Pre-Event Notes/Quotes for IndyCar Open Test at Barber

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing

Pre-Event Notes

2014 Verizon IndyCar Series

Pre-Season OPEN TEST — Barber Motor­sports Park

 

DATEMonday — Tuesday, March 17 – 18, 2014

TRACK LAYOUT2.38-mile, 17-turn road course

RLLR TOP START/FINISH AT BARBERJames Jakes qual­i­fied 11th in 2013 / Rahal was 12th on the final lap in 2013 but ran out of fuel and finished 21st; 2 events here for team to date

G. RAHAL’S HIGHEST ROAD/STREET COURSE START/FINISH:  Pole at St. Pete 2009 / 1st at St. Pete 2008

G. RAHAL’S BEST START/FINISH AT BARBER8th / 4th — both in 2012; will be his 5th race here

SERVIA’S HIGHEST ROAD/STREET COURSE START/FINISHPole at Australia 2005 / 1st at Montreal 2005

SERVIA’S BEST START/FINISH AT BARBER6th / 5th – both in 2011; will be his 4th race here

 

NEWS & NOTES:

23RD SEASON OF COMPETITION

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing will begin their 23rd consec­u­tive season of compe­ti­tion in 2014. Graham Rahal will drive the No. 15 National Guard entry for the full season and Oriol Servia will drive the No. 16 Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing entry for four events with the intent of adding more as spon­sor­ship details are final­ized. Current plans call for Servia to compete in the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama, the Grand Prix of Indi­anapolis and the Indi­anapolis 500.

GRAHAM RAHAL ON THE MEASURING STICK THAT IS THE BARBER OPEN TEST

Graham Rahal, 25, will compete in his eighth season in a major open wheel series and his second full one with RLL.  He is looking forward to the BMP test to see where he and the team stack up against the compe­ti­tion heading into the 2014 Fire­stone Grand Prix of St. Pete season opener March 28 – 30.

The Barber open test will be crucial for us because it’s the first time we can really compare ourselves to others. We feel we have made some big improve­ments but are not sure where our speed and compet­i­tive­ness will rank compared to others. It’s also impor­tant because it’s our first test away from Sebring. We feel we have found some great improve­ments with the setup that should trans­late but Barber is certainly a lot different than Sebring.”

ORIOL SERVIA ONSENDINGMESSAGEAT THE OPEN TEST

Oriol Servia, 39, will compete in his 14th season in a major open wheel series and will make his second appear­ance in a RLL-prepared entry. He competed for the team in the 2009 Indi­anapolis 500 and was in ninth place halfway through the race when a mechan­ical failure led to his retire­ment in 26th place. He was previ­ously Rahal’s team­mate for four races late in the 2009 season at Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing.

It’s great to have ‘spring training’ with all cars and teams partic­i­pating. You could think that some would hide a bit of their true poten­tial and only show it in St. Pete but I can assure you that is not the way it works. For some reason we all feel –  drivers and teams — that it is the oppor­tu­nity to send a message to the rest of the paddock and everybody’s message wants to be the same ‘Hey, this year you better count me as the refer­ence!’  Only one driver will be able to send that message at the end of the test.”

SERVIA ON GETTING BACK IN AN INDY CAR FOR THE FIRST TIME SINCE THE 2013 SEASON FINALE

The last time I drove an Indy car was for the last race of the season at Fontana. Many drivers have tested since then. It has been too long and cannot wait to get in the car again. In general terms you always miss driving an Indy car as they are really fun and chal­lenging to drive. On this occa­sion I am even more excited as it will be my first and only test with the new team and will become a refer­ence point for the year. 

RAHAL AND SERVIA ON HONDA’S TWIN TURBO DEBUT SEASON

We are all running the newest evolu­tion of Honda’s twin turbo engine at the test,” said Rahal. “It will be the first time I will get to drive with this version and I am excited to see what kind of gains Honda has made. We have all the faith in them and believe 2014 will be a much better year for all the Honda teams.”

SERVIA ON HIS FIRST TIME TO BE POWERED BY HONDA SINCE 2011

I am very excited to be back with the Honda family. My last time with them was in the 2011 season and we finished fourth in the cham­pi­onship and started from the front row in the Indy 500. Honda is always a refer­ence point in any racing series they partic­i­pate in and I am proud to be repre­senting them – and hope­fully winning together.”

RAHAL AND SERVIA ON BMP AND THE DIFFICULTY FACTOR

It’s a great track, prob­ably one of the nicest around the United States,” said Rahal. “I enjoy racing there every time.  The atmos­phere is great, the people are friendly, the food rocks, and the track is just stunning.”

Barber is prob­ably the most chal­lenging and tech­nical track we race at,” added Servia. “It is almost its own different world. I have had great runs and not so great ones. It is so hard that a lot depends of how good you are that day.  If you are nothing else than your greatest, the track won’t give you a “free pass” and it will show.  It is very demanding and that is a big part of its charm. What is great about it too is that with some of the fast and blind corners, the fans can appre­ciate the level of commit­ment it takes from the drivers. All and all it will defi­nitely be a great test to get the winter rust off!”

RLL