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Jul 13, 2013 - 06:27 AM
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2013 Toronto: Rahal Letterman Lanigan IndyCar Qualifying Recap
Posted by: newsla on Jul 13, 2013 - 06:23 AM
IndyCar Weekend Team Reports
2013 Toronto: Rahal Letterman Lanigan IndyCar Qualifying Recap


POLE: Dario Franchitti 596756 / 105.872 mph (set in Round 3)
5th: James Jakes 1:00.1430 / 105.050 mph (set in Round 3; will serve a 10-grid penalty for an unapproved engine change)
18th: Graham Rahal 1:00.6868 / 104.108 mph (set in Round 1, Group 2)

 

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GRAHAM RAHAL, No. 15 Midas / Big O Tires Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “I’m very disappointed in our qualifying effort. Unfortunately we tried to do the (lap) time too late on the tires. The two laps before that should have been better. One was average and the next one, Simona came out of the pits in front of me and I caught her in the middle of Turn 1 so I lost some time there. I just threw a lap in, and it was a solid lap but unfortunately we missed it by one-tenth and a half (of a second) and that’s all it takes now. It’s frustrating to start in the back; that’s kind of where we’ve been all year and there’s no reason for it. We’re going to just keep working. James typically likes a loose car compared to me and I’m a little bit more loose than he is right now so I’m hanging on a bit. We’re going to have to make some changes for tomorrow and try to improve it. I think the standing start is going to be really difficult. It will be interesting to see what happens. Starting in the back, we’re going to be in the midst of all the mess it if something happens.”

· FAST FACTS: Will be his sixth Indy car race here and seventh overall. Started from pole in the 2006 Atlantic race but was hit by Raphael Matos on the first lap. Repaired the damaged suspension and returned to the track a few laps down, set the fastest race lap but later retired in 15th place. Started 15th in the 2007 Champ Car race as a rookie for NHR but an evasive move to avoid a pile up on Lap 1 led to him hitting the wall and a subsequent stop for a new front wing. Had to pit again for another front wing later in the race after running as high as second. Retired in 11th place after he made contact for the third time due to a broken steering rack. There was not a race in Toronto in 2008. In 2009, he started third but was hit by second place starter Will Power, who squeezed him to the wall on the opening lap before T1. A forced stop to replace his front wing dropped him to the back but he charged through the field into seventh place. He held his position behind Patrick but flat-spotted his tires which led to losing three positions before his next stop. He tried to pass the lapped car of Ed Carpenter on the inside on a right-handed turn but the contact ended his race in 20th place after 57/85 laps… In 2010, he started 14th with NHR and earned his best finish since his 2008 win in St. Pete of fifth place… He competed for Service Central Chip Ganassi Racing in 2011-2012. In 2011 he qualified fifth, led 23 laps and finished 13th… In 2012, he qualified 12th, started 10th after penalties were served to two competitors ahead on the grid and was sixth when contact in Turn 1 forced him to retire from the race in 23rd… His best finish this season is second place in Long Beach and best start is 11th also in Long Beach… Is ranked 16th in series standings with 194 points.

JAMES JAKES, No. 16 Acorn Stairlifts Dallara/Honda/Firestone: "They have made a few surface changes here and it’s difficult. Into Turn 1 the car is quite a handful but you’ve just got to get on with it and do it (set a fast time) because there are 24 other guys out there pushing for the maximum. Hopefully we can still make some improvements; we’ve got to improve the car a little bit. It was a great job by the team. We did improve the car from the morning practice session and we just have to make sure we do the same again. With the 10-grid penalty for the race, we just needed to earn as high of a qualifying spot as possible and I think we did today. The car wasn’t perfect but we managed to achieve the maximum so we’ll start 15th, be patient and see what happens. I’m looking forward to tomorrows qualifying obviously, without the penalty. And obviously we have the standing start and I’m looking forward to that. Hopefully we can gain a few on the start and get back up to the top five"

· FAST FACTS: Will be his third event here and first with RLL. He brushed the wall in Round 1 of qualifying and damaged his left rear suspension but set the fifth fastest time to progress to Round 2. The team was able to repair the damage in time for Round 2 where he set the sixth fastest lap time and progressed to Round 3 and set the fifth fastest lap time. Earned his best series start and finish of 2nd at the previous double-header races on the streets of Detroit (June 2). He qualified 19th here in 2012, started 24th due to a penalty for an unapproved engine change and earned his best finish at the time of eighth place. In 2011, he qualified 23rd and finished 18th. Both events were with Dale Coyne Racing… His best series start to date is 2nd at Dual 2 in Detroit and best finish is 2nd also at Dual 2 in Detroit… Is ranked 17th in series standings with 190 points.

1 POLE, 5 PODIUMS FOR RAHAL LETTERMAN LANIGAN RACING AT TORONTO… It is the 14th Indy car race for the team in Toronto and second since 2003. The team also competed in the Atlantic Series races here in 2003 and 2004. The team earned a total of four second place finishes (Rahal 1992, 1994, 1995; Michel Jourdain Jr. 2003) and best start was pole in 1992 by Bobby Rahal. Prior to the 2013 event, the team prepared a total of 22 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) and Takuma Sato (2012). The team also prepared three Toyota Atlantic entries (Danica Patrick 2003-2004; Chris Festa 2004). The team has earned FIVE podiums (3rd – Rahal 1996), 9 top-five’s and 17 top-10 finishes at the track.

NEXT UP: Qualifying for Race 2 will take place tomorrow morning from 10:35-11:05 a.m. ET. The first of two 85-lap Honda Indy Toronto “Two in T.O’s” will take the Green Flag at 3:33 p.m. ET Saturday and be televised live on NBC Sports Network at 3:00.

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