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Monday, June 17, 2024

Rahal warns IndyCar rivals “our race automobile is healthier than our qualifying automobile”

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The 34-year-old Ohio native captured his second pole of the season in Saturday’s qualifying session and did in order the one driver within the Quick Six to stay on the more durable main, black sidewall tyre compound.

The softer alternate, red-labeled rubber was the choice the remainder of the group opted for and trailed in his wake. 

The tempo felt acquainted for Rahal, who in contrast it to the Brickyard weekend on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway highway course final month, when he certified on pole, led essentially the most laps and completed second after Scott Dixon triumphed on an alternate technique.

“We had that [pace] at Indy,” Rahal stated. “We have got that once more right here.

“I believe our race automobile goes to be higher than our qualifying automobile. I stated that at Indy GP. I believe we confirmed that, and I believe right here we’re in a fairly good place.

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“Clearly it was good to run the blacks. I believe Firestone has executed a very good job right here. The tire may be very, very tough although, the pink and the black, frankly – there’s large deg. The height may be very, very early. I believe reds after lap 2 are fairly nicely gone.

“However [in practice] we determined to not run as many units as most guys. I believe everyone within the subject apart from the RLL vehicles used two units of tyres or some used two [in Friday practice], one [in Saturday practice]. We simply used one per session, and we needed to attempt to maintain a set, and the whole lot labored out at the moment. Thank God for that.

“However we’re excited and it will simply really feel good in any case these years and shut calls to win once more.”

Graham Rahal, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Honda

Picture by: Michael L. Levitt / Motorsport Images

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing has loved previous success on the 1.964-mile, 12-turn pure terrain highway course, with Takuma Sato leaping from 20th to victory in 2018. In 2021, Rahal led 36 laps earlier than being caught out by a technique play that relegated him to 10th by the top.

Rahal’s final IndyCar win got here at Detroit in 2017, when he received each races in a double-header weekend.

“I really feel the extent of the motive force, the expertise degree has elevated a lot,” Rahal stated. “We do not get as many yellows anymore, and so hopefully (at the moment) we will have a very clear begin. We will management this race and make it fairly simple technique.”

And though the favoured technique in recent times has been with the alternates, Rahal teased it may very well be completely different for the 110-lap race.

“We’ll see,” Rahal stated. “I believe the reds are going to throw lots of people for a twist tomorrow.

“Clearly the monitor temp and the whole lot needs to be cooler tomorrow. This race has at all times been a pink race, historically has, and I believe we would see some completely different stuff this yr, which is why we had been holding all these blacks, frankly, to have the ability to go into the race with. We’ll see what occurs.”

Graham Rahal, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Honda, David Salters, HPD

Graham Rahal, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Honda, David Salters, HPD

Picture by: Michael L. Levitt / Motorsport Images

Rahal added: “The warmer the temp, I believe it is going to kill the reds. They saturate in a short time. I believe they get very popular, and it creates additional issues.

“However tomorrow is a cooler day, too, and in the event you’re up entrance, God bless we now have a very good begin and we will try this.

“If you’re in that place, I believe you’ll be able to attempt to care for them and keep the reds somewhat bit higher. Let’s examine what we get, frankly. Let’s examine what we get tomorrow, go racing, and hopefully have a very good clear begin and make these issues final so long as we will.

“To do that in two, you have to go, what, 35, 36 laps in your reds? That is quite a bit to ask. I’ve already executed it this weekend on blacks, so I do know the blacks can do it and do it competitively, however it’s quite a bit to ask of the reds, I believe.

“Most individuals will not do it, too, to be clear, however in the event you tried.”

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