Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing had a strong Big Machine Spiked Coolers Grand Prix of Indianapolis on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course on Saturday with Graham Rahal coming home in seventh place having started the race from 16th place and came home in seventh place.
Takuma Sato started the race from 15th place and came home in 10th place while Christian Lungaard started his first NTT IndyCar Series race from fourth place and he came home in 12th place and speaking following the race he commented saying:
This weekend has been amazing. I’ve enjoyed every second of it. Qualifying itself, to be in the top-five out of 28 cars wasn’t expected. And I think it did put us in a good position for the race. Coming out leading the race at some point, it was amazing, but it was all about just not doing a mistake and having a clean race and get through it. I rather wanted to get to do 85 laps than just 60 or so on. The mileage was important to get the experience of the full race. We got through it, and it was tough. It was a long two hours. I think tire management is probably where I suffered the most, knowing how much I can push and so on. But it’s been a hell of an experience. I guess it went fine, we were probably more on the safe side than the aggressive side, the target was to get through it and not make any mistakes and I think we survived that. It was tough racing; I wasn’t expecting a caution at the end. I was quite low on Push to Pass at that point, and I was a bit lucky with Bourdais because he had 115 seconds or something like that with 10 laps to go so, I knew he would have got me anyway. I’m happy with P12, I got the experience. I’ll go home well rested and with a good experience from America.
Graham Rahal commented saying:
We finished seventh today which was a solid result. I’m happy with that. Frankly, the strategy worked well. The first stint, we were able to get by a handful of guys. The second stint we pushed hard and the third stint we went to the blacks (primary Firestone tires) which did hurt us a little bit because most guys had already completed their stint on blacks, but it looks like we were actually the fastest car on blacks which was a good thing because we didn’t loose that much and were able to challenge on the last stint and get a couple of places. Just the way that it worked fundamentally being a little more trimmed out today to try to go quick down the straights did hurt us a little bit when we were in very close traffic but overall, the One Cure team did an amazing job today. I’m super proud of our guys. We’d like to be winning races, but it was a good result, and we raised more money for United Rentals and Turns for Troops to help change some veterans’ lives. Now its time to go home and relax a little this evening.
“I haven’t eaten much today – but I actually feel really fresh surprisingly (after asked about food poisoning). It was toasty a little bit. My heel either melted to the tub or something was sticking it to the tub which was kind of strange. Overall, it’s another day where we passed a lot of cars which was good. I finished seventh, but I think we found a setup that is significantly better than what we had yesterday. The positive is it’s a good foundation – something for us to consider when we go to Laguna and a lot of these other places that can relate in certain ways, so we’ll see.
Takuma Sato commented saying:
The Indy GP was obviously a really tough weekend. We started from the midfield, 15th. I think we didn’t have a really good start, jumped up a few cars but then I had black tires on and the red tire cars behind us – 4 cars, I tried to hold my position and I think we gave up 2 or maybe 3 I don’t know. But generally speaking, the entire race we were moving forward, and went up to P8. After the restart, we had quite a tough battle with Newgarden and in the end it was going through turn 1 where I defended and obviously, he tried to come inside, and he pushed me off to the grass. So unfortunately, I lost 2 places but nevertheless I think the team did a solid job. I wish it was a top 8 finishing today but onto the next one. Short oval, the last oval of the season, and we have lots of great memories there so hope to see you guys there!”