Sato Retired From the GoPro Indy GP of Sonoma After Engine Failure and Finished 27th

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
GoPro Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma – Sonoma Raceway
IZOD IndyCar Series
RACE NOTES/QUOTES – Sunday, August 26, 2012
TAKUMA SATO, No. 15 Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Dallara/Honda/Firestone:  “It was a difficult weekend. The team worked so hard to find a good balance under speed. We made some good progress over the weekend but it was never fast enough to be what we wanted and in the end, unfortunately, we had engine failure so it was a very short race. It was a shame because we made some setup changes after the morning warm-up that I felt were positive changes.  I’m looking forward to returning to Baltimore. We should be competitive as we were in other street course races this year.”

  • FAST FACTS: This was Sato’s third race at Sonoma. He was on Lap 2 when he lost power and retired in 27th place.  He qualified 16th and finished 18th in 2011 and qualified 17th and finished 18th in 2010.  Both with KV Racing Technology… 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.

TOM ANDERSON, Managing Director Motorsport Operations: “Unfortunately it was a very disappointing weekend. We had a difficult test here and were unable to put a finger on the handling characteristics needed here to match the new 2012 car and Firestone tires and were a bit off all weekend.  Unfortunately when things are running downhill they run way downhill. This is going to compound our problem here with load-in being Wednesday at noon in Baltimore so there is a little extra work for the guys tonight to finish up with an engine change so we can get this engine back to Honda and we can investigate an un-characteristic problem here on this motor. This engine change is going to cost us a 10-grid penalty in Baltimore. We have been extremely strong on street courses this season and are looking forward to Baltimore and hope that we can qualify extremely well to overcome that 10-grid penalty and be a factor in the race.”
NEXT UP:  The Grand Prix of Baltimore will take place next weekend.  The race will be televised live on NBC Sports Network at 2:00 p.m. ET Sunday, September 2.