Motorsport News

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Leaves Indianapolis No Better, No Worse

2024 Indianapolis 500 Practice

SPEEDWAY, Ind. — Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing has had a tough go of it in the 2024 Month of May but, according to the team’s eponymous driver, the Indianapolis 500 was a net positive for the historic team.

The team arrived at the speedway with its full-time lineup of Graham Rahal, Christian Lungaard and Pietro Fittipaldi, along with two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Takuma Sato, who appeared in the team’s fourth car as a one-off entry.

At the end of a crash-filled, hectic and unpredictable race, three of the team’s cars finished back-to-back-to-back, featuring Lundgaard in 13th, Sato in 14th and Rahal in 15th, respectively. Given the competitiveness of the NTT IndyCar Series, mid-field results are rarely something drivers desire, but when reflecting on the team’s faring in the weeks leading up to the race, these results could be taken as a positive development for the squad at large.

“I thought it was a wild day,” Rahal told Frontstretch after the race. “I thought there was a lot of action on track. Obviously, a lot of accidents; I was surprised by how much activity there was in that regard.

“For us, it was a good comeback. But my penalty, speeding in pit lane, really cost us. [It] probably cost us a top five. It’s a little hard to swallow that, but we put our heads down and it was a good result at the end.”

Rahal’s use of the term comeback could be taken as a double entendre, referring to both his race at large and rebounding from a penalty, or his charge from a last-place qualifying position to finish in the top half of the field. Importantly, Rahal’s mixed fortunes seemed to be part of a larger theme within the team as a whole.

Fittipaldi ended the day worse of the four RLLR cars after he was collected in a pileup in the opening corner of the race. The Brazilian has the weakest record of his team’s three full-time entrants this year, and would have benefited greatly from a strong result in the series’ biggest race. Like Rahal, Fittipaldi started toward the back of the field in 30th position.

Following the accident, Fittipaldi was kept in the care center longer than the other drivers involved (Marcus Ericsson, Tom Blomqvist), but was eventually checked and released.

“I’m fine, just pretty disappointed,” Fittipaldi told Frontstretch. “Start of the race, you just want to have a clean start, a clean race. I…

Click Here to Read the Full Original Article at …