Sato Completed 33 Laps in Practice for the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio and Was 19th Overall

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
Honda Indy 200 – Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course
IZOD IndyCar Series
PRACTICE NOTES/QUOTES — Friday, August 3, 2012
 
SATO COMPLETED 33 LAPS IN PRACTICE FOR THE HONDA INDY 200 AND WAS 19TH OVERALL
 
FASTEST:         Will Power         1:06.8632 / 121.574 mph                       
19th:                 Takuma Sato     1:07.7677 / 119.951 mph                                   
 
TAKUMA SATO, No. 15 Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Dallara/Honda/Firestone:  “We continued our work list from last week’s test. So many things were left due to the weather. We came here with some changes and over the course of the prac­tice we tried a number of things. The track was a bit different. Initially it was quite greasy, low grip which is typical Mid-Ohio. And it was quite rapidly rubbered down so after the first half of the season the track was getting pretty good. We couldn’t make the most of our poten­tial. We tried different things but I was strug­gling with the balance a bit. We will go through the data and continue to work on that.”

  • FAST FACTS: This will be Sato’s third race at Mid-Ohio. Prior to his second (Edmonton) and third place (Brazil) finishes this year, his previous best series finish was fourth at Mid-Ohio in 2011 after he started ninth.  He started third in 2010 but retired in 25th due to contact.  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.

JAY O’CONNELL, Tech­nical Director:  “We were able to back up our times from the test last week and we completed 33 laps.  Takuma felt the balance of the car was similar and the track improved during the session. Since we did our new tire runs a little bit earlier than some of the guys we didn’t get the maximum time out of the car but it’s a good foun­da­tion for tomorrow.”
 
15TH INDYCAR RACE AT MID-OHIO FOR RAHAL LETTERMAN LANIGAN RACING: The Honda Indy 200 will mark the 15th Indy car event for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing (RLL) here and first since 2008 when Ryan Hunter-Reay started 15th and finished 10th for the team. The team also competed in the Atlantic Series race here in 2003 with Danica Patrick and has competed in ALMS races here in 2007 and from 2009 – 2011.  The highest IndyCar finish for the team here is two third place finishes (Rahal 1997, 1998) and the highest start is pole (Herta 1997).  Another front row start came in 1999 (Herta; 2nd).  Prior to the 2012 event, the team prepared a total of 23 Indy car entries for drivers Bobby Rahal (1992 – 98), Mike Groff (1994), Raul Boesel (1995), Bryan Herta (1996 – 99), Max Papis (1999 – 2001), Jimmy Vasser (2002), Michel Jour­dain Jr. (2002 – 03) and Ryan Hunter-Reay (2007 – 2008). The team also prepared a Toyota Atlantic entry (Danica Patrick 2003).  The team has earned TWO podiums (3rd – Rahal 1997, 1998), 9 top-five’s and 13 top-10 finishes at the track.  The No. 15 entry for Takuma Sato will bring the Indy car total to 24 entries in 2012.
 
BOBBY RAHAL AT MID-OHIO: Team co-owner Bobby Rahal competed in 16 IndyCar races here (9 as driver; 7 as owner/driver).  He won two races (1985 from pole, 1986), two poles (1983, 1985), made three front row starts (2nd in 1987), finished on the podium eight of his 16 races (including his final Indy car podium) and earned 9 top-fives and 11 top-10 finishes.  He is the Grand Marshall for the Honda Indy 200 on Sunday.
 
NEXT UP:  Prac­tice will take place tomorrow from 8:00 – 9:00 a.m. ET and qual­i­fying will take place from 11:00 — 12:15 p.m.  Timing and Scoring infor­ma­tion is avail­able for all sessions from www.indycar.com.  The Honda Indy 200 will be tele­vised live on ABC at 12:30 p.m. ET Sunday, August 5.