RLLR - PRACTICE NOTES/QUOTES – May 18, 2017
Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
101st Running of the Indianapolis 500 Presented by PennGrade
Verizon IndyCar Series
PRACTICE NOTES/QUOTES – May 18, 2017
RAHAL AND SERVIA HAPPY WITH PROGRESS ON DAY 4 OF PRACTICE FOR THE INDY 500
1) Jay Howard 226.744 mph 86 laps
8) Oriol Servia 224.837 mph 74 laps (9th on no tow report)
17) Graham Rahal 224.351 mph 92 laps (5th on no tow report)
GRAHAM RAHAL, No. 15 Steak ‘n Shake Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “We worked on race trim and qualifying sims today. I’m pretty pleased with the qual sims. I would have liked to get my last lap (of four) more consistent because the other three were all within a couple hundredths (of a second) so I would have liked to get that final one a little bit better but overall I feel like we made some good gains. The no tow laps are important going into qualifying this weekend. We didn’t trim out as much as some of those guys and I feel like the Steak ‘n Shake car has got some speed which is definitely nice. Then we worked on some race stuff at the end and I feel pretty comfortable. We have to work on a couple of little things but I feel pretty competitive. Qualifying at Indy is the most nerve racking thing you do all year, for sure.”
FAST FACTS: Will be his 10th Indy 500. His best qualifying position in the Indy 500 is fourth in 2009 with Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing and best finish is third with Service Central Chip Ganassi Racing in 2011 after he led six laps. He ran in the top-five in five of his eight previous races here. In 2008, with Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing, he was the highest Indy 500 starter of the Champ Car transitioning teams with his 13th place qualifying effort but made contact on L36 after driving high to avoid the slower car of Lloyd and retired in 33rd place. He qualified fourth for NHLR in the 2009 Indy 500 but made contact on L56 while fifth and retired in 31st. In 2010, he competed for his father’s team – RLL – for the first time in an Indy car. He qualified seventh and ran as high as second but a blocking penalty on L188/200 dropped him from third to a 12th place finish. He qualified 29th with Service Central Chip Ganassi Racing in 2011 and earned his best finish at Indy to date of third place after he led six laps. In 2012, he qualified 12th, ran as high as third and finished 13th for SCCGR. In 2013, he qualified 26th and pitted from ninth place for his second to last stop and his outside rear tire changer had a mechanical problem and Rahal returned to the track in 21st place. He was in 17th with eight laps to go and lost control of his car in Turn 2 and made contact with the wall. In 2014, he started 20th but finished 33rd due to an electrical problem that kept shutting his engine off. In 2015, he drove to a fifth place finish after starting 17th… Started 26th for the 2016 race and ran 10th in the final stage despite many challenges before a Lap 190/200 stop for a splash of fuel was followed by a 14th place finish in a race in a race where the outcome was dictated by fuel strategy. Rahal lost his left rear winglet and 100 lbs. of downforce after his Lap 96/200 pit stop, had to make an extra stop for a splash of fuel in a closed pit before it opened and avoid two near misses when Montoya and Aleshin crashed in separate incidents immediately in front of Rahal. He also took a hit to the right rear of the car by Servia. Despite those incidents, he would have been in a decent position if he had been able to stretch his fuel mileage until the checkered flag.
ORIOL SERVIA, No. 16 Manitowoc Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “We just focused on ourselves most of the day, just trying to improve the car little by little on my own. There were a couple of areas where we were not too happy which is why we kept pounding laps and we ended up a little happier at the end which is why we decided to do a long run at the end with a group. It was the best long run I ever had as a first long run. Usually you have to work on it and it was pretty good to start. It was encouraging to have another good day. Today we did a lot more laps and it was interesting. There is always that point where there is a bit of a struggle where you are trying to find a solution and you can’t which is part of the work you go through. We kept digging and finally we found something that worked which is what it takes and it feels good to end the day this way.”
FAST FACTS: Will be his 200th Indy car start… The 2017 Indy 500 will be Servia’s ninth in the famed race and fourth with RLL. His best finish overall is fourth in 2012 with Dreyer & Reinbold and best start is third in 2011 with Newman/Haas Racing. In the 2009 Indianapolis 500 with RLL, Servia was in ninth place halfway through the race when a mechanical failure led to his retirement in 26th place. In 2014, he competed for the team in Long Beach, at Barber Motorsports Park and two events at Indianapolis Motor Speedway where he led seven laps in the road course race but finished 12th, qualified 18th for the Indy 500 and finished 11th. In 2015, Servia retired in 29th place from the Indy 500 with RLL after Ed Carpenter attempted an inside pass while Servia was 15th and took both drivers out of the race after 112 of 200 laps… He will compete for RLL in the Indy 500 and doubleheaders in Detroit… A native of Pals, Spain, Servia has made 199 starts in CART, Champ Car and the IndyCar Series since his rookie season in 2000. His Indy car highlights include one win (Montreal 2005) and one pole (Surfers Paradise, Australia 2005) as well as a total of 19 top-three, 51 top-five and 101 top-10 finishes.