Sato Completed 19 Laps in Practice for the GoPro Indy GP of Sonoma

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
GoPro Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma – Sonoma Raceway
IZOD IndyCar Series
PRACTICE NOTES/QUOTES – Friday, August 24, 2012
FASTEST:         Will Power         1:18.6887 / 109.114 mph                       
23rd:                 Takuma Sato     1:20.8900 / 106.144 mph                                   
TAKUMA SATO, No. 15 Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Dallara/Honda/Firestone:  “It was a diffi­cult day for us.  The session went well in terms of being able to go through the items we carried over from the test last week that we weren’t able to try. Overall we need to improve the balance and grip; I wasn’t partic­u­larly happy with that. Perfor­mance wise, we need to find more speed.  We ran out of time in the end. We wanted to do a little bit more but hope­fully tomorrow the weather will give us another consis­tent session and we can improve.”

  • FAST FACTS: This will be Sato’s third race at Sonoma. He qual­i­fied 16th and finished 18th in 2011 and qual­i­fied 17th and finished 18th in 2010.  Both with KV Racing Tech­nology… His best road/street course qual­i­fying is pole at Edmonton in 2011 and his best finish is second in Edmonton this year… Sato led two street races this season (St. Pete & Long Beach) and at Indi­anapolis Motor Speedway where he nearly won with a last lap pass. 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.

5TH INDYCAR RACE AT SONOMA FOR RAHAL LETTERMAN LANIGAN RACING: The GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma will mark the fifth Indy car event for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing (RLL) here and first since 2008 when Ryan Hunter-Reay started 8th and finished 18th for the team. The highest start and finish for the team here is by Buddy Rice in 2005 when he started sixth and finished second.  Prior to the 2012 event, the team prepared a total of 9 Indy car entries for drivers Buddy Rice (2005 – 2006), Vitor Meira (2005), Danica Patrick (2005 – 2006), Jeff Simmons (2006), Scott Sharp (2007) and Ryan Hunter-Reay (2007 – 2008).  The team has earned one podiums (2rd – Rice 2005), 1 top-five’s and four top-10 finishes at the track.  The No. 15 entry for Takuma Sato will bring the Indy car total to 10 entries in 2012.
NEXT UP:  Prac­tice will take place tomorrow from 10:50 – 11:50 a.m. ET and qual­i­fying will take place from 2:30 — 3:45 p.m.  Timing and Scoring infor­ma­tion is avail­able for all sessions from  The GoPro Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma will be tele­vised live on NBC Sports Network at 4:00 p.m. ET Sunday, August 26.