Sato Finished Ninth in the Honda Indy Toronto

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
Honda Indy Toronto – Streets of Exhibition Place, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
IZOD IndyCar Series
RACE NOTES/QUOTES — Sunday, July 8, 2012


TAKUMA SATO, No. 15 Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Dallara/Honda/Firestone:  “It was a tough race. We chose to start with the primary tire and tried to hold our position but a couple of people got by with the quicker alternate tire.  We settled into a pace and it was, in a way, surprising to see not much yellow at the beginning of the race.  It was good to see all of the cars get through Turn 1 and 3 but then we tried a little different sequence and made our first pit stop earlier and put on the alternate tire and tried to stretch the run but unfortunately we had a little balance issue on the second set of tires and lost quite a bit of time and gradually lost positions which was a shame.  We need to look into it that but it also seems we have a small problem on the brakes because I am losing them too.  It was a tough race and in the end its good to finish in the top-10 but I wanted to be a little higher.  Good job by everyone though.”

FAST FACTS: This was Sato’s third race in Toronto and his best starting and finishing position here to date.  He qualified 11th but started 9th after two cars were assessed a 10-grid penalty for “unapproved engine changes.” In the race, he ran as high as fourth after his first stop but gradually lost positions late in his second, longer stint on alternate tires. He was 15th in the late stages of the race but moved into ninth after a couple of on-track incidents took out multiple cars… He started 19th and finished 20th in 2011 and started 18th and finished 25th after contact in 2010.  Both with KV Racing Technology… His best road/street course qualifying is pole at Edmonton in 2011 and his best finish is third in Sao Paulo, Brazil 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.

GERRY HUGHES, Race Engineer for Sato:  “Given where we started and the promise we showed in qualifying it was a disappointing result.  We had a lot of tire degradation on the scrubbed option tires we ran in the second stint and we did a long stint so I think we paid the price in terms of our pace towards the end of the second stint before going on to fresh rubber for stint three. We were fortunate with the full course yellow towards the end of the race and were able to claim back some positions.  But to start ninth and finish ninth, I’m disappointed with that.”

NEXT UP:  The series will take next weekend off and return to action on July 22 for the Edmonton Indy in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.  Sato started from pole in Edmonton in 2012, led 18 laps but finished 21st after he was hit by Ryan Hunter-Reay, who was penalized for avoidable contact.  It will be the second race in Edmonton for the team.  Ryan Hunter-Reay started 13th and finished eighth in the team’s lone start in 2008.  The race will be televised live on NBC Sports Network at 2:00 p.m. ET Sunday, July 8.  Timing and Scoring information is available for all sessions from