NOTES & QUOTES: Go Pro Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma
Takuma Sato and the ABC Supply/AJ Foyt Racing team are in their first season together. Sato is making his fourth start at Sonoma Raceway. He is 13th in the IZOD IndyCar Series standings.
• Takuma Sato On:
o Sonoma Raceway: “It's the most dynamic and challenging road course in the series. In some ways, it’s tricky but I always enjoy the huge elevation changes throughout a lap and the great high speed corners. Most of the high speed corners are related to some elevation change so it makes car always unstable and inconstant. For example, we have to wait until Turn 7 for the track to get flat--otherwise it’s always up and down and the attitude [of the car] changes at the apex in the middle of the corner, so that is challenging. Also the track is generally low grip as it is a bit sandy, but some places are even more slippery with different surfaces and very difficult to secure a good grip.”
o The key setup for the race: “It's a very tricky place here for the engineer as well. The surface has low grip and there are three extremely slow-speed corners so you need a very good mechanical grip but you need a lot of platform control as well for aero because many of the rest are high-speed corners. It’s very difficult to get the balance right as the track makes the car unstable all the time.”
o What was learned from testing at Sonoma: “It was a very productive day. We went through many test items and found both positives and negatives. There are several ways that you can achieve similar effect by different setups but some work and some don’t and that is very specific by track-- meaning some work for other places but not here, etc. We learned a lot from that point of view and we’re looking forward to the Open Test to continue the work.”
o What he did in the area before the Open Test: “My family came and we stayed in Sonoma a little bit but then went to Las Vegas and also visited Yosemite Park. Vegas is always fun to find some different things and we enjoyed a couple of the shows. It was our first visit to Yosemite and that was fantastic--a great way to relax and get refreshed in the beauty of nature.”
• A.J. Foyt on his recovery: “Not coming along as fast as I’d hoped to – everything is looking good and I’m feeling good but the doctors don’t want me to travel that far by air. I get real tired – it’s a lot rougher than I thought it was going to be. I can’t wait to get back but it’ll be Houston before I am at a race.”
• Past performance: In three starts at Sonoma, Sato’s best start was 16th at the track in 2011 with KV Racing and his best finish was 18th in both 2010 and 2011 with them. In eight appearances, the Foyt team’s best start (14th) came in 2012 with Mike Conway and its best finish (10th) came in 2005 with Jeff Bucknum.
• ABC Supply will host over 400 guests on race day at Sonoma. 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 48,000 people at IZOD IndyCar Series events.
• ABC Supply roofing customer Above All Roofing will be featured atop the sidepods of the No. 14 ABC Supply Dallara/Honda. Guests will receive selected merchandise, race tickets, hospitality and garage passes, plus a Meet and Greet with Takuma Sato.
• Headquartered in Beloit, Wis., ABC Supply was founded by Ken and Diane Hendricks in 1982. The company has more than 455 branches in 45 states and is dedicated exclusively to serving professional contractors. ABC Supply has distinguished itself by following a simple guiding principle – take care of contractors better than any other distributor. It remains an “employee-first” company that treats its associates with respect and gives them the tools they need to succeed. As a six-time winner of the Gallup Great Workplace Award, which recognizes the best-performing workforces in the world, ABC Supply is one of only a handful of companies in the world to have earned this honor every year since its inception in 2007. More information is available at www.abcsupply.com.
• The Go Pro Indy Grand Prix at Sonoma will be televised live Sunday, August 25, starting at 4:00 p.m. ET on the NBC Sports Network.