Long Beach: Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing Friday report

McDONALD'S DRIVER RAHAL 10TH FASTEST IN PRACTICE FOR THE TOYOTA GRAND PRIX OF LONG BEACH; DOORNBOS 14TH Graham Rahal, No. 02 McDonald's Dallara/Honda/Firestone: "Overall it was a pretty good day. It seems like a bunch of guys ran new tires at...

McDONALD'S DRIVER RAHAL 10TH FASTEST IN PRACTICE FOR THE TOYOTA GRAND PRIX OF LONG BEACH; DOORNBOS 14TH

Graham Rahal, No. 02 McDonald's Dallara/Honda/Firestone: "Overall it was a pretty good day. It seems like a bunch of guys ran new tires at the end and went a little bit quicker and we didn't really get a new tire run at all. When we tried to go out, I was locking my tires like crazy so I really only got two laps on new tires, both of which I locked up in Turn 1 and blew the run away so I just pitted. We didn't really get a new tire run and we're still pretty happy with where we are. We would have run quicker there at the end but I was behind Wilson and he ran wide and I had to slow up. I think the McDonald's team is competitive but we still have a little ways to go. It's tight and it's going to be tough. There is a lot of knowledge we bring from our Champ Car days of running here but it (Indy car) seems to be different. The car feels completely different here than the Champ Car. Although technically it should be the same, being an open wheel car, it is quite a bit different."

Robert Doornbos, No. 06 Dallara/Honda/Firestone: "We started off strong this morning. I haven't seen this track for two years and by the third lap this morning we were P1 and stayed there for most of the session. It was looking good and we ended up sixth. We made some changes over lunch and we had a clutch issue so in the afternoon run it was slipping and burning. It was not a very good run, that's why we are not very fast. We tried different downforce levels and I think we know where to concentrate our work for qualifying. It's very competitive. Two-tenths of a second more and you are in the top-three. I think we know where to find that two-tenths. The downforce level is less in an Indy car than the Champ Car I drove here in 2007 so the braking points are different and you have to change your mindset about where they are now in an Indy car. I also just came from a really high level of downforce in an A1GP car so it's an even bigger adjustment. We just have to work with it and improve the mechanical side."

-credit: nhlr

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Series INDYCAR