Sato Set the 18th Fastest Time in Practice for the Edmonton Indy

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
Edmonton Indy – City Centre Airport, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
IZOD IndyCar Series
PRACTICE NOTES/QUOTES – Friday, July 20, 2012


FASTEST:         Helio Castroneves         1:16.4920 / 104.670 mph
18th:                  Takuma Sato                 1:16.9741 / 104.014 mph

TAKUMA SATO, No. 15 Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Dallara/Honda/Firestone:  “It was a productive day as well as a little frustrating.  The session was cut in half by red flags and making some changes but nevertheless we made some progress between the sessions.  It’s the first time for the team on this track since they didn’t run here last year.  I had a good feeling (in the car) here last year and the car is already coming to a very similar level which is nice.  Looking at the overall view, everybody is very competitive so we are not showing as strong as we wish but we will put all of the data together and make good progress for tomorrow.  (On new tire compound:) Generally I think the car generates more downforce, plus the tires are working good and we should have a little bit more power too so, as a package, the car is going faster than last year’s lap times.  The feeling I had last year in the car, with the pole time in terms of the complete view, we are already there. But it’s only relative; we are not quick today. We need to improve.”

·         FAST FACTS: This will be Sato’s third race in Edmonton.  He won pole in 2011 and led 18 laps but was hit by Ryan Hunter-Reay, who was penalized for “avoidable contact” with a “drive-through” on Lap 41/80 but went on to finish seventh.  Sato was in second place at the time and ultimately finished 21st.  In 2010, he started 13th and finished ninth.  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:  “We had two difficult sessions, again spoiled by a number of red flags, particularly in the afternoon session. We worked through a number of items on our test list for Friday. As always, we would have liked to have done more work.  We feel that our true pace has not been reflected in the lap times at the end of P1 (practice 1) and P2 (practice 2) and probably feel a little more confident about the pace of our car. We will attempt to put a lap together in qualifying tomorrow and get a good grid position.”

SECOND RACE IN EDMONTON FOR RAHAL LETTERMAN LANIGAN RACING… The Edmonton Indy will mark the second Indy car event for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing (RLL) here and first since 2008 when Ryan Hunter-Reay started 13th and finished eighth for the team.  The circuit layout was revised in 2011… Team co-owner Bobby Rahal competed in his first professional race at Edmonton International Speedway in May 1975 where he qualified on the front row in second place in the Player’s Canadian Formula Atlantic Series. Electrical issues ended his race.

NEXT UP:  Practice will take place tomorrow from 9:00-10:00 a.m. MT and qualifying will take place from 1:00 – 2:15 p.m.  Timing and Scoring information is available for all sessions from  The Edmonton Indy will be televised live on NBC Sports Network at 2:00 p.m. ET Sunday, July 22.