Rahal Letterman Racing Australia event preview

RAHAL LETTERMAN RACING AND RYAN HUNTER-REAY HEAD TO AUSTRALIA FOR FIRST NON-POINTS RACE SINCE 1992 HILLIARD, Ohio - A successful IndyCar Series season in the books, Rahal Letterman Racing and Ryan Hunter-Reay will find themselves this...

RAHAL LETTERMAN RACING AND RYAN HUNTER-REAY HEAD TO AUSTRALIA FOR FIRST NON-POINTS RACE SINCE 1992

HILLIARD, Ohio - A successful IndyCar Series season in the books, Rahal Letterman Racing and Ryan Hunter-Reay will find themselves this weekend in a strange position. The #17 Ethanol-sponsored machine will attack a challenging 2.795-mile street course in Surfers Paradise, Australia with the rest of their IndyCar brethren, in a race that will have no effect on the season point standings.

It will be the first time since 1992 that a RLR car has participated in a non-points race and will be the first time in Hunter-Reay's six-year Indy Car career that he races without championship points on the line.

But if one were to choose a track to race on just for a trophy dash, Surfers Paradise would likely be Hunter-Reay's choice. It was on those same Gold Coast streets six years ago where Hunter-Reay scored his first-ever win in the Indy Cars (then Champ Car) when he came from 12th on the starting grid to take the victory.

"There are a couple places on this track where you can not make a mistake or you are done for the day," Hunter-Reay said. "There are some very fast places and some tricky chicanes and you have to be on your game. It's a great place to have a race and the fans are really into it. I am looking forward to it."

The event kicks off Thursday night in the United States, which is Friday afternoon in Australia. Qualifying takes place Friday evening with the 60-lap race getting underway at 10:30 p.m. Eastern Time Saturday night. The race can be seen live on ESPN Classic.

Team Facts - Rahal Letterman Racing has made 21 starts at Surfers Paradise dating back to 1992. The team has never won there, but has four podiums, including a pair by Bobby Rahal. Bryan Herta claimed the team's only front-row Australia start in 1999, and went on to finish fourth. This is the first non-points race for RLR since the Marlboro All-Star Challenge in 1992, a race where Rahal led 61 laps before a pair of pit-road violations cost the team penalty stops that dropped it back to sixth in the final standings.

Team Stats - In its 17 seasons of Indy Car racing RLR has made 577 starts, collected 78 podium results (top-three), 150 top-five finishes and 317 top-10 results while leading 3,592 laps. The team has scored victories in nine of its 17 seasons and has scored poles in 10 years. The team has never gone through a season without leading a lap and has scored at least one podium result in 16 of its 17 seasons. Rahal Letterman Racing has won 20 races and 29 pole positions since its inception in 1992 as Rahal Hogan Racing.

-credit: rlr

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Bobby Rahal , Bryan Herta , Ryan Hunter-Reay