GRAHAM RAHAL COMPLETED HIS FIRST INDYCAR TEST FOR 2014 AND RAN A TOTAL OF 107 TROUBLE-FREE LAPS; FIRST TEST WITH PAPPAS AND HONDA’S TWIN TURBO
SEBRING, Fla. (November 18, 2013) – Graham Rahal completed a trouble-free day of testing today at the 1.65-mile Sebring International Raceway short course in preparation for the 2014 IndyCar Series season. He completed a total of 107 laps with a best lap time of 53.28. It was his first test with new race engineer Bill Pappas and with Honda Performance Development’s new twin turbocharged 2.2-liter V-6 engine.
“It was really great to be out here with Bill, (engineer) Eddie (Jones) and all of the guys to go through a list of things to test,” said Graham Rahal, 24. “Our setup was vastly different from the last time we were here. It was good to get out and start working and I think we are pretty happy with where we are. We were among the fastest in the morning but I’m not sure where we ended up speed-wise in the afternoon but I feel like we are competitive. We didn’t run a new set of tires at the end because we can carry them over to the next test whereas I think a lot of guys ran new tires at the end so I’m quite pleased with our performance. Most of all, we really worked well with Honda today and I am proud of the effort they put in. For the first time running on a road course, the twin turbo ran awfully well. We made a lot of changes, made a lot of improvements that will help us going forward and we have some ideas for things that will help us even more. At the end of the day, that’s all we can ask for.”
“I thought the test went very well,” added race engineer Bill Pappas. “New relationships are all about communication so getting to understand how Graham communicates and how he explains problems with the car were obviously our first order of business. I think I had a pretty good feel for how he explains things and I thought our first day on track together was a very good effort. We were very happy with the performance of the Honda twin turbo engine. The response and the things that people had issues with last year have been addressed and I look forward to continued work in those areas.”
The next test will take place at Sebring December 18-19. The 2014 IndyCar Series season begins with the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg on March 30. Graham Rahal became the youngest winner in major auto racing history when he drove to victory in his first IndyCar Series race at the 2008 event 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.
– RLL –