Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach
Round 16 of 16 in the NTT INDYCAR SERIES
QUALIFYING NOTES/QUOTES – Saturday, September 25, 2021
SATO, RAHAL AND ASKEW TO START 16TH, 19TH AND 28TH IN THE ACURA GRAND PRIX OF LONG BEACH SEASON FINALE
1) Josef Newgarden 1:08.2241 / 103.846 mph (Group 1, Round 3)
16) Takuma Sato 1:09.3814 / 102.114 mph (Group 2, Round 1)
19) Graham Rahal 1:09.3998 / 102.087 mph (Group 1, Round 1)
28) Oliver Askew 1:10.0178 / 101.186 mph (Group 2, Round 1)
GRAHAM RAHAL, No. 15 Total Quartz Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “We actually ended up with the fastest lap time of our teammates but unfortunately in Group 1 it didn’t count. As Harvey actually crashed behind me, but when he crashed behind me they called the red, so I didn’t get to complete the lap. So unfortunately, we’re going to start 19th, which is not very good at all. We’ve struggled all weekend, it’s been no secret. What surprised me was to see Takuma and Oliver not be able to go quicker. I thought that they would have a good chance to improve based on the information that we relayed. We’re going to work hard to get the Total Quartz machine to the front.”
TAKUMA SATO, No. 30 Panasonic / Shield Cleansers Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “In qualifying we had more temperature. It was nice and sunny, a great atmosphere but unfortunately it somewhat affected our balance and grip level so we struggled in the car. It started fighting and then we just couldn’t get great speed. But I think we have good pace, there’s some indication of good pace on the longer runs as well as with primary tires with my Q1 speed. Hopefully tomorrow’s warmup we will work hard to get the car speed up and hopefully we have a competitive day tomorrow.”
OLIVER ASKEW, No. 45 Hy-Vee Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “It was not the greatest qualifying for us on the No. 45 Hy-Vee car. It was very difficult out there. We missed the setup a little bit and unfortunately didn’t advance into the fast 12. Then a miscommunication caused us to get a penalty for impeding another car so we just need to put it behind us now and move on to tomorrow.”
3 POLES, 6 PODIUMS FOR RLL IN 20 INDY CAR RACES AT LONG BEACH: This marks the 21st 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.
NEXT UP: The race warm-up will take place Sunday morning from 9:00-9:35 a.m. PDT and the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach will be televised live on NBC Sports beginning at 3:00 p.m. ET.