain        214.117 mph / 42.0330          13 laps

TAKUMA SATO, No. 15 Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Dallara/Honda/Firestone:  “It was a good day. There was a chance of rain in the forecast initially but it stayed dry and we were able to get a lot of work done.  We verified quite a few setup changes, tried all of the setup changes we wanted and made good progress. We ran a good number of laps with decent speed. I am happy to hand over the testing to Michel.  We were working on a bit of both the qualifying and race setup; basically general car setup.”

FAST FACTS: Will be his third Indy 500 and EIGHTH race at IMS after competing in F1 races here in 2002, 2004-07.. In the Indy 500, he narrowly missed making it into the Fast Nine in qualifying with his 10th fastest qualifying average for the 2011 race and retired in 33rd place due to contact after 20 laps.  In 2010 he qualified 31st and finished 20th after completing 198/200 laps – both for KV Racing Technology… IMS is the site of Sato’s best F1 finish of third in 2004 – the same year RLL won the Indy 500 with Buddy Rice… Is Sato’s first season at RLL and third in IndyCar… Sato led two of the first three races but failed to finish due to mechanical failure (St. Pete & Barber) and “avoidable contact” by Hunter-Reay ( Long Beach) on the final lap en route to a career best finish of third.  When he did finally see the checkered flag, he earned his best series finish to date of third place in Brazil despite starting 25th due to an unapproved engine change… Moved from a 16th-place rank in series points to his highest career series rank to date of seventh with 83.

MICHEL JOURDAIN JR, No. 30 Office Depot / RLL Racing Dallara/Honda/Firestone:  “Today was a short day for me. Yesterday I did most of the running and Takuma ran in the afternoon. Today he did most of the running and I ran a little bit in the afternoon.  The car felt really weird so we are going to check it over tonight.  It felt very, very different from yesterday which sometimes happens at super speedways.  We tried to make some changes from yesterday but we will go back and check to make sure all of the settings are all right.   We still have many days before qualifying so I am looking forward to working on the setup more.”

FAST FACTS: Jourdain is competing in his second Indianapolis 500 race. His No. 30 Honda-Dallara-Firestone entry will be sponsored by Office Depot Mexico with associate sponsorship from Roshfrans, Grupo Indi and Grupo Multi… He qualified eighth and finished 13th in the 1996 Indy 500 race… He is returning to open wheel racing for the first time 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. 

TOM ANDERSON, Managing Director of Motorsport Operations:  “Overall today was the perfect conclusion to the first two days of running here. We are extremely happy with both drivers and programs. Obviously Takuma has got a lot more miles this season than what Michel has. Takuma was able to do basically wind tunnel work for us today all day. Michel had a good run just building miles yesterday. We took a little more time with Takuma today running through the aero program and translated that later onto Michel’s program. There is no real surprise in the different speeds because the aero was quite a bit different on Michel’s car than it was on Takuma’s. Basically, these first two days Gerry Hughes has been building a database for our engineers that are coming in tomorrow from our ALMS race in California. We will be at full strength and will have a barrel of information that we can ponder through. We are looking forward to a big week. We are very happy with the speeds so far.”

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 2012 race will mark the 15th year for the team in the event.  Prior to 2012, the team prepared a total of 26 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 Yasakawa (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) and Jay Howard (2011).  The No. 15 entry for Takuma Sato and No. 30 Office Depot / RLL Racing entry for Michel Jourdain will bring that total to 28 in 2012.

NEXT UP:  Practice will take place from May 12-18 for the 96th Indianapolis 500.  Pole day will be Saturday, May 19 and will be televised on NBC Sports Network from 11:00-2:30 and 4:30-6:30 p.m. ET.  The second day of qualifying on May 20 will also be aired live on NBC Sports Network from 12:00-6:30 p.m. ET.  The 96th Indianapolis 500 race will be May 27 and will be televised by ABC at 11a.m. (ET) and broadcast by the IMS Radio Network on SiriusXM (XM 94 and Sirius 212). Timing and Scoring information is available for all sessions from

PHOTO AND VIDEO AVAILABLE: Media members who register on the IndyCar Series media site have access to photography as well as video. Video will be available specifically of Office Depot/RLL Racing driver Michel Jourdain in Spanish the evening of each practice day (and English most days) via a link that will be sent by the team per request. Register for access to photos at: