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.”

1 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.