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 UP:  The team will test at Auto Club Speedway on Tuesday before returning to Sonoma for the GoPro Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma August 24-26.