Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing’s Graham Rahal in the No.15 Total Honda says he is looking forward to racing at the exciting venue at the Circuit of the Americas for this weekend’s inaugural IndyCar Classic.
Rahal was really happy with how Spring Training went at the circuit last month and speaking ahead of the race he said:
COTA is an amazing venue. We had an absolute blast there at the test and think the layout will put on a great race. The straights are very long, there is lots of drafting and a nice, wide area to pass. I do think the overtake feature (push-to-pass) will be extremely vital there and (I) hope we get a sufficient amount to be able to go racing hard. Our team made great strides there in testing and I have very high hopes of how we can perform there over the race weekend and get a good result for the TOTAL team. There are a lot of high-speed, flowing corners. It’s very physical and mentally demanding to hit your marks and make no mistakes. I do think the most challenging, though, is actually the slow-speed section. It’s challenging because it will be extremely difficult to get the speed and performance out of the car there, but will be critical to getting a good lap time. I have no doubt that INDYCAR will put on one of the most competitive races the track has seen, although F1 does put on perhaps its best race of the season there. I think the fans will be very satisfied with what they see. It will be a great race.”
Takuma Sato in the No.30 MiJack / Panasonic Honda is looking forward to one of the greatest circuits on the calendar.
Speaking ahead of the race, the 2017 Indianapolis 500 winner said:
Circuit of The Americas is one of the greatest tracks. There are so many combinations of corners there and, in fact, 20 turns in one lap! The track provides us a long straight and heavy braking following tight turns means overtaking is very possible. Also, the final sector is very twisty and goes right, left, right, left, so good racing is also possible there before you make it across the line. I think it will be a fantastic racing weekend. We tried many setups at the test and some of the test items are quite encouraging. We ran out of time at the end of the test to try more things that we wanted to but overall it was a very positive test, so I am really looking forward to going racing! I think all drivers feel good when you can drive fast from Turn 2 to Turn 8. It’s quite challenging as there are high-speed and very technical parts as almost you have to treat it like one corner because if you miss a little, it’s very difficult to get back to the rhythm and you will lose momentum so you will never get it back. We showed good potential at St. Pete. We were not the quickest but certainly, we felt a lot more competitive than last year, so we made good progress. We are still learning, and we are getting close to where we think we need to be.