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Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
IZOD IndyCar Series
PRACTICE NOTES/QUOTES -- Wednesday, May 16, 2012
SATO AND JOURDAIN JR. COMPLETED ANOTHER TROUBLEFREE DAY OF PRACTICE IN PREPARATION FOR THE INDY 500; ONLY TWO DAYS OF PRACTICE REMAIN BEFORE QUALIFYING
1) Josef Newgarden 222.785 mph / 40.3977 61 laps
9) Takuma Sato 220.843 mph / 40.7506 51 laps
20) Michel Jourdain Jr. 219.280 mph / 41.0434 82 laps
TAKUMA SATO, No. 15 Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “It was a little bit windy today which makes the car a little unstable but it was quite good because we needed to make our car more stable. The wind was tricky; quite gusty but I think we are happy with the balance. We worked on our general setup and will now go scan the aero map on the session to record the data. My long run was cut short today by the red flag and it was a shame that we didn’t run in traffic as much as we wanted but hopefully we will do so tomorrow. I think it will be quite exciting to start some qualifying setup work tomorrow."
FAST FACTS: Will be his third Indy 500 and EIGHTH race at IMS after competing in F1 races here in 2002, 2004-07... In the Indy 500, he narrowly missed making it into the Fast Nine in qualifying with his 10th fastest qualifying average for the 2011 race and retired in 33rd place due to contact after 20 laps. In 2010 he qualified 31st and finished 20th after completing 198/200 laps – both for KV Racing Technology… IMS is the site of Sato’s best F1 finish of third in 2004 – the same year RLL won the Indy 500 with Buddy Rice… Is Sato’s first season at RLL and third in IndyCar… Sato led two of the first three races but failed to finish due to mechanical failure (St. Pete & Barber) and “avoidable contact” by Hunter-Reay (
MICHEL JOURDAIN JR, No. 30 Office Depot / RLL Racing Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “The day was very good. We made very good progress. The first couple of days were about getting me comfortable in the car and with the setup. Finally Monday we were very good by ourselves and yesterday was about running in traffic. It felt good yesterday but we were not 100 percent. And today I felt really good in the last session. We ran a full tank of fuel and ran it out. I was running in the middle of the group and the car felt good. It was much fun out there; it was fantastic. Tomorrow we will run a little mi of both race setup and qualifying setup. We know we didn’t have a lot of time to work on the ultimate qualifying setup so we know we are not going to fight for the top-nine or top-15 so we just want to get a decent qualifying setup where we run good. Then on Friday, of course, we will work on our qualifying setup."
FAST FACTS: Jourdain is competing in his second
TOM ANDERSON, Managing Director Motorsport Operations: “Its Day 5 and the plan is still working. We made more progress on Michel’s and everything is moving forward there. He is asking for the changes we hoped he would so there is more speed tomorrow. The race simulation of running in traffic today worked really well so we are extremely pleased with the progress there with the balance of the race cars. We are really happy with the way that Bruno (Couprie) and Michel are working together; it’s fantastic. The track is obviously getting much better as we have now put five days of rubber on it. I can’t remember the last time we have gone five days in a row without rain and it looks like we are going to get all the way through Sunday with that. Tomorrow everybody is going to be taking some downforce out it because Fast Friday is almost upon us and they are going to throw some more horsepower at us so that will be another challenge. The cars are balanced pretty well so I am pretty pleased. Takuma was working on race setups today as well. Really we are almost to the final day of race preparation. We have a chance with Takuma for a possible top-nine and our ultimate goal of a front row so there are big possibilities here. Gerry and Jay are doing a fantastic job there. Jay is also bouncing back and forth between Bruno and Gerry (Hughes) with both cars. Engineering is right on top of it right now and I am impressed with the job they are doing. So far, everything is going according to plan.”
RAHAL LETTERMAN LANIGAN RACING AT INDY … The team’s highest start and finish in the event came in 2004 when Buddy Rice won from pole. In addition, the team has earned a total of four podiums (2nd – Meira 2005; 3rd – Rahal 1994, 1995). The team was in contention to win the race as recent as 2011 when Bertrand Baguette led laps 139-140 and laps 189-197 of the 200 lap race. Had a caution come our before Baguette was forced to pit for a splash of fuel, he might have been the victor. The race ultimately ended under caution when JR Hildebrand crashed on the front straight while in the lead on the final lap… The 2012 race will mark the 15th year for the team in the event. Prior to 2012, the team prepared a total of 26 entries for drivers such as
NEXT UP: Practice will take place from May 12-18 for the 96th
PHOTO AND VIDEO AVAILABLE: Media members who register on the IndyCar Series media site have access to photography as well as video. Video will be available specifically of Office Depot/RLL Racing driver Michel Jourdain in Spanish the evening of each practice day (and English most days) via a link that will be sent by the team per request. Register for access to photos at: http://www.indycarmedia.com/pages/ApplyforAccess