Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach – Streets of Long Beach, California
Round 3 of 16 in the 2016 Verizon IndyCar Series
Friday – Sunday, April 15-17, 2016
All practice sessions and qualifying will be available on the INDYCAR YouTube channel
Tape delayed on NBCSN beginning at 6:00 p.m. ET on Friday, April 15. Live on the INDYCAR Radio Network.
Live on NBCSN, Sunday, April 17 at 4:00 p.m. ET
The race will air on the Advance Auto Parts INDYCAR Radio Network, Sirius 212, XM 209 and www.indycar.com
1.968-mile, 11-turn street course
80 laps / 157.4 miles
Helio Castroneves (1:06.6294 / 106.331 mph)
RLL’S BEST START/FINISH AT LONG BEACH:
3 poles (Herta 1998, Vasser 2002, Jourdain, Jr. 2003) / 2nd – four times (Rahal 1992-1993,
Vasser 2002, G. Rahal 2013)
RAHAL’S BEST START/FINISH AT LONG BEACH:
5th in 2007 / 2nd in 2013; will be his 10th Indy car race here and 11th overall
RAHAL’S HIGHEST SERIESSTART/FINISH:
Pole at St. Pete (street) 2009 & Kansas (oval) 2009 / 1st in St. Pete in 2008, Fontana (oval; 500
miles) 2015, Mid-Ohio (road) 2015
NEWS & NOTES:
17TH INDY CAR RACE IN LONG BEACH FOR RLL; THREE CARS ENTERED FOR WEEKEND
The 2016 Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach (TGPLB) marks the 17th time for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing (RLL) to compete in the event. Although the team didn’t compete in Indy car races here from 2004-2011 while they fielded a fulltime entry in the Indy Racing League (2004-2008), they did compete in the 2003 and 2004 Atlantic races with Danica Patrick and in the 2007 American Le Mans Series (ALMS) race. In 2009, the team returned to the streets of Long Beach in the ALMS with BMW Team RLL and has finished on the podium each year since then which makes Long Beach the most successful venue for the team in the current WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. Since its inaugural season in 2009, the team has not failed to finish the race without at least one car on the podium at Long Beach. The team has won the race three times (2011, 2013 and 2015).
In their 16 previous Indy car races in Long Beach, the team entered 28 cars for drivers such as Bobby Rahal (1992-1998), Mike Groff (1994), Raul Boesel (1995), Bryan Herta (1996-1999), Max Papis (1999-2001), Kenny Brack (2000-2001), Jimmy Vasser (2002), Jourdain (2002-2003), Takuma Sato (2012), Graham Rahal (2013-2015), James Jakes (2013), Mike Conway (2013) and Oriol Servia (2014). In total, the team won three poles (Herta 1998, Vasser 2002, Jourdain, Jr. 2003); made five front row starts including an all-Team Rahal front row in 1998 (2nd – Rahal 1998, Brack 2001); earned their best finish of second place four times (Rahal 1992-1993, Vasser 2002, G. Rahal 2013) and earned six podiums (2nd – Rahal 1992-1993, Vasser 2002 & G. Rahal 2013; 3rd – Herta 1998-1999).
PENNGRADE MOTOR OIL PRIMARY SPONSOR IN LONG BEACH
The 2016 Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach (TGPLB) will mark the first race for PennGrade as the primary sponsor of an Indy car. Graham is excited to debut the new sponsor scheme that features chrome, black and red accents on the No. 15 entry.
‘I’m thrilled to run the PennGrade Motor Oil livery in Long Beach. The car is so cool looking, and for me it’s just going to be a lot of fun to get out there and drive it. PennGrade has been a tremendous partner of our team since last year and I am very excited to see what happens with the brand going forward.”
GRAHAM ON EXPECTATIONS AT LONG BEACH & FIVE SECOND-PLACE FINISHES BY A RAHAL HERE
This will be Graham’s 10th Champ or Indy car race here, 11th overall, and fourth for his father’s team. In 2015, he qualified eighth in Long Beach but struggled in the race and finished 11th. In 2014, he finished seventh after struggling in practice and qualifying 23rd. In 2013, he finished second after starting 11th with RLL. In 2012, he qualified 15th for Service Central Chip Ganassi Racing (SCCGR), started 8th due to penalties to Chevy-powered teams, ran as high as fourth but finished 24th due to contact with Marco Andretti. In 2011, he qualified 16th for SCCGR and finished 13th. In 2010 he started and finished 22nd for Sarah Fisher Racing after contact. In 2009, he started seventh and finished 12th for Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing (NHLR). In 2008 he started ninth and had a podium in sight when he was alongside third place but contact during this pass led to a 13th place finish for NHLR. Started fifth in 2007 but the pit strategy of others and slow fuel flow related to teething problems for the all-new Panoz Champ Car on two stops limited his finish to eighth place for NHLR. In the 2006 Champ Car Atlantic Series race here he started seventh and finished fifth.
“I have high hopes for the race, but I always do,” said Rahal, who is ranked seventh in series standings with 44 points. “I think the team deserves a good result in Long Beach and we are working hard to be the best we can for this championship. It’s always a very tough race so I expect a lot of action and entertainment, but hope we can just stay out of trouble and keep clean. My past results have been up and down. We have been good there but also had some bad luck and self-induced issues. We will try our best this year to pick up a victory in Long Beach rather than a Rahal finishing second there, which has happened a lot!”
GRAHAM ON THE CHALLENGES OF THE COURSE AND PASSING OPPORTUNITIES
“The entire course is challenging, I don’t know that there is anything about it that isn’t. Passing opportunities at Long Beach are the usual places: Turn 1, and the two back straights. I fully expect to see more passing this year with the new push to pass and more entertainment.”