RLL Completed Trouble-Free Two-Day Test With Sato at Barber Motorsports Park

INDIANAPOLIS (February 21, 2012) – Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing completed a successful two days of testing at Barber Motor­sports Park today in prepa­ra­tion for the 2012 IZOD IndyCar Series season.  Takuma Sato completed 52 laps in the No. 15 Honda-Dallara-Firestone race car on the 2.38-mile, 17-turn course today and ran a total of 219 trouble-free miles of testing over the two days.

“It was good to complete our first test in Barber,” said Sato.  “On the second day we had more mileage than yesterday. We tried various setups. They were not always the right direc­tion but with a new car you need to explore both ends. It was posi­tive that we expe­ri­enced quite a few different things so I look forward to reviewing the Barber test data with the engi­neers in Sebring and contin­uing to improve the car. It was also good to work with everyone. It’s a great chance for all of us to go over the proce­dure with the new car together. Each time we test, we will work together better and improve our commu­ni­ca­tion and I am looking forward to that.”

Sato will begin his third season in the IndyCar Series in 2012 after a sopho­more season that saw him earn three top-five finishes, seven top-10s and lead 61 laps on his way to a 13th-place finish in the point stand­ings. He also started from pole at the Iowa Speedway oval and tempo­rary airport course in Edmonton.

“We got a lot of running in, more today than yesterday, and we learned a lot about the car,” said RLL tech­nical director Jay O’Connell.  “We tried different setup direc­tions to see how sensi­tive the car is because it’s a new animal. The test here shows us that we are getting to under­stand the new car and we’re looking forward to getting another two days in Sebring to keep learning and getting dialed in with a different set up. Barber was about working on road course setup and Sebring will be more about street course setup to get ready for the first race in St. Pete.”

“I am excep­tion­ally pleased with the results,” added Tom Anderson, Managing Director Motor­sport Oper­a­tions. “Obvi­ously putting a team together in seven weeks is not an easy task for anyone involved. Time sched­ules, having a new car this year, late parts delivery dates and etc. has put a lot of pres­sure on the guys. They worked a lot of hours last week so it has been chal­lenging but they rose to the occa­sion. The pres­sure these guys are under will continue until St. Pete and Barber race because there is a big learning curve but every­body is having a good time. The chem­istry is still building. Takuma did an excel­lent job today and yesterday in dealing with the engi­neers for the first time.  The car ran well, the Honda engine was quite good and, as always we were very happy with the Fire­stone tires.  We’re looking forward to getting to Sebring and some warmer weather.”

Testing will resume at Sebring Inter­na­tional Raceway on Thursday and Friday.  The 2012 IZOD IndyCar Series season begins with the Honda Grand Prix of St. Pete on March 25.

 – RLL -