Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
Chevrolet Indy Duel in Detroit – Raceway at Belle Isle Park
IZOD IndyCar Series
RACE NOTES/QUOTES for DUEL 1 – Saturday, June 1, 2013
RAHAL CLIMBED 14 SPOTS IN DUEL 1 OF THE CHEVROLET INDY DUELS IN DETROIT TO FINISH 9TH; JAKES EARNED HIS BEST FINISH OF THE SEASON WITH 10TH
GRAHAM RAHAL, No. 15 Midas / Big O Tires Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “Obviously I’m happy with the finishing result. You always want to finish higher up but some days you’ve got to take what you can get. The Midas / Big O Tires guys worked awfully hard, we had good stops and ultimately we got ourselves a top-10. It was a good day for the team overall. Clearly we need to keep working but I’m pretty happy with where we finished relative to where we started.
(On if there was something from today that can be applied to tomorrow’s race:) “Without a doubt I think that set-up wise we are going to learn quite a lot overnight here. There are a lot of things that we can work on to make the car a little bit better but overall I am pretty pleased.
(On physical demands of duel races:) “It’s a tough race, there’s no doubt about that. I feel all right but everybody is going to want their rest tonight.”
· FAST FACTS: Was his third Indy car race here. He qualified 14th yesterday for Duel 1 but started 23rd due to an unapproved engine change at Indy. He gained three spots on the opening lap and another two on the first restart on Lap 4. The team elected for an alternate strategy and he made his first stop earlier than others on Lap 10. The timing of the caution flags worked out and Rahal was able to climb 14 spots to finish ninth. He will start 15th in Duel 2 on Sunday… He qualified seventh with Service Central Chip Ganassi Racing in 2012 but had a 10-grid penalty for an unapproved engine change and started 17. He was eighth when he made his final stop on Lap 45/60 but during the red flag stop to repair the track, a clutch problem surfaced and he was unable to continue and retired in 19th place. In 2008 he drove for Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing and progressed to the Firestone Fast Six in qualifying for the first time in his series career and qualified sixth. The team chose the same pit strategy as then race leader Dixon which almost worked but a late race fourth caution botched the plan and he had to stop for a splash of fuel with three laps to go and dropped to 13th… His best finish this season is second place in Long Beach and best start is 11th also in Long Beach… Is ranked 16th in series standings with 104 points.
JAMES JAKES, No. 16 Acorn Stairlifts Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “The first stint was tough. The first few laps were okay, we lost a couple of positions but then got them back. And then just could not drive on the reds and I don’t know why. The guys did a great job in the pits. Hopefully we can make a few changes tonight and get right up there tomorrow. (On trip through the runoff area on L31:) I was struggling with the tires and struggled to stop so I went straight in to the runoff, had to turn back around and get back on track.
(On if there was something from today that can be applied to tomorrow’s race:) “We can learn a lot from today for the race tomorrow. We will have a look at the data now. It will be a long night tonight. We have a session in the morning, make a few changes and then see where we end up.
(On physical demands of duel races:) “It’s going to be tough tomorrow. It’s a tough race track. We’ll just get on with it and do it.”
· FAST FACTS: Was his second race here. Yesterday he earned his best series qualifying position of fourth for Duel 1 and started third when pole sitter Franchitti served a 10-grid penalty for an unapproved engine change from Indy. He dropped from third to fifth on the opening lap and then to eight on the first restart. He gained two spots and held sixth but struggled with tire wear and made his first stop a few laps early. He was in eighth when he had to go through the Turn 3 runoff area on a restart on Lap 31 and dropped to 21st. He continued to charge and ultimately finished 10th… He qualified second for Duel 2 that will take place tomorrow. He matched the team’s best start here by Bobby Rahal who qualified second in 1992 and went on to win the event… He qualified 25th at Belle Isle last year with Dale Coyne Racing and had gained seven spots by Lap 14 before a problem surfaced and he retired in 23rd after mechanical failure… It is 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 waseighth at Toronto and series-best start of eighth was at Motegi… His best start to date this season is 4th at Detroit and best finish is 12th at Long Beach although he had the potential to finish higher in each race… Is ranked 18th in series standings with 88 points.
RAHAL LETTERMAN LANIGAN RACING IN DETROIT … The 2013 event will mark the 14th year for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing (RLL) to compete at the Raceway at Belle Isle Park. The team’s highest start of second place and highest finish of first in the event came in the inaugural running on Belle Isle in 1992 by Bobby Rahal. Jakes matched the team’s best starting spot of second for Duel 2 on Sunday. In total, the team has earned two podiums (Max Papis 2000 – 2nd), three top-five finishes and nine top-10’s here (chart available). Prior to 2013, the team prepared a total of 21 entries for drivers such as Bobby Rahal (1992 – 1998), Mike Groff (1993 – 94), Raul Boesel (1995), Bryan Herta (1996 – 99), Max Papis (1999 – 2001), Kenny Brack (2000 – 01), Ryan Hunter-Reay (2007 – 08) and Takuma Sato (2012). Last year Sato qualified 12th and was sixth when he hit a curb that wrenched the steering wheel from his hands and retired in 20th place after he hit the wall. The No. 15 Midas / Big O Tires entry for Graham Rahal and the No. 16 Acorn Stairlifts entry for James Jakes will bring that total to 23 in 2013.
NEXT UP: A 30-minute warm-up will take place tomorrow from 9:30 – 10:00 and the 70-lap Chevrolet Duel 2 in Detroit will take the Green Flag at 3:40 p.m. ET Sunday and be televised live on ABC beginning at 3:30. Timing and Scoring information is available for all sessions from www.indycar.com.