Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama
Verizon IndyCar Series
QUALIFYING NOTES/QUOTES – Saturday, April 21, 2018
RAHAL AND SATO QUALIFIED 15TH AND 18TH FOR THE HONDA INDY GRAND PRIX OF ALABAMA; RAIN IS FORECAST FOR RACE DAY
1st) Josef Newgarden 1:07.4413 / 122.773 mph (Group 2, Round 3)
15th) Graham Rahal 1:08.1038 / 121.579 mph (Group 1, Round 1)
18th) Takuma Sato 1:08.5676 / 120.757 mph (Group 2, Round 1)
GRAHAM RAHAL, No. 15 Mi-Jack Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “Ultimately it’s on me; we just didn’t get it done. Something that has been nagging us a little bit this whole weekend is that we’re good on old tires, then we go to new ones and we just don’t pick up the pace. For sure in Turn 2, I went in and got real loose on entry and then it locked the inside front somehow so I was way, way, way offline and that probably cost me a couple of tenths. And then the same thing happened in Turn 9, it didn’t rotate and just pushed straight off. I left at least two-and-a-half to three-tenths (of a second) on the table and you just can’t do that in qualifying these days. Ultimately it’s on me to get the job done. I think we only needed a tenth-and-a-half (of a second) to advance and just didn’t get the job done. That’s how it is in IndyCar today. You miss by a little bit and you pay the price. Tomorrow is going to be a wet race. We’ll just have to try to outrace these guys, make no mistakes and see how it turns out.”
TAKUMA SATO, No. 30 Mi-Jack / Panasonic Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “I think we made some good progress since the last practice but it seems like everybody made some gains as it was a quite competitive qualifying. We got only the first run in, the warm-up run and just needed to be a little quicker but the session was stopped by a red flag. No one knows how it will be in the wet. No one has run a wet setup or run the wet tire. Only a few cars ran a wet tire in the Barber test. We didn’t so we will see how it is in the race.”
RLL AT BARBER: The 2018 Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama will mark the seventh IndyCar Series race for the team at Barber Motorsports Park (BMP). The best finishes for the team came in 2015 and 2016 where RLL and Graham Rahal played a major role in the most exciting races of those seasons and earned second place finishes each year. In addition to Rahal, other drivers to have competed for the team here include Takuma Sato (2012) James Jakes (2013) and Oriol Servia (2014). In 2012, Sato set the third fastest time in Friday’s first practice and was fastest in the wet second session but traffic limited his qualifying performance to 16th. In the race he passed four cars for 12th place on red alternate tires but struggled on primary tires and ultimately retired in 24th place due to mechanical failure after 52/90 laps.
NEXT UP: New for 2018, race-day, morning warm-ups will no longer take place on road courses. The 90-lap Honda Grand Prix of Alabama will be televised live on NBCSN beginning at 3:00 PM ET Sunday, April 22.
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