REV Group Grand Prix at Road America
Round 9 of 16 in the 2021 NTT INDYCAR SERIES
DATE: June 18-20, 2021
PRACTICE BROADCAST: Live on Peacock Premium on Friday from 5:15 – 6 p.m. ET and on Saturday from 11:05 – 11:50 a.m. and 5:30 – 6 p.m. ET. Also live on the INDYCAR Radio Network (IRN) and www.indycar.com (timing & scoring + live analysis).
QUALIFYING BROADCAST: Live on Peacock Premium, the IRN and www.indycar.com (timing & scoring + live analysis) from 2:30 – 3:45 p.m. ET Saturday. Tape delayed on NBCSN from 12-1:30 a.m. ET on Sunday.
RACE BROADCAST: Live on NBCSN Sunday, June 20 from 12:00 – 2:45 p.m. ET. And also on Peacock Premium, IRN, Sirius 211 and XM 205
TRACK LAYOUT: 4.048-mile, 14-turn permanent road course
RACE LENGTH: 55 laps / 222.6 miles
2020 WINNER(S): Scott Dixon (Race 1) and Felix Rosenqvist (Race 2)
2020 POLESITTER(S): Josef Newgarden (1:45.5191 / 136.946 mph; R1), Pato O’Ward (1:44.8971 / 137.758 mph; R2)
RAHAL’S BEST ROAD AMERICA START / FINISH: 4th in 2007 (NHLR) and 2020 (RLL; Race 1) / 3rd in 2007 & 2016; will be his 8th Indy car race here
RAHAL’S HIGHEST SERIES START / FINISH: 3 poles – Pole at St. Pete (street) 2009, Kansas (oval) 2009, Detroit Race 1 (street) 2017 / 6 wins – 1st in St. Pete in 2008, Fontana & Mid-Ohio 2015, Texas 2016, Detroit Race 1 & Race 2 2017
SATO’S BEST ROAD AMERICA START / FINISH: 6th in 2019 / 4th in 2018 – both with RLL; will be 7th race here
SATO’S HIGHEST SERIES START / FINISH: 10 Poles – Iowa (oval) 2011, Edmonton (street) 2011, Houston Race 1 (street) 2013, St. Pete (street) 2014, Detroit Dual 2 (street) 2014, Detroit Dual 2 2017, Pocono (oval) 2017, Barber (road) 2019, Texas (oval) 2019, St. Louis (oval; Race 2) 2020 / 6 Wins – Long Beach (2013), Indianapolis 500 (2017), Portland (2018), Barber (2019), St. Louis (2019), Indianapolis 500 (2020)
RLL’S BEST START / FINISH AT ROAD AMERICA: 1st – Kenny Brack (2001) / 2nd – Bobby Rahal (1996); 19 races here
NEWS & NOTES:
RAHAL LETTERMAN LANIGAN RACING AT ROAD AMERICA
The 2020 REV Group Grand Prix at Road America doubleheaders will mark the 19 time for Rahal Letterman Lanigan (RLL) Racing to compete in an Indy car race here. The team competed in CART and Champ Car-sanctioned races here from 1992-2003 and again since 2016 with a best starting position of pole by Kenny Brack in 2001 and best finish of second place by Bobby Rahal in 1996. The team has earned a total of five podium finishes here (2nd – B. Rahal 1996; 3rd – B. Rahal 1992-1993, Kenny Brack 2000, Graham Rahal 2016).
Prior to 2021, the team prepared a total of 32 Indy car entries for drivers such as Bobby Rahal (1992-1998), Mike Groff (1993-94), Raul Boesel (1995), Bryan Herta (1996-99), Max Papis (1999-2001), Kenny Brack (2000-01), Jimmy Vasser (2002), Michel Jourdain (2002-2003), Graham Rahal (2016-2020; two races in ‘20) and Takuma Sato (2018-2020; two races in ‘20). The team will enter the No. 15 Hy-Vee entry for Graham Rahal and the No. 30 Panasonic / Mi-Jack entry for Takuma Sato to bring that total to 34 in 2020. The team has also competed in ALMS and IMSA-sanctioned races here under the name BMW Team RLL since 2009 and has three wins (2009, 2010, 2012), three poles (2009, 2011, 2014) and a total of nine podium finishes here.
RAHAL AIMING TO BETTER STRING OF TOP-FIVE FINISHES
The REV Group Grand Prix at Road America will be Graham Rahal’s eighth Champ or Indy car race here and 12th overall. In seven Champ or Indy car races here, he has two third place finishes (2007, 2016), a fourth place (2019), sixth (2018) and eighth (2017). Last year he matched his best start of fourth place for Race 1 but….
In Race 2…..
TAKUMA LOOKS FORWARD TO CARRYING OVER THE COMPETITIVENESS AT ROAD AMERICA
The 2020 REV Group Grand Prix will be Takuma Sato’s fifth and sixth races at the four-mile, 14-turn course. His best start and finish here came with RLL in 2018 of seventh and fourth, respectively. Last year, he started sixth and passed Newgarden on the start for fifth. Newgarden regained the spot on the next lap and seventh place Hinchliffe pulled alongside and pushed him off track in Turn 3 on Lap 3. When he got back on track, he had dropped to 12th place. He moved up to ninth by Lap 8 of 55 and made his first stop on Lap 12. He was back in 12th place by Lap 18 and held the position until his second stop on Lap 25. He ran in 12th place until his final stop on Lap 40. He returned to the track in 12th place and was able to pass Bourdais for 11th on Lap 50 and closed one second per lap on Hunter-Reay before he passed him on the final lap for a 10th place finish. In 2017, he started 20th and finished 19th with Andretti Autosport and in 2016 with A.J. Foyt Racing, he started 15th and jumped up to eighth early in the race before an electrical issue limited his finish to 17th place. Despite challenges with his race car in both qualifying at last Saturday’s race on the IMS road course, he bounced back from last place to a solid top-10 finish and is looking forward to being able to experience the potential of a strong road course setup for Road America.
“I think we are moving in a good direction with our road course setup. We haven’t done enough testing with it but we proved this road course setup had good potential at IMS. I think we are looking strong. Two road course races will be tough. I can’t imagine doing practice, qualifying and a race in one day and then the next day have qualifying and a race. I think last weekend was good training. It was a hot day and the Aeroscreen made it hotter but Road America has a longer straight so hopefully that will help us.”
GRAHAM AND TAKUMA ON THE AEROSCREEN ON A ROAD COURSE
“The Aeroscreen is hot; it’s a challenge,” said Rahal. “For me physically, I actually felt okay except my neck was getting very tired. But as far as my heart rate, I burned some serious calories in the race at IMS, but I actually felt good. Road America is a little easier of a track, physically, than IMS is so we’ll be alright.”
“It was hot during the race at IMS,” added Sato. “The cooling was technically working well, but the problem was that the debris and marbles were coming through the duct and broke into the helmet hose and blocked flow so we need to work on that.”
POINT STANDINGS AFTER 2 OF 14 RACES
Heading into Round 3 and 4 of 14 at the REV Group Grand Prix, Rahal has a total of 54 points and is ranked fifth overall. He trails leader Scott Dixon by 50 (104) and second place Simon Pagenaud by 21 (75). Takuma Sato is 21st with 23.
“This is an important time. There are a lot of points to be had over the next two weeks. We’ve been pretty strong at Road America, we’ve been pretty strong at Iowa in the past so its definitely a good string for our team and we’re looking forward to it.”