Monthly Archives: June 2012

Sato Was Sixth When Contact Forced His Retirement from the Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
Chevrolet Detroit Bel Ie Isle Grand Prix – Raceway at Belle Isle Park
IZOD IndyCar Series
RACE NOTES/QUOTES — Sunday, June 3, 2012

 

SATO WAS SIXTH WHEN CONTACT FORCED HIS RETIREMENT FROM THE CHEVROLET DETROIT BELLE ISLE GRAND PRIX
 

TAKUMA SATO, No. 15 Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Dallara/Honda/Firestone:  “It was quite a crazy start; very narrow. I was completely boxed in from the front, back and sides. But I was able to get through Turns 1 and 2 okay and gained positions.  Then after that, I settled in to a rhythm in the position.  We decided to make a strategy change and came in the pits earlier to get back on track in free air and also change the tires. The balance was quite difficult, not really to my liking. It’s a tough track and very difficult to settle the car.  And the track was coming up as well in Turns 6 and 11. In Turn 12, I clipped a very high curb and that made a huge kickback in the steering wheel and it slipped from my grip and that was the end of the race. It’s not the way we wanted to finish. It was a difficult weekend but hopefully we come back strong at Texas.”
 

FAST FACTS: Started 11th and was in sixth place on Lap 39 when he made contact with the wall after running over the curb and losing control of his race car… Earned his best starting position for 2012 of 12th place for his first race in Detroit… His best road/street course qualifying is pole at Edmonton in 2011 and his best finish is third in Sao Paulo, Brazil this year… Is Sato’s first season at RLL and third in IndyCar and it appears to be the start of his best season to date in the series… Sato led two (St. Pete & Long Beach) of the four road/street races this season and three of five overall races after leading – and nearly winning — the Indy 500. Has led 58 laps to date in 2012… In 34 starts in 2010-2011, has 17 career top-10 starting spots including four top-five starts and two poles ( Edmonton and Iowa 2011). He has earned eight top-10 finishes including three top-five spots (fourth at Mid-Ohio, fifth at Texas and St. Petersburg in 2011).  Led a total of 61 laps from 2010-11.
 

TOM ANDERSON, Managing Director Motorsport Operations:  “After the on track incident, and after a quick review of the chassis, we believe the smart thing to do is to not try to repair the car in the timeframe. Under the IndyCar Series rules you aren’t allowed to work on a car during a red flag and the number of laps that it would have put us down makes the risk versus reward totally out of proportion. Add in the fact that putting the car back on track with a questionable steering system is not the thing to do in this sport. With those factors in mind we had no choice but to call it a day.”

1 WIN, 2 PODIUMS FOR RAHAL LETTERMAN LANIGAN RACING AT DETROIT 2012 will mark the 21st consecutive season of competition for the team and 13th Indy car race in Detroit The team’s highest start of second place and highest finish of first in the event came in the inaugural running on Belle Isle in 1992 by Bobby Rahal.  In total, the team has earned two podiums (Max Papis 2000 – 2nd), three top-five finishes and nine top-10’s here (chart on back page). Prior to 2012, the team prepared a total of 20 entries for drivers such as Bobby Rahal (1992-1998), Mike Groff (1993-94), Raul Boesel (1995), Bryan Herta (1996-99), Max Papis (1999-2001), Kenny Brack (2000-01), Ryan Hunter-Reay (2007-08).  The No. 15 entry for Takuma Sato will brought that total to 21 in 2012.

NEXT UP:  The series will return to action next weekend for the Firestone 550 at Texas Motor Speedway on Saturday, June 9. The 228-lap race will be televised live beginning at 8:00 p.m. ET on NBC Sports Network. Takuma Sato earned his best series oval finish to date of fifth at Texas Motor Speedway last year.  


 

Sato Earned His Best 2012 Qualifying Position of 12th for the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix – Raceway at Belle Isle Park
IZOD IndyCar Series
QUALIFYING NOTES/QUOTES — Saturday, June 2, 2012


SATO QUALIFIED 12TH FOR THE CHEVROLET DETROIT BELLE ISLE GRAND PRIX; BEST QUALIFYING POSITION TO DATE FOR 2012

POLE:  Scott Dixon      1:10.3162 / 105.978 mph            (set in Round 3)
12th:     Takuma Sato   1:11.8122 / 103.771 mph            (set in Round 2)


TAKUMA SATO, No. 15 Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Dallara/Honda/Firestone:  “It was a difficult day. We did make some progress on the car balance from yesterday in the morning practice session but we were no where near where we wanted to be on the time sheets.  We made some changes and the car behaved better with the alternate Firestone tire and I was able to commit more in qualifying. There is still a lot of work to do but we should be pleased considering it was our best qualifying of the year and we made it to Round 2. We will go through the data and continue to try to improve the car for the race tomorrow. It is difficult to overtake on this track but we will work hard to improve our position with good strategy. It is so easy to lose control of your car here that you need to maintain good concentration.”

FAST FACTS: Earned his best starting position for 2012 of 12th place for his first race in Detroit… His best road/street course qualifying is pole at Edmonton in 2011 and his best finish is third in Sao Paulo, Brazil this year… Is Sato’s first season at RLL and third in IndyCar and it appears to be the start of his best season to date in the series… Sato led two (St. Pete & Long Beach) of the four road/street races this season and three of five overall races after leading – and nearly winning — the Indy 500. Has led 58 laps to date in 2012… In 34 starts in 2010-2011, has 17 career top-10 starting spots including four top-five starts and two poles ( Edmonton and Iowa 2011). He has earned eight top-10 finishes including three top-five spots (fourth at Mid-Ohio, fifth at Texas and St. Petersburg in 2011).  Led a total of 61 laps from 2010-11.

GERRY HUGHES, Race Engineer:  “We are making steady progress at a circuit that Takuma nor I know and the team hasn’t been to since 2008. We are just chipping away at it.  We still have a lot to learn and a lot of time to make up but we will try to give Takuma a good car for the race.  All things being equal, we should start 11th on the grid which is his best qualifying performance of 2012 to date so we can only go forward from there.”

1 WIN, 2 PODIUMS FOR RAHAL LETTERMAN LANIGAN RACING AT DETROIT 2012 will mark the 21st consecutive season of competition for the team and 13th Indy car race in Detroit The team’s highest start of second place and highest finish of first in the event came in the inaugural running on Belle Isle in 1992 by Bobby Rahal.  In total, the team has earned two podiums (Max Papis 2000 – 2nd), three top-five finishes and nine top-10’s here (chart on back page). Prior to 2012, the team prepared a total of 20 entries for drivers such as Bobby Rahal (1992-1998), Mike Groff (1993-94), Raul Boesel (1995), Bryan Herta (1996-99), Max Papis (1999-2001), Kenny Brack (2000-01), Ryan Hunter-Reay (2007-08).  The No. 15 entry for Takuma Sato will bring that total to 21 in 2012.

NEXT UP:  Morning warm-up will take place from 10:45-11:15 a.m. ET and the 90-lap Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix will be televised live beginning at 3:30 p.m. ET on ABC on Sunday, June 3. Timing and Scoring information is available for all sessions from www.indycar.com 

Sato Ran His First Laps at Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix Course; Fastest in First Session and 22nd in Second

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix – Raceway at Belle Isle Park
IZOD IndyCar Series
NOTES/QUOTES — Friday, June 1, 2012

 

SATO RAN HIS FIRST LAPS AT THE CHEVROLET DETROIT BELLE ISLE GRAND PRIX COURSE; FASTEST IN FIRST SESSION AND 22ND IN AFTERNOON

FASTEST:         Will Power         1:12.8355 / 102.313 mph
22nd:                Takuma Sato     1:15.9058 / 98.174 mph

TAKUMA SATO, No. 15 Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Dallara/Honda/Firestone:  “The course is challenging, it really is.  The first corner has so many surface changes from asphalt to concrete.  Overall, it’s quite bumpy; its one of the bumpiest tracks I have ever driven on.  It’s a good circuit; just quite challenging. The morning session was in wet conditions and we ran just to learn the track.  It was quite slippery but it was nice to have a new generation of the Firestone rain tire and it worked really well.  The second session we were able to run in the dry and discovered quite a few things that we need to do but it gave us a good taste for the track and good data to work from to improve tomorrow.”

FAST FACTS: Will make his first start at this track… His best road/street course qualifying is pole at Edmonton in 2011 and his best finish is third in Sao Paulo, Brazil this year… Is Sato’s first season at RLL and third in IndyCar and it appears to be the start of his best season to date in the series… Sato led two (St. Pete & Long Beach) of the four road/street races this season and three of five overall races after leading – and nearly winning — the Indy 500. Has led 58 laps to date in 2012… In 34 starts in 2010-2011, has 17 career top-10 starting spots including four top-five starts and two poles ( Edmonton and Iowa 2011). He has earned eight top-10 finishes including three top-five spots (fourth at Mid-Ohio, fifth at Texas and St. Petersburg in 2011).  Led a total of 61 laps from 2010-11.
 

TOM ANDERSON, Managing Director of Racing Operations:  “It’s a triple play. Takuma hasn’t been to Belle Isle before, we haven’t had this car at Belle Isle before and it’s the first time for our engineer, Gerry Hughes to be at Belle Isle. Today was all about reconnaissance.  We had a good run in the rain so we’re pretty happy with the rain setup. Depending on which forecast you look at, it could rain or maybe not for the race. If it rains we are pretty well set. When everything dried out we found ourselves at the back of the pack but it’s not that disappointing. Today we had had little bit of a technical issue with some sensors in our laser department that weren’t working correctly so we didn’t get as much information as we wanted but I’m fine with our progress going into Saturday. Everything else was working fine on the car.  With these cars, a little bit (of improvement) here and a little bit there and you are back in the ballgame. I’m not worried.”

1 WIN, 2 PODIUMS FOR RAHAL LETTERMAN LANIGAN RACING AT DETROIT 2012 will mark the 21st consecutive season of competition for the team and 13th Indy car race in Detroit The team’s highest start of second place and highest finish of first in the event came in the inaugural running on Belle Isle in 1992 by Bobby Rahal.  In total, the team has earned two podiums (Max Papis 2000 – 2nd), three top-five finishes and nine top-10’s here (chart on back page). Prior to 2012, the team prepared a total of 20 entries for drivers such as Bobby Rahal (1992-1998), Mike Groff (1993-94), Raul Boesel (1995), Bryan Herta (1996-99), Max Papis (1999-2001), Kenny Brack (2000-01), Ryan Hunter-Reay (2007-08).  The No. 15 entry for Takuma Sato will bring that total to 21 in 2012.

NEXT UP:  Practice will take place tomorrow from 9:00-10:00 a.m. ET and qualifying will take place from 11:45 – 1:00 p.m.  Timing and Scoring information is available for all sessions from www.indycar.com.  The Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix will be televised live on ABC at 3:30 p.m. ET Sunday, June 3.