Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
102nd Running of the Indianapolis 500
Verizon IndyCar Series
QUALIFYING DAY 1 NOTES/QUOTES – May 19, 2018
A CHALLENGING DAY ENDS WITH SATO, RAHAL AND SERVIA LOCKED IN THE FIELD FOR THE 102ND RUNNING OF THE INDY 500 BETWEEN POSITIONS 10 AND 33; FINAL ORDER SET SUNDAY
1st: Helio Castroneves 4-lap avg. speed of 228.919 mph (L1: 228.740, L2: 229.108, L3: 229.080, L4: 228.749)
29th: Takuma Sato 4-lap avg. speed of 225.513 mph (L1: 226.371, L2: 225.786, L3: 224.135, L4: 225.771)
30th: Graham Rahal 4-lap avg. speed of 225.407 mph (L1: 225.337, L2: 225.399, L3: 225.372, L4: 225.518)
31st: Oriol Servia 4-lap avg. speed of 225.007 mph (L1: 225.442, L2: 225.236, L3: 225.440, L4: 223.916)
GRAHAM RAHAL, No. 15 United Rentals Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “We’re in the show and that’s probably as much as I can ask for. We get to go racing. Obviously we have our work cut out for us back where we are but it’s a long race and anything can happen. We will finish it up tomorrow to get our final starting position. Most of all I can’t thank these guys enough. The 15 car, the 30 car and the 64 car guys stayed so late last night to help get everything swapped over. We changed cars, changed engines, gearboxes, uprights and literally built a new car start to finish. They were here until 3:30 AM and were back here at 5:30. The work and effort that was put in is pretty much appreciated and I am honored to work with them. These United Rentals guys have no quit in them. Sure we’d like to qualify 10th tomorrow but, realistically, if we can sneak up to 20th and just hit everything just right that would be ideal. Race day is the important one for the United Rentals team. I’m just happy to be in the show right now!”
TAKUMA SATO, No. 30 Mi-Jack / Panasonic Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “First of all, I’m glad that Oriol made it after a great save. It was a tough day for all of us. Obviously we are not satisfied at all with where we are. I particularly couldn’t enjoy the lap which was disappointing. (On the problem with his third lap:) I had a little moment, so I had to really lift. It’s tough. The track conditions were not necessarily good, but we are lacking speed, for sure. I ended up lifting off the throttle because I simply couldn’t make the corner. We have a lot of work to be done. We gathered a lot of data over three cars and it’s going to be a long night. Our engineers are working so hard. Hopefully we can put up good lap times tomorrow.
ORIOL SERVIA, No. 64 Scuderia Corsa / Manitowoc Dallara/Honda/Firestone, entered by Scuderia Corsa with RLL: “It has been probably the biggest roller coaster of my life, just today. We started today’s free practice, eight in the morning, the track was green. The car has been the best it’s been all month. It was perfect. And then we went out in qualifying and I almost crashed in lap one. Thankfully we saved it, came in. We made some changes and we thought we would be pretty solid in the show. We didn’t take any risks and put some downforce back in the car, just to make the show. I went out and the car was as awful as the other attempt. We really don’t know what’s going on. We are going to spend a lot of time looking at the car, but it’s one of those days that’s Indy drama. I was just talking yesterday of how sad it would be, 35 great entries this year and 2 will go home. But that is the drama we were all waiting for, Bump Day. And all of a sudden, there I am thinking it’s going to be me! That is how the day went, we were 33rd and the car was still not right and why? We still don’t know why. We are a great team with Rahal Letterman Lanigan, Scuderia Corsa, Honda, we had all the right ingredients to not only be in the race but challenge for pole. And we almost didn’t make it and that just tells you how challenging this race can be. I would have said this morning we have a shot at Top 9 but I almost didn’t make it. But you saw, Hinchcliffe, my ex-teammate, was on pole position two years ago, not 10, two. And he didn’t make the show today. It just shows how competitive it is, all just trying to find a fine edge. Some people were afraid this car would be maybe easier to drive than last year but obviously we showed it’s not. You have guys in total control and next run you try something and you’re completely off. It’s part of the challenge. We just need to dig in on the data and set up and do it a little bit better than today. But I am super pumped and happy that Scuderia Corsa decided to do the race and decided to do it with me and RLL (which is a group I have worked with in the past) and I would have been so sad for myself but disappointed that the one time they decide to come and we couldn’t make the race. It would have been awful. I am very happy we are in and that we have a great team behind. I know we will have a great car. They are going to enjoy the race and leave this place with a great taste in their mouths. We definitely gave good drama. We told them the 500 is not just May 27th, qualifying and Bump Day usually have its own drama. They definitely felt it and will sleep well like I will tonight!”
NEXT UP: Final qualifying will take place tomorrow. Practice will take place from 12-2 and qualifying will take place from 12:45-2:45 p.m. ET. ABC will broadcast the action from 4-6 PM ET.
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