Photo: John Cote
Rahal Letterman Racing kicked off its 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series campaign with a one-day test session last month at Barber Motorsports Park near Birmingham, allowing driver Graham Rahal to work with new race engineer Eddie Jones for the first time.
"It was a really good, and extremely productive day," said Rahal, the son of 1986 Indianapolis 500 winner and team owner Bobby Rahal. "All things considered, I think the team is having fun again. With the new personnel we have in place, I think everyone is enjoying themselves and I think our teamwork showed it today and I'm excited about that. We were very efficient, we accomplished a lot and we shaved a considerable amount of time, just over a second, off of what was done at the race. I feel like we're in a good spot. Eddie (Jones) is really very open to many ideas and he's ready for anything that can improve the car and improve our team. I think there are some really good days ahead of us."
Rahal completed a trouble-free day of testing on the 2.38-mile Barber Motorsports Park. He completed a total of 83 laps in what was his first time on track since the 2014 Verizon IndyCar Series season finale at Auto Club Speedway on Aug. 30.
"The test went very well," added race engineer Eddie Jones. "It was very productive. We came here with a pretty good plan and we followed it through and made some good strides for a successful day. We gathered some useful data for us to continue our development with, so all in all it was a very good test. Graham was impressive as usual with great concentration and ran quickly even though he hadn't been in the car for a while. We know that the new aero package will have more downforce, but we can still work on the mechanical package of the car and that's what we concentrated on. It was also important to get out there and run with Graham for the first time and establish a rapport and I am pleased with the result."
The 2015 season will be Rahal’s third with RLL. He scored two Top 5 finishes in last year’s 18 races, a second in the first of the two races at Belle Isle and a fifth at Mid-Ohio. Rahal was leading at Sonoma but had to pit for fuel with four laps to go. His rookie campaign was 2007. He has one career victory, St. Petersburg in 2008.