Sato Completed 57 Laps of Testing at Sonoma Before Contact Ended the Test Mid-Afternoon

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
IZOD IndyCar Series – Sonoma Raceway
TESTING NOTES/QUOTES – Friday, August 17, 2012

Takuma Sato, No. 15 Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Dallara/Honda/Firestone:  “We were going through our test program for the road course package that we weren’t very satis­fied with and were making progress. It was a good test and we were getting more of an under­standing for these cars with the road course package and tires. It was a good session in the morning and then we continued testing in the after­noon, trying to find a little bit more speed but then by the end some­thing happened under braking and I lost control and the car was damaged so we stopped earlier which is a shame. We couldn’t complete the testing items but we were able to get more expe­ri­ence and collect valu­able data today.  It was good to test here before the race, espe­cially with the changes to the track. The area after the high speed Turn 6 and braking into Turn 7 is much tighter than last year and it seems that a good braking battle can go on there.  Turn 11, which is the very last corner can still be improved a bit. There was a ques­tion whether the corner was too tight and they already got rid of some rumble strips today during the test so the track changed from this morning to the afternoon.”

  • FAST FACTS: Sato completed 57 laps of testing on the 2.31-mile, 12-turn Sonoma Raceway before he lost control of the race car under braking in Turn 9 at approx. 3:45 p.m. PT.  He hit the outside wall which damaged the left front of the race car and was unin­jured other than bruising the top of his left hand when it hit the cockpit during contact… 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.

NEXT UPThe team will test at Auto Club Speedway on Tuesday before returning to Sonoma for the GoPro Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma August 24 – 26.