Notes: Rahal reunites with Gehl for Road America

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A familiar name will sponsor Graham Rahal’s entry in the KOHLER Grand Prix, the next Verizon IndyCar Series race set for June 24-26 at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin.

Gehl, a Wisconsin-based construction and agricultural equipment manufacturer, will be the co-primary sponsor on the Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Honda that Rahal will drive on race weekend. Rahal, in fact, drove the No. 15 Gehl/D-A Lubricant livery in a team test Wednesday at Road America, when he said he logged more than 500 miles.

To take a visor cam lap around Road America with Rahal, click here.

Graham Rahal has enjoyed a personal services contract with Gehl since 2006 and the company has been an RLL associate sponsor from 2006-08 and 2014. Gehl, part of Manitou Americas, Inc., has also served as the official construction equipment at Road America for more than a quarter century.

“We are thrilled to be part of the Road America INDYCAR event and to have Graham pilot the No. 15 Gehl/D-A Lubricant Honda Indy car at our hometown racetrack,” said Dan Miller, CEO of Manitou Americas and president of the compact equipment division. “Having Graham back in the driver’s seat of the Gehl- and Manitou-branded car will surely be exciting for our 190 VIP customers who will be at our event.”

Graham Rahal is in his 10th season driving Indy cars, with a career-best finish of fourth in the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series championship. He finished third in his only Indy car race at Road America, driving for Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing in 2007.

“For me, it’s really cool to have the Gehl colors back on my car,” Rahal said. “It takes me back to 2006, where it all began with Gehl in Formula Atlantic. In my career, Gehl has had such a huge and influential part of everything that I have done. They were the first company of size to back me before I had ever done anything, so it’s great to have them back on board for their home race.”

NBCSN is providing complete coverage of the KOHLER Grand Prix weekend, including a live telecast of opening practice June 24 (noon-1:30 p.m. ET), delayed qualifying coverage June 25 (5:30-7 p.m. ET) and live coverage of the 50-lap race on the 4.048-mile permanent road course beginning at 12:30 p.m. ET June 26. For ticket information, visit www.roadamerica.com.

Cars for Bourdais, Dixon qualify up front at Le Mans

Qualifying Wednesday for the 24 Hours of Le Mans saw the Ford GTs from Chip Ganassi Racing take four of the top five provisional positions in the LMGTE Pro class – including first and second for the cars that Verizon IndyCar Series stars Sebastien Bourdais and Scott Dixon will co-drive.

Dirk Muller put the No. 68 Ford GT in first with a lap of 3 minutes, 51.185 seconds over the 8.5-mile circuit. Bourdais, whose fulltime job is driving the No. 11 KVSH Racing Chevrolet in the Verizon IndyCar Series, and Joey Hand are the other drivers of the car.

Former Indy car driver Ryan Briscoe put the No. 69 Ford GT in second place with a lap of 3:51.497. Dixon, the reigning Verizon IndyCar Series champion with Target Chip Ganassi Racing, and Richard Westbrook are the co-drivers. The Ford GT is making a highly publicized return to Le Mans 50 years after capturing its first win in the iconic endurance race.

Former Indy car driver Neel Jani posted the overall fastest time to secure provisional pole in the No. 2 Porsche 919 Hybrid LMP1, with a lap of 3:19.733. Mikhail Aleshin, who drives for Schmidt Peterson Motorsports in the Verizon IndyCar Series, saw his No. 27 SMP Racing BR01 qualify 14th provisionally in the LMP2 class.

Final qualifying is set for tonight in France. The race begins at 9 a.m. ET Saturday.

Honda Indy Toronto adds activities for fans, free admission for kids under 12

Honda Indy Toronto revealed a robust lineup of off-track activities for the July 15-17 race weekend at Exhibition Place. With 55 percent more interactive exhibits, activities and vendors than last year, fans can expect more things to see and do as the event celebrates its 30th anniversary.

Organizers also announced that children under 12 will be admitted free when accompanied by an adult purchasing a ticket.

“We want to open up the Honda Indy Toronto to more people, and offering free admission to kids under 12 will help make this event more accessible for families,” said Jeff Atkinson, president of Honda Indy Toronto.

For the first time, Honda Indy Toronto will have a family-friendly Speed Zone, an area filled with activities and fast-paced fun, including interactive games, activities from Toronto sports teams and community exhibits.

Honda World returns with racing simulators, a chance for kids to learn the fundamentals of dirt biking and the chance to sign Schmidt Peterson Motorsports driver James Hinchcliffe's firesuit in support of Make-A-Wish Canada.

Tickets for the Honda Indy Toronto are available now and start at $40 for general admission. Admission is free on July 15 for Fan Friday with a voluntary donation to Make-A-Wish Canada, thanks to the Ontario Honda Dealers Association. For more information or to buy tickets, visit www.hondaindy.com or call (877) 725-8849.

From the fans