Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
2014 Verizon IndyCar Series
Pre-Season OPEN TEST – Barber Motorsports Park
DATE: Monday – Tuesday, March 17-18, 2014
TRACK LAYOUT: 2.38-mile, 17-turn road course
RLLR TOP START/FINISH AT BARBER: James Jakes qualified 11th in 2013 / Rahal was 12th on the final lap in 2013 but ran out of fuel and finished 21st; 2 events here for team to date
G. RAHAL’S HIGHEST ROAD/STREET COURSE START/FINISH: Pole at St. Pete 2009 / 1st at St. Pete 2008
G. RAHAL’S BEST START/FINISH AT BARBER: 8th / 4th – both in 2012; will be his 5th race here
SERVIA’S HIGHEST ROAD/STREET COURSE START/FINISH: Pole at Australia 2005 / 1st at Montreal 2005
SERVIA’S BEST START/FINISH AT BARBER: 6th / 5th – both in 2011; will be his 4th race here
NEWS & NOTES:
23RD SEASON OF COMPETITION
Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing will begin 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.
GRAHAM RAHAL ON THE MEASURING STICK THAT IS THE BARBER OPEN TEST
Graham Rahal, 25, will compete in his eighth season in a major open wheel series and his second full one with RLL. He is looking forward to the BMP test to see where he and the team stack up against the competition heading into the 2014 Firestone Grand Prix of St. Pete season opener March 28-30.
“The Barber open test will be crucial for us because it’s the first time we can really compare ourselves to others. We feel we have made some big improvements but are not sure where our speed and competitiveness will rank compared to others. It’s also important because it’s our first test away from Sebring. We feel we have found some great improvements with the setup that should translate but Barber is certainly a lot different than Sebring.”
ORIOL SERVIA ON “SENDING A MESSAGE” AT THE OPEN TEST
Oriol Servia, 39, will compete in his 14th season in a major open wheel series and will make his second appearance in a RLL-prepared entry. 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. He was previously Rahal’s teammate for four races late in the 2009 season at Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing.
“It’s great to have ‘spring training’ with all cars and teams participating. You could think that some would hide a bit of their true potential and only show it in St. Pete but I can assure you that is not the way it works. For some reason we all feel — drivers and teams — that it is the opportunity to send a message to the rest of the paddock and everybody’s message wants to be the same ‘Hey, this year you better count me as the reference!’ Only one driver will be able to send that message at the end of the test.”
SERVIA ON GETTING BACK IN AN INDY CAR FOR THE FIRST TIME SINCE THE 2013 SEASON FINALE
“The last time I drove an Indy car was for the last race of the season at Fontana. Many drivers have tested since then. It has been too long and cannot wait to get in the car again. In general terms you always miss driving an Indy car as they are really fun and challenging to drive. On this occasion I am even more excited as it will be my first and only test with the new team and will become a reference point for the year.
RAHAL AND SERVIA ON HONDA’S TWIN TURBO DEBUT SEASON
“We are all running the newest evolution of Honda’s twin turbo engine at the test,” said Rahal. “It will be the first time I will get to drive with this version and I am excited to see what kind of gains Honda has made. We have all the faith in them and believe 2014 will be a much better year for all the Honda teams.”
SERVIA ON HIS FIRST TIME TO BE POWERED BY HONDA SINCE 2011
“I am very excited to be back with the Honda family. My last time with them was in the 2011 season and we finished fourth in the championship and started from the front row in the Indy 500. Honda is always a reference point in any racing series they participate in and I am proud to be representing them – and hopefully winning together.”
RAHAL AND SERVIA ON BMP AND THE DIFFICULTY FACTOR
“It’s a great track, probably one of the nicest around the United States,” said Rahal. “I enjoy racing there every time. The atmosphere is great, the people are friendly, the food rocks, and the track is just stunning.”
“Barber is probably the most challenging and technical track we race at,” added Servia. “It is almost its own different world. I have had great runs and not so great ones. It is so hard that a lot depends of how good you are that day. If you are nothing else than your greatest, the track won’t give you a “free pass” and it will show. It is very demanding and that is a big part of its charm. What is great about it too is that with some of the fast and blind corners, the fans can appreciate the level of commitment it takes from the drivers. All and all it will definitely be a great test to get the winter rust off!”