RYAN HUNTER-REAY LEADS RLR EFFORTS IN OPENING PRACTICE DAY AT MID-OHIO LEXINGTON, Ohio - Rahal Letterman Racing's newest IndyCar Series driver took his very first laps in an Indy Car at 7:40 a.m. this morning but it didn't take Ryan Hunter-Reay...
RYAN HUNTER-REAY LEADS RLR EFFORTS IN OPENING PRACTICE DAY AT MID-OHIO
LEXINGTON, Ohio - Rahal Letterman Racing's newest IndyCar Series driver took his very first laps in an Indy Car at 7:40 a.m. this morning but it didn't take Ryan Hunter-Reay (#17 Ethanol Dallara/Honda/Firestone) long to figure out that the basic principles of open-wheel racing haven't changed in the last two years.
Sit down, strap in, go fast.
Hunter-Reay did just that in his first-ever IndyCar Series practice session, leading the RLR efforts in the first of a three-day race weekend at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. The Floridian turned a best lap of 1:09.3506 (117.213 mph) in the final practice of Friday's opening day, and was even quicker than that with a best lap of 1:09.2600 (117.366 mph) in the morning outing.
"It was a good first day for the Ethanol car. Having never driven an Indy Car until today and being just a couple tenths out of the top 10 is pretty decent," Hunter-Reay said. "We have a lot of info from today that we need to go over tonight, we'll make some changes and see what we can come up with for tomorrow's qualifying."
Veteran Scott Sharp (#8 Patron Dallara/Honda/Firestone) was just behind his new stablemate on the final charts as the RLR duo scored the 13th and 14th spots on today's speed sheets.
Sharp and the Patron Rahal Letterman Racing squad made gains from the IndyCar Open Test that the team participated in last month, and are continuing to build toward a spot in the top 10 for Saturday's qualifying. Sharp continued to progress in today's 30-minute afternoon session, logging faster times in the final session than he did in the 90-minute morning practice.
"In my case, we're quicker now than we were at the test and that is due to some of the things that we learned then," Sharp said after posting a best time of 1:09.5259 (116.918 mph). "But we also made some gains in Watkins Glen that we are using to our advantage here. So we are getting quicker, but the downside is that everyone else is getting faster as well. Right now we are trying to find a way to calm the car down. There's a lot of movement in it that we need to get settled. If we can do that, we have a chance to be successful."