Graham Rahal who will drive the No.15 One Cure Honda for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing at this weekend’s Grand Prix of Portland is looking forward to the event.
Rahal goes into the race hoping to challenge for his first win this season and speaking ahead of the event he commented by saying:
I’m excited to go back to Portland. It’s a great venue that has held a lot of historic Indy car races. It’s a place that I grew up going to and really enjoyed with my dad. For me, that region has a lot of importance in my career. Getting my first (Pro) Mazda win comes to mind as does getting the pole in Formula Atlantic before getting hit in the first corner. I actually got my first national victory there in a go-kart race – which was big for me – at Pat’s Acres, which is just southeast of town. PIR and the Portland area, in general, hold a special place in my career. I have a lot of fond memories so I’m excited to go back to race. When I went back for the announcement, I got to see the track. The layout is slightly different, but in essence, it’s very similar to what it originally was. There are definitely some wider corners leading on to the back straight that could open up some passing opportunities if people are feeling feisty. It will be interesting to see how that plays out. It’s great for Indy car fans in the Pacific Northwest. We have not been there in a long time and there is really not a lot of racing in the Pacific Northwest so this is a really, really key event for the region. I know there are a lot of people that are very excited. I had a lot of people comment about how excited they were for our return when I was at the NHRA event in Seattle. The test is huge for us. I think it’s going to be big to just get our bearings straight. We’ve got two races left in the season and we’ve got to get a win. We have to. Definitely having the test day is a great opportunity.
Takuma Sato who drives the No.30 Mi-Jack/Panasonic Honda says he hopes Thursday’s test ahead of the event will help the team to be successful this weekend.
Speaking ahead of the race he commented by saying:
Going to a new event is always interesting and exciting. On the technical side, we will get the data from the engineers and information on the characteristics and discuss the setup to prepare for the event. Personally, I think the area is one of the most beautiful. The Portland track looks like it has a great history of races. I’ve never been there but I am excited to go. It’s a bit too early to say how competitive we will be, but we will try to make the most of it. We have been competitive at some of the road courses, and at some, we were not as much and we’re not sure why. In recent road course races, we have been competitive so hopefully we can find a good balance at the test on Thursday to go into the official weekend. The open test is extremely important for us. We haven’t been able to do a lot of testing this year due to the limitations. The last time we had a successful test was at Road America and we had a very strong weekend there. Once we have had a good test to collect very valuable data, the team can quickly analyze it and then that will be a huge help before we start the official event.