Sato Retired From the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama After Mechanical Failure

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama –  Barber Motor­sports Park
IZOD IndyCar Series
NOTES/QUOTES – Sunday, April 1, 2012

SATO RETIRED FROM THE HONDA INDY GRAND PRIX OF ALABAMA AFTER MECHANICAL FAILURE

TAKUMA SATO, No. 15 Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Dallara/Honda/Firestone:  “We had a reason­able start.  It’s always exciting going through two or three corners side-by-side. I gained a few posi­tions and the race settled down quickly. After the pit stop, we strug­gled with the balance of the car on the primary Fire­stone tires. As soon as I got back on the alter­nate Firestone’s on the next stint, the handling was much better and I was starting to over­take people. We were on the way to recov­ering posi­tions but then all of a sudden I lost power. It is disap­pointing to have mechan­ical fail­ures in two consec­u­tive races but there are some posi­tives from the weekend.  I hope in Long Beach we are able to be compet­i­tive again and have a strong finish.”

FAST FACTS: Started 16th in his third race here today but retired after mechan­ical failure in 24th place. He qual­i­fied 11th here in 2011 and finished 16th and qual­i­fied sixth in 2010 and finished 15th – both for KV Racing Tech­nology… Will be Sato’s first season at RLL and third in IndyCar… Sato led the season-opener in St. Pete two times for a total of 11 laps. He qual­i­fied 15th and passed three cars on the start, passed three cars on the second (re)start and two on another to move to the lead two times. He pitted from the lead for his final stop and suffered a mechan­ical failure that resulted in a 22nd place finish… 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 led a total of 61 laps in 2011.

INDY 500 HELMET CONTEST: Sato is holding a “With you Japan” Charity Design Contest and the winner’s design will be featured on his Indy 500 helmet.  The winner will be chosen April 6. For more infor­ma­tion log on to: http://www.withyoujapan.org/en/activity/

 

RAHAL LETTERMAN LANIGAN RACING AT BARBER 2012 marks the 21st consec­u­tive season of compe­ti­tion for the team.  It was the first IndyCar Series race for the RLL at Barber.

NEXT UP:  The series will take next weekend off and return to action on April 15 for the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach. Sato and RLL will test at Indi­anapolis Motor Speedway on Wednesday, April 4.