SEBRING, Fla. (December 13, 2012) – Graham Rahal, 23, completed a three-day test with Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing (RLL) today at the 1.65-mile Sebring International Raceway short course. After two days of interrupted testing due to rain, the team was able to complete 105 laps today to bring their three-day total to 205 laps with a best lap time of 53.480.
“Today was good in the sense that we tried a lot of things but unfortunately I think there is something in the car that has caused several issues all day, whether they be handling issues or braking issues that we could not get a handle on,” said Rahal. “We changed everything out that we could possibly think of but I think it’s something that we will have to find back at the shop. Unfortunately we had a role reversal from the last couple of days where we felt the car was pretty good. The guys did a great job because we changed a lot of things in a short period of time today, really threw it at them and they responded well. They changed more in one day than I can ever remember changing; it was pretty busy.”
“It was a very difficult and frustrating day,” added race engineer Gerry Hughes. “We struggled with the balance of the car in the morning and afternoon, having made some significant changes over lunchtime. Over three days, we have had very changeable conditions and whilst we tried to react to them, in some cases we were second guessing what was going to happen to the circuit has led to a frustrating three days. We struggled with brakes today and that certainly compounded some of the issues we’ve had. The circuit conditions over the three days were certainly pretty tricky.”
The team is currently formulating their test plans prior to the 2013 IZOD IndyCar Series season opener – the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg on March 24. The 2013 season will mark the seventh in a top-tier open wheel racing series for the 23-year-old, who became the youngest winner in major auto racing history when he drove to victory in his first IndyCar Series race at the 2008 Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg at the age of 19. The following season he became the youngest pole winner at the same event – both while driving for Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing, a team co-owned by Michael Lanigan at the time. Graham 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.
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