Takuma Sato has just had a busy weekend in the UK with two great events.
On Friday, he attended the National Motor Museum at Beaulieu to launch a new exhibit - a BAR-Honda 060 that he raced during the 2004 F1 season, presented in the livery with which he scored a podium finish at the 2004 USA Grand Prix. This car is presented alongside a display case of Taku's original racing memorabilia giving the public an up to date feel for contemporary F1 racing history. This car is now the newest F1 car to feature in the museum's impressive collection.
Launching the displays with Taku was Lord Montagu, owner of the Beaulieu Estate who commented "I would like to thank Takuma very much for his generous loan of these fantastic exhibits. We are honoured to have him here; it is a great pleasure for us".
Taku launched the car to a crowd of enthusiastic fans, some of whom had travelled from Japan with Virgin Atlantic to witness the weekends events.
Taku was thrilled to see so many of them there and said "It is great to see this fantastic museum and have my car on display here with all these Amazing cars. I would like to thank Lord Montague for looking after the car for me, I hope everyone enjoys seeing the car and the display items alongside. Thanks also for everyone for coming along to see the car and its great to meet them all".
Saturday saw Taku make a star appearance at the famed Goodwood Festival of Speed where he was privileged to drive two very different cars.
Firstly he blasted up the hill in a Benetton B188, a car raced by Alessandro Nannini in 1988 and now owned by Florent Moulin. This was only the second time Taku had ever driven an F1 car with a foot clutch and H pattern gearshift!
Taku loved to drive an F1 car with a foot clutch and H pattern gearshift "The Benetton was just fantastic. Absolute the beauty of the art, the condition of the car was excellent and the gearbox was so lovely and smooth, I could really enjoy driving it -- what a lovely car".
Next up was a March 707 Can Am sportscar from 1970. This amazing car has a 8.5 litre Chevrolet motor producing around 850bhp and has been previously clocked at 233mph (373kph) at Daytona Raceway! After taking this car up the hill, Taku was enthused "What a complete beast!" he beamed. "This car is just amazing - so much torque, it just pulls so strongly in any gear, it was really fun to drive. Amazing!"
Apart from driving the cars, Taku met with Lord March, Peter Fonda and a host of other racing stars during what has become one of the world's essential motorsport weekends of the year.