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Rahal Earned his Best Starting Position of 2014 with 12th Place for the GP of Indianapolis; Servia to Start 22nd

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing

Grand Prix of Indianapolis

Verizon IndyCar Series

QUALIFYING NOTES/QUOTES – May 9, 2014

 

RAHAL EARNED HIS BEST STARTING POSITION TO DATE THIS SEASON OF 12TH FOR THE INAUGURAL GRAND PRIX OF INDIANAPOLIS; SERVIA TO START 22ND

1)         Sebas­tian Saavedra  1:23.8822 / 104.675 mph       (Group 1, Round 3)

12)       Graham Rahal           1:25.4748 / 102.725 mph       (Group 2, Round 2)

22)       Oriol Servia               1:10.5996 / 124.987 mph       (Group 2, Round 3)

OVERALL:     Qual­i­fying was held in condi­tions that varied from light sprin­kles to inter­mit­tent, light rain. Rahal set the seventh fastest time in Group 2 of Round 1 but progressed to Round 2 when Mikhail Aleshin had his two fastest laps taken away when it was ruled that he impeded another drivers qual­i­fying lap. Servia set the 12th fastest time in his group and did not progress.

GRAHAM RAHAL, No. 15 National Guard Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “We were right on the cusp in Round 1. We did the same lap time as the guys ahead of us and were right on the cusp and Aleshin got a penalty and we slid in. I feel like our car was good enough to get there anyway. The tire pres­sures came up in the rear a little too high and we were sliding a bit too much those last couple of laps. At the end of the day we’re starting twelfth. I’m proud of this National Guard team. These guys keep working very hard and we’re going to get one at some point. I think we’re going to have a good day tomorrow. We’re starting 12th and we can work from there.

(On Push to Pass:) Push to Pass is going to have a huge impact here because the straight­away is so long. Without a doubt, it’s going to play a huge role in this race. Hope­fully we will have a good car and be right up there.”

  • FAST FACTS:Will be his first Indy car race on the IMS road course. He raced in the IndyPro Series road race here in 2006 on a slightly different config­u­ra­tion. He won pole and led 21 laps en route to a second place finish during the US Grand Prix… His best qual­i­fying posi­tion in the Indy 500 is fourth in 2009 with Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing and best finish is third with Service Central Chip Ganassi Racing in 2011 after he led six laps… His Indy car high­lights include a win (2008) and pole (2009) in St. Petersburg.

ORIOL SERVIA, No. 16 Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “I’m disap­pointed. The car was way better than I showed. We had changed the car a lot and I went out there to qual­i­fying and you really have two laps to make it happen. I was judging the car and by the time I figured it out it was too late. I was six-tenths (of a second) from the fastest time, and three-tenths from making the cut. It’s not like you are miles away from making the cut. You have two laps to do it and I just guessed too much and I didn’t guess right on my driving. I think we have a good car for the race if it stays dry. It’s not where I wanted to start but it’s a race that, with how they have designed this track with long straights and a lot of passing zones, it will defi­nitely be a race where you can move forward.

(On Push to Pass:) “With the long straight, if you’re behind some­body that is not pushing Push to Pass and you are, you are defi­nitely going to pass them. You can gain two or three miles just from the Push to Pass. It’s going to make it even more impor­tant to make sure you have them when you need them. We will have to be smart about that.”

  • FAST FACTS: Will be his first race on the road course at IMS… 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… His best qual­i­fying posi­tion in the Indy 500 is third and best finish is fifth – both with Newman/Haas Racing in 2011.

RLL AT INDY ROAD COURSE. This will mark the first race for the team at the Indi­anapolis Motor Speedway road course. Graham Rahal and RLL were one of two drivers/teams asked to provide input on possible changes to the course during a test here on September 4, 2013. The 2014 Indy 500 will mark the 17th time for the team to compete in the Indy 500, and event the team won from pole in 2004 with Buddy Rice.

NEXT UP: The 82-lap inau­gural Grand Prix of Indi­anapolis will take the Green Flag at 3:50 p.m. ET on Sunday, May 10. ABC will begin broad­casting the event at 3:30 p.m. Timing and Scoring infor­ma­tion is avail­able for all sessions from www.indycar.com and includes live commen­tary by the IMS Radio Network.

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: www.indycarmedia.com/pages/ApplyforAccess