Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
Grand Prix of Sonoma – Sonoma Raceway
Verizon IndyCar Series
QUALIFYING NOTES/QUOTES – Saturday, September 15, 2018
RAHAL AND SATO QUALIFIED 9TH AND 12TH FOR THE INDYCAR GRAND PRIX OF SONOMA SEASON FINALE
1) Ryan Hunter-Reay 1:17.6277 / 110.605 mph (Group 2, Round 3)
9) Graham Rahal 1:17.9043 / 110.212 mph (Group 1, Round 2)
12) Takuma Sato 1:17.9919 / 110.088 mph (Group 1, Round 2)
GRAHAM RAHAL, No. 15 Total Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “I think we found some good improvements between Rounds 1 and 2 that helped the Total Honda. We still have a little bit of work to do. Tomorrow is going to be an interesting day. Without a morning warm-up I think there will be a lot of drivers and teams scratching their heads wondering what to do. We certainly didn’t have three-plus-tenths (of a second) to advance (to Round 3) but to be ninth was decent. I expect both tires (alternate and primary) to fall off a lot so we’ll see how it goes in the race. I don’t know which one will be preferred. Actually I thought the reds were going to be but then in qualifying, from lap to lap, you can feel the rear tire degradation a little bit whereas the blacks (primary) don’t seem as bad.”
TAKUMA SATO, No. 30 Mi-Jack / Panasonic Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “Qualifying provided a mixture of feelings. In Round 1 the car reacted how we expected but when we put the red tires on, the car was not quite there. In Round 2 we struggled with the balance. It was very close but I just didn’t get good grip out of the tire. I wish we had a higher starting position but I think tomorrow we will be strong for the race and hope we can gain back some positions.”
RAHAL LETTERMAN LANIGAN RACING AT SONOMA … The 2018 Grand Prix of Sonoma race will mark the 11th Indy car event for RLL here. The highest start for the team here is fifth by Graham Rahal in 2016 and the highest finish is second place by Buddy Rice in 2005 and Graham Rahal in 2016. Prior to the 2018 event, the team prepared a total of 17 Indy car entries for drivers Buddy Rice (2005-2006), Vitor Meira (2005), Danica Patrick (2005-2006), Jeff Simmons (2006), Scott Sharp (2007), Ryan Hunter-Reay (2007-2008), Takuma Sato (2012), James Jakes (2013), Zach Claman De Melo (2017) and Graham Rahal (2013-2017). The team has earned two podiums (2nd – Rice 2005, Rahal 2015), two top-five’s and six top-10 finishes at the track.
NEXT UP: The INDYCAR Grand Prix of Sonoma will be televised live on NBCSN beginning at 6:30 p.m. ET Sunday, September 16.
PHOTO AND VIDEO AVAILABLE: Media members who register on the IndyCar Series media site have access to photography as well as video. Register for access to photos at: /www.indycarmedia.com/pages/ApplyforAccess