Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing’s Graham Rahal heads into this weekend’s Honda Indy Toronto having finished the Iowa Corn 300 in 16th place having started the race from 12th place.
Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing have a great record in Toronto having taken five podiums and one pole position in 17 races.
So what does Rahal think about racing in Toronto?
Toronto is always fun, it’s a great atmosphere and a track I really enjoy. There is a lot of history there personally for me, and we certainly would like to add to it this weekend. I am sure it will be a hard fought race and weekend, but our Rousseau team is ready to battle hard!
So far on street and road courses in 2016 Rahal has scored two podium finishes at Barber Motorsports Park where he finished in 2nd place and finished in third at Elkhart Lake and speaking about road and street races he commented by saying:
It’s very important to have a good weekend in the Honda Indy Toronto. We really got unlucky and struggled with terrible vibrations in Iowa. We must bounce back and have a good weekend, points-wise, because we are definitely further back than we want to be or should be in points. I have high expectations.
Rahal is hoping the No.15 Rousseau Metal Honda is hoping for a competitive weekend saying:
I think we should be very good, but I expect us to be good everywhere. Last year at Toronto we were just okay performance-wise so we need to take what we have learned from all other street courses this year and try to improve the car. I am sure Eddie (Jones; race engineer) and the team will do just that and we will work throughout the weekend to get it honed in.
Bobby Rahal took victory in the inaugural race in Toronto 30 years ago and speaking about the anniversary he commented by saying:
Having raced so much earlier in my career in Canada, I always looked forward to going back to Canada, There had always been talk of a street race in Toronto and finally it happened. There was a lot of excitement about it. For us, we had won Indy but then we had a couple of frankly average races after that so we were looking forward to getting off on a better foot at that race. I was looking forward to the race because it was in Canada, and because of the fans in Canada who were always so knowledgeable and passionate about racing. The layout out the circuit was quite nice and Molson, who was the sponsor then, really did a good job promoting the race. Even though I was sponsored by a competitor in Budweiser, they really showed their class and took us around town and promoted us. I got to know some people at Molson at the time that I stayed friends with for many years. It was a very good lead up to the event and then we qualified well. In the race, the car was very good.
Graham spoke about Toronto saying:
Toronto is a special race for all of us, I think the Canadian fans always love and respect what we do and come out and support us in big numbers. Obviously it would always be great to win in Toronto, but doing it 30 years after dad won would certainly be cool as well. I’m more just focused on winning, whatever that may take.
Rahal went on to discuss the new pit location saying:
I am sure that the pits will take some time to adjust to, and I know it’s very curvy and going to be a new challenge for the teams. I just hope we have a good spot and can have our usual good stops to help out!
So what is Rahal’s favorite part of the circuit?
I would say the last section of the track is my favorite just because it’s so quick. Now with the new layout it may change slightly, so it will be interesting to see how it looks now.