Rahal and Servia Ran an Abbreviated Test Program During Day 1 of the IndyCar Series Pre-Season Open Test at Barber But Were Optimistic of Potential

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing

Barber Motor­sports Park – OPEN TEST

Verizon IndyCar Series

TEST NOTES/QUOTES – March 17, 2014

RAHAL AND SERVIA RAN AN ABBREVIATED TEST PROGRAM DURING DAYOF THE INDYCAR PRE-SEASON OPEN TEST AT BARBER MOTORSPORTS PARK BUT WERE OPTIMISTIC OF POTENTIAL

 

1)         Will Power                 1:07.6492 / 122.396 mph       (48 laps)

14)       Graham Rahal           1:08.4907 / 120.892 mph       (37 laps)

21)       Oriol Servia               1:09.2164 / 119.625 mph       (7 laps)

 

GRAHAM RAHAL, No. 15 National Guard Dallara/Honda/Firestone:  “I think it was a really produc­tive first day. We got started later than most every­body else so I don’t think we got to run as many sets of new tires as some did but we feel good about where we are. We made some changes that really affected the balance of the car. We’re still strug­gling with certain things but I think Bill and the engi­neering group have a really good handle on it and I feel like we’re headed in the right direc­tion. Compared to where we were last year here, we’re in the ball­park for sure. And Honda was creeping up on it. I think we were still very conser­v­a­tive with the engine but we were gaining a little more horse­power. When we get Oriol out there tomorrow to work with us, I think we will find a lot more speed in the National Guard car but I can’t say I have too many complaints about it. The balance feels certainly better than it has before here.”

FAST FACTS: Rahal, 25, will compete in his eighth season in a major open wheel series and his second full one with RLL.  His highest series start is pole at St. Pete (2009; street) and Kansas (2009; oval) and his highest finish is a win in St. Pete (2008) in his IndyCar Series debut to make him the youngest winner in series history at 19 years, 93 days old… In 110 Indy car starts, Graham Rahal has earned 21 top-five finishes — including his 2008 win at St. Peters­burg — 49 top-10’s, and led a total of 121 laps.  In addi­tion, he won poles at St.   Peters­burg (street course) and Kansas Speedway (oval) in 2009.  Rahal came close to winning again in 2012 as he led the closing laps at Texas Motor Speedway before a slight brush of the wall with two laps to go forced him to settle for second place. He finished second again in Long Beach in 2013 and had compet­i­tive runs at Iowa, where he won the Heat Race, Sonoma and Balti­more in 2013.

ORIOL SERVIA, No. 16 Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Dallara/Honda/Firestone:  “We wanted a much longer day; we only ran seven laps. I felt more rusty than I have felt in a long time. Usually after the off season it always takes you a few laps but right away you feel at home and it took my longer. Barber is a chal­lenging track, its a new team for me and the car felt pretty decent but I got out of the car thinking I was going to be way off the best time because I just didn’t feel at home and I was P6 (sixth fastest) and only seven tenths (of a second) off the fastest at the time so it was very encour­aging. And the time held for a while until people starting putting new tires on. I can see that as I start to get more comfort­able and start getting every­thing the car has to give, we’re going to get closer. I’m excited for tomorrow, and the year. I think we have a good car to start. As I feel less rusty and more in turn with the machine, I think we’re going to be in good shape so I’m really happy.”

FAST FACTS: 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.  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.

RAHAL LETTERMAN LANIGAN RACING IN 2014… Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing begins 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.

NEXT UP:  The Open Test will resume tomorrow from 10 – 12 and 2 – 5 CT.  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