Sato Pleased With Progress on Day 1 of Sebring Open Test

IZOD IndyCar Series Spring Training – Sebring International Racing, Sebring, Florida

TESTING NOTES/QUOTES – Thursday, March 8, 2011

TAKUMA SATO IS PLEASED WITH PROGRESS ON DAY 1 OF INDYCAR SERIES OPEN TEST AT SEBRING INTERNATIONAL RACEWAY

FASTEST:             Scott Dixon (morning session)                                     51.7932

5th:                         Takuma Sato (afternoon session; 86 laps total)           52:4111

Takuma Sato, No. 15 Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Dallara/Honda/Firestone:  “We had a small issue this morning and also at the end of the day when we had a failure of a component but overall it was good.  We evaluated quite a few different setups and collected good data so we are able to understand the car more and more. I look forward to continuing to do some more work tomorrow.”

  • FAST FACTS: Will be his third test with RLL at Sebring. Tested for one day in mid-December with RLL in the Honda test car. Returned here on February 23-24 and set the fastest and second fastest lap time (respectively)…Will be Sato’s first season at RLL and third in IndyCar after having competed with KV Racing Technology in 2010-11…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).  He has led a total of 61 laps.

Jay O’Connell, Technical Director:  “The test is going okay. We have tried to get the car closer to the race specification especially with the driver ballast just coming out last week.  We have the car at a race weight which is important and we focused more on St. Pete than Sebring this time.  We tried to run the car softer in an attempt to get the car ready for the softer platform we will need at St. Pete. We are pleased with the pace today; certainly it was a good start. We are going to make some more good changes and try to find more speed tomorrow.”

NEXT UP:  Testing will resume tomorrow from 9-5 PM ET for Group 2.   The IZOD IndyCar Series season-opening Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg will be take place March 25 and will be televised live on ABC at 12:30 PM ET.