RAHAL - Pole Day Notes
Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
102nd Running of the Indianapolis 500
Verizon IndyCar Series
QUALIFYING DAY 2 NOTES/QUOTES – May 20, 2018
THE FIELD IS SET FOR THE 102ND RUNNING OF THE INDY 500; SATO 16TH, SERVIA 26TH AND RAHAL 30TH
1st: Ed Carpenter 4-lap avg. speed of 229.618 mph (L1: 230.088, L2: 229.808, L3: 229.519, L4: 229.061)
16th: Takuma Sato 4-lap avg. speed of 226.557 mph (L1: 226.856, L2: 226.637, L3: 226.468, L4: 226.268)
26th: Graham Rahal 4-lap avg. speed of 225.327 mph (L1: 225.676, L2: 225.467, L3: 225.191, L4: 224.975)
30th: Oriol Servia 4-lap avg. speed of 225.699 mph (L1: 226.093, L2: 225.830, L3: 225.531, L4: 225.344)
GRAHAM RAHAL, No. 15 United Rentals Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “I’m happy to be in the race. From the word go on Tuesday we struggled with pace. Everyone on this United Rentals team has worked as hard as they possibly could. I ran the exact same setup as Takuma but the car is a mile and a half an hour slower. It makes no sense but that is the fact. At the end of this, what we can take away is that it’s been a great team-building exercise. All three teams – the 15, 30 and 64 guys – had their backs up against the wall and we all made it in. We will practice tomorrow and focus on the race!”
- FAST FACTS: Will be his 11th 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 six of his nine previous races here. Detailed Indy 500 information available upon request. Has SIX IndyCar Series wins (2008 – St. Pete street course; 2015 – Fontana Super Speedway, Mid-Ohio road course; 2016 – Texas Super Speedway; 2017 Detroit Race 1, Detroit Race 2) and THREE poles (2009 – St. Pete street course, Kansas oval; 2017 – Detroit Race 1 street) and his highest series season-ending standing is fourth place in 2015... He dropped from being tied for third in the standings to sixth with 142 points, only 10 out of third place.
TAKUMA SATO, No. 30 Mi-Jack / Panasonic Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “We found some consistency. We are trying to find the ultimate speed and are still working on that but we found some consistency. The engineering group is really working hard. The three of us had kind of a difficult day yesterday but at least we were happy and at least we got a consistent run out of it today. We definitely learned a lot and made a step forward. Now we have a completely different scenario concentrating on the race car. We have some time to work on the race car between Monday and Carb Day. In traffic the car has to be really strong and consistency is important too. If it is a hot race, at the end of the race everyone will struggle with tire degradation. I think that’s the one we really need to work on.”
- FAST FACTS: Reigning winner of the 2017 Indy 500. The 2018 race will be his ninth Indy 500 and second with RLL. In 2012 with RLL, he was alongside eventual winner Franchitti in Turn 1 on the final lap but his race ended due to contact after he was squeezed down on the apron and lost control of his race car. Prior to his 2017 win with Andretti from his best start of fourth place, his highest finish was 13th in 2013 and 2015 – both with A.J. Foyt Racing... Has TWO IndyCar Series wins (2013 – Long Beach street course, 2017 – Indy 500 oval) and SEVEN poles (2011 Iowa oval, Edmonton street; 2013 Houston Race 1 street; 2014 St. Pete street, Detroit Race 2 street; 2017 Detroit Race 2, Pocono oval). He is 13th in series point standings with 90 points.
ORIOL SERVIA, No. 64 Scuderia Corsa / Manitowoc Dallara/Honda/Firestone, entered by Scuderia Corsa with RLL: “We just tried to get a good base line today, nothing crazy, to get a solid four laps. I feel we are in a good place to regain confidence from yesterday. Now we just need to focus on the race. We have a good place to go back to; Thursday we had a good car in traffic. Obviously we wanted to start way more forward than where we are but I have come from the back many times in this race. It just makes your life easier when you start from the front. But I guess I am going to have to work a little hard on May 27th but that is what we are here for!”
- FAST FACTS: The 2018 Indy 500 will be Servia’s 10th in the famed race and fifth 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… A native of Pals, Spain, Servia has made 202 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.
NEXT UP: Practice will take place tomorrow from 12:30-4:00 PM ET and Carb Day will be Friday, May 25.
Tom has been a contributor to RIS since 1992. He was invited to join the staff as a full-time reporter/editor in 1995, and has covered IndyCar, Formula 1, NASCAR, Grand-Am, ALMS and the 24 Hours of Le Mans. In addition to his RIS work, Tom has been a contributor for General Motors, Nissan, Toyota and the ACO.