Sato Finished 12th in the Iowa Corn Indy 250

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
Iowa Corn Indy 225 – Iowa Speedway
IZOD IndyCar Series
RACE NOTES/QUOTES — June 23, 2012

 

TAKUMA SATO FINISHED 12TH IN THE IOWA CORN INDY 250

TAKUMA SATO, No. 15 Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Dallara/Honda/Firestone:  “It was a very hard race, we fought very hard. The boys did a great job to regroup after a diffi­cult weekend. We didn’t have the speed this weekend.  We tried to find the speed and were improving but it was such a hard race.  We were just hanging in there and it was as tough of a race as I have ever had.  I am looking forward to getting back on road and street courses and also look forward to going to Canada.”

FAST FACTS: Was his third race here. He started 23rd and finished 12th… He won pole here last year, led seven laps but retired in 19th place due to contact after 182/250 laps.  He qual­i­fied seventh in 2010 here and retired in 19th place due to contact after he completed 177/250 laps His best oval qual­i­fying is pole at Iowa Speedway in 2011 and his best finish is fifth in Race 1 at TMS in 2011… Is Sato’s first season at RLL and third in IndyCar and it appears to be the start of his best season to date in the series… Sato led three of eight races this year – including 31 laps at the Indy 500 — and nearly won the event. 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: “Overall Takuma did a good job to finish the race; that was our main goal.  He said the car felt better than yesterday.  The improve­ments we made had better stability and a better steering feel but as the race went on it got harder. The last set of tires were the most chal­lenging for him as he needed a little bit more stability to get more pace out of the car.  He did a good job managing the situ­a­tion and being smart and using his tools to keep the car as stable as possible and he did a good job staying out of trouble.  It was great to see him finish the race.  We are looking forward to Toronto and Edmonton.  We have had a good car on the street courses. Takuma has been very compet­i­tive and finished third at the street race in Brazil and we are going back to our street course setup and will roll out a good car for him in Toronto.”

RAHAL LETTERMAN LANIGAN RACING AT IOWA The Iowa Corn Indy 250 will mark the third event for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing (RLL) at Iowa Speedway.  The best finish for the team is third in 2007 by Scott Sharp who also earned the top start for the team of fourth the same year.  Prior to the 2012 event, the team prepared a total of three entries for drivers Scott Sharp (2007), Jeff Simmons (2007) and Ryan Hunter-Reay (2008). The team has earned ONE podium (3rd, Sharp 2007) and two, top-10 finishes at the track.  The No. 15 entry for Takuma Sato will bring that total to 4 entries in 2012.

NEXT UP: The series will take a break next weekend after five races in a row before recon­vening for the Honda Indy Toronto on July 5 – 8.  The team raced in Toronto from 1992 – 2003. In their first event, Bobby Rahal started from pole and finished second.  In RLL Racing’s most recent race on the streets of Toronto in 2003, Michel Jour­dain Jr. started second and finished third.