Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
INDYCAR Grand Prix – Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course
Round 5 of 17 in the 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series
DATE: Friday – Saturday, May 11-12, 2018
PRACTICE BROADCASTS: Live on http://racecontrol.indycar.com with analysis from the Advance Auto Parts
INDYCAR Radio Network (AAPIRN) and on the INDYCAR YouTube channel on Friday beginning at 9:15 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. ET and warm up on Saturday beginning at 11:15 a.m. ET. Also on the INDYCAR Mobile app.
QUALIFYING BROADCAST: Live on http://racecontrol.indycar.com Friday, May 11 beginning at 4:30 p.m. ET and on the AAPIRN and INDYCAR Mobile app.
RACE BROADCAST: Live on ABC, Saturday, May 12 beginning at 3:30 p.m. ET and also on the AAPIRN, Sirius 214, XM 209, http://racecontrol.indycar.com and on the INDYCAR Mobile app.
TRACK LAYOUT: 2.439-mile, 14-turn road course
RACE LENGTH: 85 laps / 207.315 miles
2017 WINNER: Will Power
2017 POLESITTER: Will Power (1:07.7044; 129.687 mph)
RLL TOP START/FINISH AT IMS (ROAD): 8th by Rahal in 2015 / 2nd by Rahal in 2015; four events
RAHAL’S BEST START/FINISH AT IMS (ROAD): 8th in 2015 (qualified 3rd in 2016 but DQ’d) / 2nd in 2015; four events
RAHAL’S HIGHEST SERIES START/FINISH: Pole at St. Pete (street) 2009, Kansas (oval) 2009, Detroit Race 1 (street) 2017 / 1st in St. Pete in 2008, Fontana (Super Speedway) & Mid-Ohio (road) 2015, Texas 2016 (oval), Detroit 1 & 2 (street)
SATO’S BEST START/FINISH AT IMS (ROAD): 14th in 2014 (Foyt) and 2017 (AA) / 9th in 2017 with AA; four events
SATO’S HIGHEST SERIES START/FINISH: Pole at Iowa (oval) 2011, Edmonton (street) 2011, Houston Race 1 (street) 2013, St. Pete (street) 2014, Detroit Race 2 (street) 2014, Detroit Race 2 2017, Pocono (oval) 2017 / 1st in Long Beach (2013), Indianapolis 500 (2017)
NEWS & NOTES:
RAHAL LETTERMAN LANIGAN RACING & THE GP OF INDY
The Grand Prix of Indianapolis (GPI) will mark the fifth Verizon IndyCar Series race on the 2.439-mile road course. The team’s highest finish is second by Graham Rahal in 2015, which was also the year of their highest start of eighth. In addition to Rahal (2014-2017), other drivers to have competed for the team here include Spencer Pigot (2016) and Oriol Servia (2014).
In 2017 Graham Rahal started 20th and finished sixth. In 2016, Rahal qualified third but was disqualified for being underweight and started 24th in the 25-car field but charged back to finish fourth and lead two laps. Rookie Spencer Pigot qualified 18th and finished 11th. In 2015, Rahal brought the team its highest finish here of second place after leading 17 laps and starting 17th. In 2014, Rahal started 12th, ran as high as sixth and was 11th when he was hit by the lapped car of Montoya on a restart on Lap 51/82 and ultimately finished 21st. Oriol Servia qualified 22nd and was struck by the flying tire of another car after the standing start. He was forced to pit for a new front wing which put him out of sequence. Later he led seven laps but the team’s hope to capitalize on a caution flag didn’t pan out and he had to pit for a late-race splash of fuel which limited him to a 12th place finish. For 2018, RLL has entered the No. 15 United Rentals Honda-Dallara-Firestone car for Graham Rahal and the No. 30 Mi-Jack / Panasonic Honda-Dallara-Firestone for Takuma Sato, who won his previous race here – the 2017 Indianapolis 500.
RAHAL AND HIS PODIUM AND THREE TOP-10 FINISHES HERE
The 2018 Grand Prix of Indianapolis will be Graham Rahal’s fifth Indy car race on the road course at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. As detailed above, his highest finish here is second place and his highest start is eighth although he qualified third in 2016 but his car was disqualified for being underweight. In four events, he has three top-10 finishes of second (2015), fourth (2016) and sixth (2017). Rahal is expecting another exciting race on one of his favorite road courses.
“Guys will be able to race each other hard with the new aero kit. We weren’t great at the road course test here in March but I think we learned a little bit in Alabama – things that work and things that don’t work which both help understand the car more.”
RAHAL ON STRONG START TO THE SEASON THAT HAS HIM TIED FOR THIRD IN POINT STANDINGS
In the four races so far this season, Rahal has earned top-10 finishes with the highest being second in St. Pete, followed by ninth in Phoenix, fifth in Long Beach and seventh in Alabama. He is tied for third place in series standings with Sebastien Bourdais, both with 119 points. He is looking forward to capitalizing on a big point payoff in May with two races, one of which is double points – the Indianapolis 500.
“I always think that the INDYCAR Grand Prix is one of the more important races of the year, just to get the momentum going for May and the Indy 500 and I certainly think that will be the case this time around as well. We have had a good start to the year. I have been pleased with the performance of our team on race day. Obviously we need to keep working on that and I need to work on making less mistakes myself in qualifying. It will be really important for the United Rentals team to have a strong May and collect a lot of points and then carry on from the Grand Prix into the Indy 500 and then on to Detroit. Normally Detroit is where we really start getting good. Hopefully we can start that process a little earlier this year.”
TAKUMA AT THE INDYCAR GRAND PRIX
The 2018 IGP will be Takuma’s fifth race here. His best start is 14th – two times (2017, 2014) and his best finish is ninth in 2017 with Andretti Autosport. In his previous race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, he won the 101st Running of the Indy 500 with Andretti Autosport.
“The INDYCAR GP is quite fun. The long straight and the heavy braking areas provide a lot of opportunities for drivers to overtake so it is usually a very exciting race. We had a productive test day on the road course in March and look forward to the opportunity to have a strong race and make up some ground in the championship. Obviously it is an important race for the 500 so we want to have a good, strong event to have good momentum for the month of May.
TAKUMA ON THE IMS ROAD COURSE BRINGING BACK MEMORIES OF HIS FORMULA ONE DAYS
Prior to joining the IndyCar Series, Takuma competed in 90 Formula One races between 2002-2008 with his highest finish being third place at the 2003 United States Grand Prix at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The road course reminds him of those days.
“The section from the main straight, which is the opposite direction that we use for the Indy 500 is something that reminds me of my Formula One days. Going from the speedway to the road course is always unique so that’s my favorite part.”