Graham Rahal added his voice to the discontent surrounding IndyCar Series rival Ernesto Viso after the Venezuelan collided with him in Edmonton, ending his race.
Rahal has been vocal about rivals before, see Dan Clarke in Las Vegas 2007, but implored this year's IndyCar rookie class to reconsider how they go about their racing after claiming to have been hit twice, by different drivers, during the Rexall Edmonton Indy road course event.
Driving a reliveried Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing car sponsored by event backer Rexall, Rahal maintains that he was hit on the opening lap by Mario Moraes, although the driver who started immediately behind the American on the grid disputes that he was at fault - and then, on lap 61, by Viso, who has earned himself a reputation for being fast but erratic during his maiden season.
The contact with Moraes forced the #06 car off track at turn three on the opening lap and, once Rahal had managed to return to the pits, cost it more valuable time as the right rear pushrod was repaired. Rahal finally got back on track as the leaders were working lap 18, and he spent the next few laps pitting to adjust the toe link on the front right corner and make some other adjustments.
Moraes' Dale Coyne Racing crew claimed that the collision with Rahal had also damaged the Brazilian's car after the American 'tried to make a questionable pass', although the youngster continued down the order with a broken toe link. The crew eventually took the car behind the wall to make the necessary repairs and returned Moraes to the race and a 20th place finish.
"It was a bit of a frustrating day because we had a podium-finishing car," Moraes insisted, "Graham tried to over take me and made contact with my rear tyre and, in the process, broke my rear toe-link. The crew did a great job fixing the problem and getting me back into the race."
Rahal, meanwhile, ran as high as 25th, hoping that attrition would allow him to move higher as the race progressed. However, Viso's dive down the inside of the NHLR car at turn ten saw him sail into the side of the white machine and send it into the tyre barrier.
“It's pretty tough when you have to restart in the back after you pit, and there is a lot more risk for something to happen," the HVM Racing rookie sighed, "I was trying to overtake for position, and maybe I didn't brake soon enough in the turn. The car slid into the side of Graham. I feel bad for him and his team. It's tough racing and things happen.”
Although Viso was subsequently called into the pits for a 15-second stop-and-go penalty for the 'avoidable contact' and ultimately finished a lap down in 15th place, Rahal was fuming as he spoke to the media.
“We were hoping for a good race with Rexall on board, but I got hit on the start by Mario Moraes and then, later, Viso finally put an end to our day," he complained, "We need to get some of these guys to calm down, it's really going to help out the racing.
"We've had several problems with Viso this year and it's frustrating, because we really did think we had a great car. I think people are being too aggressive and the people I came into contact with today are the people I have been saying need to calm down all year.”