After a rocky couple of months, Graham Rahal enters this weekend’s Honda Indy Toronto looking to get some momentum on his side.
“I’m looking forward to it,” Rahal told POPULAR OPEN WHEEL. “It’s going to be different than what we’ve seen before looking at the track, but it’s a big weekend for us. We need points so look forward to having a good weekend.”
Like his season, though, Toronto has been hit and miss for Rahal throughout the years as he has a couple of top-six finishes to go with some outside of the top 20.
While past success builds confidence, there’s been a whole new challenge laid on the driver’s shoulders this year in the form of adjustments to Turns 8 through 10. As a result, where they’d have an idea on setup before, some teams are having to change things entirely.
“Once again the surfaces and bumps are going to be a big key, but what do we have to do from a set-up standpoint? I’m not sure,” he said. “I can tell you it’s different. In those areas, they’ve taken away the high-speed section so how you set the car up you may have to change quite a bit.”
With hotel construction, series and track officials were forced to move pit road from the straightaway to the turns.
As a result, it has tightened up the on-track racing section by reducing the amount of speed you can carry. The turns have played havoc on the drivers so far this weekend, with most notably Juan Pablo Montoya running into issues during Friday’s practice.
The uncertainty entering the weekend remained through practice for Rahal, as he said the track is very different now after posting the seventh quickest time.
“As you can see, there are a lot of guys making errors,” he said. “You have to push these things to the limit, but you’re already on the limit, so when you have some trickiness like we have here, it makes it tough – very tough.”
Rahal enters the weekend with some momentum as he posted a podium on the last road/street course event, finishing third at Road America. However, five top fives across 10 races isn’t as high as hoped.
“I’d say up and down,” he said. “We’ve had the performance in a lot of places, but whereas last year a lot of things went right, this year those sort of things are going wrong. We have to see why that it is and turn it around.”
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