NOTES & QUOTES: Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio
Takuma Sato and the ABC Supply/AJ Foyt Racing team are in their first season together. Sato is making his fourth start at Mid-Ohio. He is 13th in the IZOD IndyCar Series standings.
• Takuma Sato On:
o Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course: “I like Mid-Ohio. It reminds me of the national circuits in Britain like Oulton Park—it is narrow and has lots of trees with good elevation changes and a tricky complex in the last sector of the course. It has some seriously fast corners like turn 1 and turn 11 which is challenging. The fans here are very knowledgeable and enthusiastic which makes for a great atmosphere too.
o The key setup for the race: “At this track the field is very tight-- maybe just a second separates a good 20 cars. It’s quite tricky and the track changes so much that you need to be in the right range so you have to estimate the track conditions before you go to practice or qualifying because the track is constantly evolving. You need to go through all the setups and have a few cards ready to pick from depending on the conditions. You need good balance for the high speed corners and good mechanical grip for the complex. Your best place to pass is Turn 2 and Turns 4 and 5—it’s a combination. If you’re really quick in Turn 1, it’s possible to have Job Done in Turn 2 on heavy braking into the hairpin. Entering Turn 4 is another possibility or if you set it up for turn 4, you can pass in turn 5. It’s quite exciting but it’s not an easy place to overtake.”
o What was learned from testing at Mid-Ohio: “We had a lot of things to do because it was the first test on a permanent road course since Barber in the spring. For the last three months, we’ve been on the street and ovals. We needed to go through a number of test items because the tire construction is different so the car behaves differently than it does on the street courses. We learned a lot through the test and made good progress so it was a productive test.”
o What he did during the long break: “I was traveling a lot. I went back to Japan for a few days after Toronto and then I went to Monaco with my family for a holiday; we saw some old friends while there. I came to this race very refreshed and I look forward to a good weekend.”
• Past performance: In three starts at Mid-Ohio, Sato’s best start was third in his first start at the track in 2010 with KV Racing and his best finish was 4th in 2011 with them. In six appearances, the Foyt team’s best start (7th) and finish (4th) came in 2009 with Ryan Hunter-Reay who was subbing for the injured Vitor Meira that season.
• ABC Supply will host over 700 guests on race day at Mid-Ohio. The company is in its ninth year as primary sponsor of A.J. Foyt’s No. 14. Since ABC Supply began sponsoring AJ Foyt Racing in 2005, they have entertained well over 47,000 people at IZOD IndyCar Series events.