Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama
Verizon IndyCar Series
RACE NOTES/QUOTES – April 27, 2014
RAHAL AND SERVIA FINISHED 17TH AND 20TH IN THE RAIN-DELAYED HONDA INDY GRAND PRIX OF ALABAMA
GRAHAM RAHAL, No. 15 National Guard Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “At times we had a good pace. On the wet track, I was struggling with understeer and then at times I feel like we got some pace and the National Guard car was moving forward. Next thing I know, I got hit by two guys and lost about four spots there. And on the last pit stop, I’m not sure what happened. The guys weren’t slow but with the strategy we lost another three spots. I don’t really know how we ended up 17th but obviously I feel bad for the guys because they deserve better than this. We were creeping up there. I think the highest we got was tenth. We were kind of up into the territory that we need to be in but we just couldn’t quite keep it together. (On first laps on alternate tires after running rain tires:) “Those were the most difficult laps I have ever driven. Cold, slick tires in the wet produced, honestly the most difficult laps I have ever driven. I’m glad those are over and I hope I don’t see them again.”
- FAST FACTS: Started 18th, ran as high as 10th and finished 17th in his fifth race here. In 2013, he set a lap time fast enough to progress to Round 2 and qualify in the top-12 if he had been in Group 2 but he was in Group 1 and ultimately qualified 21st. He had to pit for a new nose on the opening lap after the field checked up and he hit Servia. Moved up to 12th place but he ran out of fuel on the final lap due to a malfunction in the fueling system and dropped to 21st… Started 8th, led 1 lap and finished 4th here in 2012 for Service Central Chip Ganassi Racing (SCCGR). Started 10th and finished 18th in 2011 for SCCGR. Started 15th and finished 17th for Sarah Fisher Racing in ‘10.
ORIOL SERVIA, No. 16 Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “The start in the wet was crazy as expected. We couldn’t see anything. On the start actually I felt good. There were a couple of interesting maneuvers there and I think we were looking good and on the second restart people were acting actually even more crazy and I couldn’t see anything again. We were stuck at the back and it was single file and I couldn’t do anything really and I felt it was getting dry. I knew it was a little early but we had a lot to gain if it worked out and it almost did. The track was still too wet but it was on the edge. I saw that Ryan Hunter-Reay) was coming to lap me but I knew that if I was able to keep him behind for a little bit more until my tires warmed up, then I knew I would be faster because I was on slicks. But out of the chicane I almost lost it and he passed me and then the yellow came out for someone. So instead of all of a sudden inheriting the lead like we would have, Ryan had just passed me and we were a lap down and had to go to the back of the pack. There was really nothing gained there unfortunately but in dry conditions there were some moments where we had a good pace but when you’re 19th and there are no more yellows to make anything happen, we were stuck at the back. It was not a spectacular weekend for us but we knew we had some work to do at the test and were just not able to catch up. Fortunately now we have a test on the Indy road course so hopefully we can improve our road course setup. We have a good one for the Speedway but it will be good to spend more time on our road course setup at the test.”
- FAST FACTS: Started 19th, ran as high as 14th and finished 20th in his fourth race here and first with RLL at this track. His best finish is fifth in 2011 and best start is sixth the same season with Newman/Haas Racing. In 2013 he drove for Panther/DRR where he started 18th and finished 15th. In 2012, he drove for Lotus/DRR where he qualified 26th and finished 13th… Servia, 39, a native of Pals, Spain, has made 191 starts in CART, Champ Car and the IndyCar Series since his rookie season in 2000 prior to 2014. His Indy car highlights include one win (Montreal 2005) and one pole (Surfers Paradise, Australia 2005) as well as a total of 19 top-three, 51 top-five and 100 top-10 finishes. 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.
NEXT UP: The team will participate in an open test at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Wednesday, April 30 and the next event is the inaugural Grand Prix of Indianapolis on May 8-10.
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