Notes & Quotes: Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix
Takuma Sato: No. 14 ABC Supply Honda
Jack Hawksworth: No. 41 ABC Supply Honda
Takuma Sato On:
Detroit: “Detroit is a great track. Heavy braking followed by a long straight makes a good opportunity for overtaking and that’s makes the race very exciting. The track is bumpy and has a variety of different types of corners so after having the month of May with the smooth track at Indy, Detroit is a quite contrast but I like it. It’s nice and refreshing. We had a very competitive car last year so I’m looking forward to go back with new package.”
Winning the pole: “We worked on the balance of the car and it all came together in qualifying on Sunday morning. The day before that, we were struggling a little bit but we figured it out, and it was such a great feeling that the car responded really well so I could push very hard. I knew that the good lap time was coming during a lap but didn’t expect that was P1, so it was great feeling.”
Key to success here: “The track is very bumpy and a tricky one, so there are always so many things that happen in the race. You need to be at the front to grab any chance but just minimize the mistakes and hope all come together.”
Four races in four weeks: “Well, it is a little tough for drivers but usually we can find a little time to rest so we should be fully ready every week. But I think it’s going to be super tough for the crews. The boys never stopped and never had an enough time to recover. They’re constantly working especially since we just finished the biggest race so everyone is tired plus they have to convert the car from oval to the road-course! I hope the boys had a little time off before Detroit and come back on track fresh. I am looking forward to the race weekend.”
Jack Hawksworth On:
Detroit: “Detroit is probably the most technical track we visit from a driver’s point of view and one of the hardest tracks on the car. It’s extremely bumpy and there are huge amount of corners with big variation between very slow generic street circuit corners to some quick sweepers like T1 and 2. It’s certainly one of my favorites, and it challenges both the driver and engineers to adapt best to the rough surface. It rewards a compliant car and big commitment but can catch you out with even the smallest mistake.”
Qualifying 3rd last year: “We had a very strong run going in the first race. I started from 3rd on the grid and advanced to 2nd in the opening lap. After that I closed in on the leader but was forced to take a very long pit stop around lap 20 whilst running in 2nd due to a brake rotor failure on the left front. Unfortunately in qualifying for race two the track conditions changed substantially and we missed on a few critical set up parameters.”
Key to success here: “Detroit is extremely bumpy and hard on the car. Compliance over the bumps and good mechanical grip is extremely important. Drivers need to be extremely precise as they thread the needle through the tight bumpy streets. It requires big commitment but there is absolutely no room for error.”
Return to street racing: “It’s a very different style of driving and this is what makes Indycar so diverse! Personally I can’t wait to get back out on the streets, Indy is a lot of fun but after turning only left for the past two weeks I am more than ready to start turning right and hustling the car around the concrete jungle! The Detroit circuit is hard on the cars and the drivers due to its physical nature. This means that being in good shape physically can pay off around here.”
Past performance at Detroit: In five races, Takuma Sato’s best start is 1st (Race 2 in 2014), and his best finish is 18th (both races in 2014). The best finish for the ABC Supply team is fourth with Darren Manning in 2007.
ABC Supply celebrates its 10th anniversary of its sponsorship of AJ Foyt Racing: ABC Supply began sponsoring the AJ Foyt Racing team with the 2005 Indianapolis 500. The company has leveraged its involvement by entertaining nearly 70,000 associates and customers over the past 10 racing seasons. At Detroit, the company will entertain nearly 400 guests.
ABC Supply national account AREI – American Roofing & Exteriors, headquartered in St. Louis, will be featured on the engine cover of Takuma Sato’s no. 14 ABC Supply Honda in Race 1 on Saturday. Nordmann Roofing, located in Toledo, Ohio, will be featured on the engine cover of the No. 14 in Race 2 on Sunday. Guests will receive the VIP treatment this weekend along with a Meet and Greet with Takuma Sato.
ABC Supply roofing customer, C & L Ward, headquartered in Davison, Mich., won Saturday’s ‘Your Name Here’ contest for Race 1 of the Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix. Sunday’s winner for Race 2 is Napier’s Home Improvement, located in Trenton, Mich. Each company’s name will be atop the sidepods of the No. 41 ABC Supply Dallara/Honda on the respective day. Guests will receive selected merchandise, race tickets, hospitality and garage passes, plus a Meet and Greet with Jack Hawksworth.
Headquartered in Beloit, Wis., ABC Supply was founded by Ken and Diane Hendricks in 1982. The company has more than 490 branches in 49 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 an eight-time winner of the Gallup Great Workplace Award, which recognizes the best-performing workforces in the world, ABC Supply is one of only three 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 Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix Race 1 and Race 2 will be shown live at 3:30 p.m. ET on Saturday and Sunday respectively on ABC-TV.
For more information on the ABC Supply/AJ Foyt Racing program, please check our web site: www.foytracing.com. To follow us on Twitter: @AJFoytRacing, @TakumaSatoRacer, @JackHawk41, @LarryFoyt14. On Facebook, we have the AJ Foyt Racing fan page.