Sato making his 4th start at Sonoma Raceway

Takuma Sato and the ABC Supply/AJ Foyt Racing team are in their first season together. Sato is 13th in the IZOD IndyCar Series standings.

Takuma Sato On:

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.”

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.”

Takuma Sato, A.J. Foyt Enterprises Honda
Takuma Sato, A.J. Foyt Enterprises Honda

Photo by: Art Fleischmann

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.”

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: “I’m 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’m 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.

AJ Foyt Racing

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Series INDYCAR
Article type Previews
Tags 2013, aj foyt racing, sato, sonoma