NOTES & QUOTES: Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio

Takuma Sato On:

o Mid-Ohio course: “It always reminds me of a British country’s race course… for example Oulton Park (in the U.K.). Very narrow, good elevation changes, high-speed and lots of greens with dense forest. It’s a classic! Meaning, I like it a lot. I always love driving there and I particularly enjoy the support from the fans. They are very knowledgeable and extremely enthusiastic as they sometimes even bring my F3 [2001 British Formula 3] days photos!”

o The key setup for the race: “Since it has a few long straights, it’s not necessary to run with maximum downforce but you need a good grip at the second half of the circuit which has a series of very tricky corners. So the field is mixed up with various downforce levels depending on each team’s set-up philosophy. Also this track is well known for its very changeable track conditions, in other words, it has huge track evolution. So it’s important to plan ahead rather than chase the track. That’s easy to say and difficult to do, but we try.”

o What was learned from July 24 testing at Mid-Ohio: “It was a very productive test and it was very encouraging to see that we made good progress. We have been working pretty hard to figure out the road course set-up and quite honestly, it has been a long journey to arrive at this comfortable level. We have struggled with the usage of the tires’ working range for some road courses but it looks like we managed well at our last test and now we have a good level of grips. We are always looking for improvement so this might only be the start of our new set-up, but I feel positive and optimistic about it.”

o Having a good run in Toronto (started 22nd, finished 5th): “At last! It was definitely what we needed for a long time. Now we’ll bring this good momentum and go for more good results in the last part of our season. I am very positive.”

Past performance: In four 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 seven 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.

Race Report: Honda Indy Toronto

TORONTO July 20, 2014—Takuma Sato posted his first top-five finish of the year in the No. 14 ABC Supply Honda as he came from nearly last to finish fifth in the Honda Indy Toronto Race 2. After being knocked out of Race 1 on the first lap, the top-five finish in Race 2 was particularly sweet.

"Toronto is a great event as always,” Sato said. “We've been unlucky but we bounced back strong and finishing as the highest Honda-powered car makes me proud. The race was really tricky—going from the dry to wet to dry tires. The guys did a great job in the pits. We never lost our motivation [despite the poor results]. I really enjoyed this race, and hopefully we'll be strong the rest of the season."

Race 1, postponed from Saturday due to rain causing poor track conditions, took place Sunday morning. Both races were shortened to 65 laps or 75 minutes.

Sato started 12th and got caught up in five car tangle triggered by Simon Pagenaud’s spin. Sato’s car was the only one that had to be taken to the paddock to be repaired. The car’s left front suspension and right side undertray had to be replaced. He rejoined the race 40 laps down to test the car and pulled in after nine laps. He placed 23rd.

The race was won by Sebastien Bourdais. Second through fifth were: Helio Castroneves, Tony Kanaan, Simon Pagenaud and Scott Dixon.