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Apr 12, 2014 - 06:22 AM
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2014 Long Beach: Rahal Letterman Lanigan IndyCar Practice Recap
Posted by: newsla on Apr 12, 2014 - 06:22 AM
IndyCar Weekend Team Reports
2014 Long Beach: Rahal Letterman Lanigan IndyCar Practice Recap


1) Simon Pagenaud 1:09.1488 / 102.457 mph
18) Oriol Servia 1:09.9926 / 101.222 mph
21) Graham Rahal 1:10.2469 / 100.856 mph

 

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GRAHAM RAHAL, No. 15 National Guard Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “It was a frustrating day. The National Guard team worked really hard. We’re struggling so much with grip. I feel like I just cannot attack the car; I’m struggling to hang on. We have been working on a lot of stuff. I thought this would be a really good weekend for us, I still feel like it can be but we’re coming from the back now. There is a lot to catch up on.”

FAST FACTS: Will be his EIGHTH Champ or Indy car race here, ninth overall, and second for his father’s team. In 2013, he finished second after starting 11th. In 2012, he qualified 15th for SCCGR, started 8th due to penalties to Chevy-powered teams, ran as high as fourth but finished 24th due to contact with Marco Andretti. In 2011, he qualified 16th for SCCGR and finished 13th. In 2010 he started and finished 22nd for Sarah Fisher Racing after contact. In 2009, he started seventh and finished 12th for NHLR. In 2008 he started ninth and had a podium in sight when he was alongside third place but contact during this pass led to a 13th place finish. Started fifth in 2007 but the pit strategy of others and slow fuel flow related to teething problems for the all-new Panoz Champ Car on two stops limited his finish to eighth place. In the 2006 Champ Car Atlantic Series race here he started seventh and finished fifth.

ORIOL SERVIA, No. 16 Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “The day was difficult to define. We are working on the car. We’re still not really comfortable yet. Both Graham and I have had exactly the same comments from both sessions so that will definitely help our engineers go in one direction that we both feel we need to go. The other good thing is that although we aren’t happy, we’re still not that far off on the lap time, especially on old tires. We put new tires on at the end of the session but didn’t get a lap in. We’re one-half of a second off (the fastest time) which I think it pretty good because I felt I was more than that. I think we have gains to come our way if we can find a couple of good things with the car setup. I’m happy to knock the rust off. It’s good to come to Long Beach, a place I have driven on many times. At least I know the track.”

FAST FACTS: Will be his 13th race here and first with RLL at this track. His best finish is second in 2007 with Forsythe and best start is fourth in 2011 with Newman/Haas Racing… In 12 events, he has earned one podium (2nd in 2007), one top-five and five top-10 finishes. He retired with mechanical failure four times and once after contact… Servia, 39, a native of Pals, Spain, has made 191 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 100 top-10 finishes. He competed for the team in the 2009 Indianapolis 500 and was in ninth place halfway through the race when a mechanical failure led to his retirement in 26th place.

RLL IN LONG BEACH… 3 POLES, 6 PODIUMS IN 14 INDY CAR RACES FOR RLL AT LONG BEACH: This will mark the third time for RLL to compete in the Indy car race at Long Beach since 2003 when Michel Jourdain, Jr. won pole, led a race high 48 laps and was in the lead when his car stuck in gear on his final stop with seven laps to go and ultimately retired in 15th place. In their 14 previous Indy car races in Long Beach, the team entered 24 cars for drivers such as Bobby Rahal (1992-1998), Mike Groff (1994), Raul Boesel (1995), Bryan Herta (1996-1999), Max Papis (1999-2001), Kenny Brack (2000-2001), Jimmy Vasser (2002), Jourdain (2002-2003), Takuma Sato (2012), Graham Rahal (2013) and James Jakes (2013). In total, the team 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 (2nd - Rahal 1992-1993, Vasser 2002, G. Rahal 2013; 3rd - Herta 1998-1999).

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