Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach
Round 4 of 17 in the 2019 NTT IndyCar Series
QUALIFYING NOTES/QUOTES – Saturday, April 13, 2019
RAHAL AND SATO QUALIFIED SIXTH AND EIGHTH FOR THE ACURA GRAND PRIX OF LONG BEACH
1) Alexander Rossi 1:06.4811 / 106.569 mph (Group 2, Round 3)
6) Graham Rahal 1:07.3052 / 105.264 mph (Group 1, Round 3)
8) Takuma Sato 1:07.2626 / 105.330 mph (Group 1, Round 2)
GRAHAM RAHAL, No. 15 TOTAL Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “We were lucky to sneak into the top six. We’re having to work too hard to get the pace. The rear of the car is just not good enough. We felt that all weekend. In the morning’s when the track grip is a little higher, we can get away with it but when it gets hot we struggle, We’ve got to figure that out. We’re going to push hard to get the TOTAL machine a win. Barber was a huge step forward for us but all year I have felt like we were close to getting into the Fast Six consistently.”
TAKUMA SATO, No. 30 Mi-Jack / Panasonic Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “I don’t think we optimized the reds (alternate Firestone tires). In Q1 (Round 1), due to the red flag, I didn’t get a taste of them to know how they were going to be. Yesterday we struggled so this morning we were chasing around the lap setting. The first time we used this setup was in qualifying. We seemed to be okay on the black tire but we just needed to optimize the red tire a bit more. (On whether he can win from eighth:) Everything is possible, nothing is impossible. I would love to be on the podium if I can. It is extremely tight and extremely competitive which is good for the sport but from the competitors point of view, it is tough. ”
3 POLES, 6 PODIUMS FOR RLL IN 19 INDY CAR RACES AT LONG BEACH: This marks the 20th time for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing (RLL) to compete in the main event. In total, the team has 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 here (2nd – Rahal 1992-1993, Vasser 2002 & G. Rahal 2013; 3rd – Herta 1998-1999). 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 GTLM class of the ALMS with BMW Team RLL and has finished on the podium each year but 2016-2018 although they started from pole in 2016 and led in 2017 and 2018 before issues. Despite not finishing on the podium the past three years, Long Beach is the most successful venue for the team on the current IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship schedule. The team has won the race three times (2011, 2013 and 2015), has eight podium finishes and started from pole five out of 10 years.
NEXT UP: Warmup will take place Sunday morning from 9:00-9:30 a.m. PDT. The Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach will be televised live on NBCSN beginning at 4:00 p.m. ET Sunday, April 14.