Sato Set the Tenth Fastest Time in Practice for the Honda Indy Toronto

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
Honda Indy Toronto – Streets of Exhi­bi­tion Place, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
IZOD IndyCar Series
PRACTICE NOTES/QUOTES — Friday, July 6, 2012


FASTEST:         Dario Fran­chitti 1:00.2786 / 104.813 mph
10th:                 Takuma Sato     1:00.8783 / 103.781 mph

TAKUMA SATO, No. 15 Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Dallara/Honda/Firestone:  “It was a good day. Consid­ering the amount of time we had in prac­tice was rela­tively short, we learned a lot.  We tried a couple of different setups to find out ride height, gearing and etc. as the team hasn’t been here for a long time.  We made good progress; I’m reason­ably happy with the balance.  We will look at all of the data and hope­fully continue to make progress tomorrow.  (On Push to Pass:) Today we tried the extra boost; the extra power feels good.  We need to work on the gearing for that but it seems to be good for over­taking as well as defending. I’m not sure how many times we will be able to use it or how long it will last each time but it is defi­nitely a good tool for the race.”

FAST FACTS: This will be Sato’s third race in Toronto.  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:  “Both Prac­tice 1 and Prac­tice 2 were produc­tive sessions for us although I think that with the lack of consis­tent running due to red flags, we haven’t done as much of the program as we would have liked. Obvi­ously it’s my first time here and I am having to come to grips with the partic­ular char­ac­ter­is­tics of this Toronto street circuit. We have worked through a number of items on our program and whilst we are a bit disap­pointed to have slipped a little further adrift of Dario, who was quickest in both P1 and P2, we feel that there are still a number of changes that can have an affect on the car and hope­fully we will continue to move forward in Prac­tice 3 and qual­i­fying tomorrow.”

POLE, 5 PODIUMS FOR RAHAL LETTERMAN LANIGAN RACING AT TORONTOIt is the 13th Indy car race for the team in Torontoand first since 2003.  The team also competed in the Atlantic Series races here in 2003 and 2004.  The team earned a total of four second place finishes (Rahal 1992, 1994, 1995; Michel Jour­dain Jr. 2003) and best start was pole in 1992 by Bobby Rahal.  Prior to the 2012 event, the team prepared a total of 21 Indy car entries for drivers Bobby Rahal (1992 – 98), Mike Groff (1994), Raul Boesel (1995), Bryan Herta (1996 – 99), Max Papis (1999 – 2001), Jimmy Vasser (2002), Michel Jour­dain Jr. (2002 – 03). The team also prepared three Toyota Atlantic entries (Danica Patrick 2003 – 2004; Chris Festa 2004).  The team has earned FIVE podiums (3rd – Rahal 1996), 9 top-five’s and 16 top-10 finishes at the track.

NEXT UP:  Prac­tice will take place tomorrow from 9:45 – 10:45 a.m. ET and qual­i­fying will take place from 1:05 — 2:25 p.m.  Timing and Scoring infor­ma­tion is avail­able for all sessions from  The Honda Indy Toronto will be tele­vised live on ABC at 12:30 p.m. ET Sunday, July 8.