Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing’s Graham Rahal goes into this weekend’s IndyCar Grand Prix of Indianapolis hoping for a breakthrough result at the Brickyard road course.
Following a tough start to the season which has sees him in 17th place in the points standings after three races, Rahal reflected on last years race by saying:
Last year was obviously disappointing because we got the qualifying penalty. It was our best road course qualifying in years (since 2012). It would have been nice start third, be right up front, be able to attack (Simon) Pagenaud, as even he said before the race his main concern going into race day was me. When we started at the back we made his life a little bit easier. We feel like this is a place that we’ve had a lot of success, it’s a track that I really love and it’s an environment that I love and feed off of so I feel like the Grand Prix is going to be our breakthrough of the season so far.
So why does Rahal think the team should be competitive this weekend?
“We’ve worked very hard for this, worked hard focusing on the Month of May in particular. The guys deserve a good result. We have focused a lot of energy on making sure we have a good one. We feel like the Soldier Strong / TurnsforTroops.com car should be pretty competitive. Yeah we have struggled at times this year but I feel like, out of the box, we should be there, competitive-wise, at the Grand Prix and be able to attack pretty good. Overall I’m excited to get going. We had great strategy last year and obviously passed a lot of cars. We had a really good restart towards the end of the race which gained us a couple more positions. After that first long run and pit sequence we went from 17th or 18th to eighth so we made our lives a lot easier from that perspective and we just need to do the same thing this year. We need to stick to our plan . A couple of times this year we haven’t been so good at that. I think that if we stick to our plan and perform the way that we know we can, it should be a really good event for us.”
Rahal explains why he believes the Indianapolis road course is one of the best road courses on the Verizon IndyCar Series schedule:
“It’s just a great track, its top notch from a facility standpoint, which is going to surprise nobody. But from a facility standpoint, it’s what an Indy car track should be. The curbing is built properly, the runoff is nice, the fans support it really well which, as a driver is one of the biggest keys, one of the things that get us excited to go to a place. It’s just a great event.