Rahal ready to kick Ass-en, Holland
Graham Rahal's European Champ Car trip started well last weekend with a fourth podium finish in the Belgian round. Moving on to the Netherlands for the second event in the double-header, the Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racer is looking for further success on his first visit to the Assen track.
In his first season of Champ Car competition Rahal has shown impressive form, notching up a second place podium finish in only his third race, and following this with three third places. Lying second in the Rookie of the Year standings, only former Formula One driver, Robert Doornbos has earned more points. With 34 points between the two and three events to go, Rahal still has a chance to overtake the Dutchman in this race.
Commenting ahead of the Assen race, Rahal said; "We're hoping for another top three result, Assen is supposed to be a fast track, which is more my type of circuit and will suit my style more. So, the faster, the better!
"We're on a bit of a roll, with the recent run of podiums we've had, but now we need to win a race and be on the top step. It's a great feeling to have some consistency and to keep getting on the podium, but now we need to win.
"In terms of the championship, there is little chance that I can win the overall title now, I still have a chance at winning the rookie championship, but with only three races left and a 34 point deficit, this will be tough. With the race at Phoenix being cancelled, there's less opportunity to score points and move up in the championship. We should be able to finish ahead of Justin Wilson in the overall standings; it is a more attainable goal as we head towards the end of the season. However, the focus is race by race, aiming for pole and win each time.
"As a team we've consistently improved. Recently our pace has been quicker than Wilson, Power and Doornbos, so we have the ability to be running higher than we are. It's taken us a while to get to the level we're at now, but hopefully we can finish the season with at least one win under our belts."
The two European events on the Champ Car World Series are a prelude to another overseas trip, with the popular Surfers Paradise location for the Australian leg being the penultimate round, and Mexico City hosting the season finale.