Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
Firestone Grand Prix of Monterey
NTT INDYCAR SERIES
QUALIFYING NOTES/QUOTES – September 18, 2021
ASKEW MATCHED HIS BEST INDYCAR START OF FIFTH PLACE FOR THE FIRESTONE GRAND PRIX OF MONTEREY; RAHAL AND SATO WILL START 12TH AND 23RD
1) Colton Herta 1:10.7994 / 113.798 mph
5) Oliver Askew 1:11.8937 / 112.065 mph
12) Graham Rahal 1:12.5932 / 110.986 mph
23) Takuma Sato 1:12.1443 / 111.676 mph
GRAHAM RAHAL, No. 15 United Rentals Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “Qualifying is in the books here in Laguna Seca. I clearly spun in Group 2 and we were actually on pace to advance without a problem. That’s on me you know, I was just pushing hard and it just tracked out up Turn 6 and the car bottomed on the curb, and that was it. We just lost control. Unfortunately, we just have to focus on tomorrow. We’re going to start 12th. It was nice to advance to Q2, we were in a pretty stacked first group so to be able to get through was a great sign. We’ve got to keep our heads down and focus on what we’ve got to do tomorrow. It’s going to be a tough day. Tire deg (degradation) is going to be a major issue and hopefully we can sneak up there into the top five.”
TAKUMA SATO, No. 30 Panasonic / Mi-Jack Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “Qualifying didn’t go well at all, it was tough. We had a little difficulty in practice and weren’t really able to carry on the performance in qualifying. We predicted the direction we wanted and that was opposite of what it has been in qualifying. It was a pity but at least the teammates made a pretty good qualifying so we can share some things and figure out what we can do tomorrow. But today we had a really tough day.”
OLIVER ASKEW, No. 45 Hy-Vee Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “Fantastic qualifying here today for the Hy-Vee No. 45 guys from Rahal Letterman Lanigan. I felt really good in the car and the car complimented me as well and when you get it right around here it feels really good, when you get it wrong not as much. Today we got it right. It was a really enjoyable session and I’m looking forward to starting in the top-five tomorrow. Hopefully we have a strong run. I’m very happy with that run and obviously really happy for Hy-Vee No. 45 Honda guys and everyone at Rahal Letterman Lanigan. This is exactly what we needed – a good starting spot for tomorrow here is extremely important because, as we know, it is difficult to pass.”
RAHAL LETTERMAN LANIGAN RACING AT LAGUNA SECA … Will mark the 14th Indy car event for RLL at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca and second since 12 consecutive races here from 1992-2003. The team has also competed in ALMS and IMSA races here from 2009-2020 as BMW Team RLL and has earned three wins, three poles and a total of 10 podium finishes to date – including pole and a second-place finish in 2019. The Indy car team has earned three wins, three poles and a total of six podiums (1st – Herta 1998-1999; Papis 2001; 2nd – Herta 1996; 3rd: B. Rahal 1992, Papis 1999) as well as three straight pole positions (Herta 1997-1999). Prior to the 2021 event, the team prepared a total of 23 Indy car entries for drivers Bobby Rahal (1992-98), Mike Groff (1994), Raul Boesel (1995), Bryan Herta (1996-99), Max Papis (1999-2001), Jimmy Vasser (2002), Michel Jourdain Jr. (2002-03), Graham Rahal (2019) and Takuma Sato (2019).
NEXT UP: Warm up will take place tomorrow from 9:00-9:30 AM PT and the 85 laps Firestone Grand Prix of Monterey will be televised live on NBC beginning at 3 PM ET Sunday, September 19.