A.J. Foyt Racing logo

Notes & Quotes: Chevrolet Dual in Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix

Takuma Sato: No. 14 ABC Supply Honda

Jack Hawksworth: No. 41 ABC Supply Honda

TAKUMA SATO ON:

  • The race:  “The Detroit GP has always been an exciting one for me whether it was a dry or wet race. I enjoy driving this bumpy Belle Isle street course a lot, particularly after we raced the super smooth Indianapolis Motor Speedway at 230mph only a few days ago. Belle Isle is competently different. We have good history at this track and our performance at street courses has been strong so I’m really looking forward to the weekend.”
  • Why he likes it: “I just simply enjoy the track. It’s kind of mixture of street and road course so it has a full variety with tight and complex corners to the very fast corners with an incredibly bumpy surface. We have had a history of good performance here so always enjoy.”
  • Difference in qualifying at Detroit from Indy GP: “Race 1 qualifying is not much different but we will have only one segment and one shot at qualifying in Race 2 so it is challenging.”
  • His favorite section of the Detroit track: “I like the last two corners because you’re building up speed and it’s very fast but the concrete wall is right there so no margin for error so it really needs accuracy and a big commitment.”
  • The biggest challenge of doubleheader for drivers: “Doubleheaders are mentally and physically tougher than usual so we must make sure to recover well after the first race and prepare for the second. We must keep good concentration as well because we have less practice than usual, but two qualifying sessions and two races in a similar time frame.”
  • Why he is so strong there: “There are a number of reasons why. In 2015, we were starting the season with a bit of a tough time in terms of performance but the aero package was revised at the Detroit GP for safety reasons.  We lost some downforce but we got more consistency as a result. That really helped our performance so I was much happier in the car. The other thing was the weather conditions. Unstable rain condition was related to our results. In Race1 I could overtake all the cars in front and led the race at beginning because of the rain. In Race 2 we had to start from the middle pack as qualifying was cancelled due to weather, but I could come up all the way from behind again due to weather condition. In the end it became dry but there were was so many restarts which allowed me to charge to front. The team did great job with fast pit stops and called the right strategy so it all helped.”

 

JACK HAWKSWORTH ON:

  • The circuit: “It’s a really technical circuit, probably the most technical on the calendar. It’s extremely bumpy and quite a long lap — 14 corners — so the car needs to be compliant over the bumps. As a driver you can influence the car’s performance a lot there because there is so much going on, so many corners, concrete patches, different shades of asphalt. There are some tricks of the trade you can use over the bumps so you can extract the last little bit of lap time.”
  • Why he likes the Detroit circuit: “I love this track, it’s a real driver’s circuit. Very technical and very bumpy. There is a huge emphasis on mechanical grip and compliance to deal with the tricky surface and it is a circuit where the driver can really exploit the car he is given and make a difference.”
  • Difference in qualifying at Detroit from Indy GP No real difference. We will employ the same strategy we used at the Indy GP where we made the fast six and hopefully with the improved performance from Honda we can take the next step and fight for the front row.
  • His favorite section of the Detroit track: “Turns 1 and 2. It’s very high commitment but also very much give-and-take. You have to sacrifice entry speed for a good exit but it is also important to keep a high minimum speed through the transition. Also the crest [in the track surface] on the exit adds another dynamic and can cause some issues for the drivers!”
  • The biggest challenge of doubleheader for a driver: “Mentally you have to be able to reset and go again very quickly. Whether you win or lose the first race there’s no time for reflection and you have to keep that singular forward focus all weekend. I can’t wait to get after it.”

Past Performance in the Grand Prix: In six races, Takuma Sato’s best start is first (Race 2 in 2014), and his best finish is second in Race 2 in 2015.  Jack Hawksworth’s best start was third in 2014 and best finish is seventh (2015). The best finish for the ABC Supply team is second with Sato in 2015.

ABC Supply Co. enters its 12th season as marketing partner of AJ Foyt Racing: ABC Supply began sponsoring the AJ Foyt Racing team with the 2005 Indianapolis 500, and is the second longest active team sponsor in the Verizon IndyCar Series. With this season, the company ties U.S. Tobacco’s Copenhagen brand in length of sponsorship of Foyt’s team.  ABC Supply has leveraged its involvement by sponsoring races at Milwaukee and now at Pocono with the ABC Supply 500, and by entertaining over 75,000 associates and customers during the past 11 racing seasons. 350 guests will be entertained this weekend.

ABC Supply national account, Fred Christen & Sons Co., headquartered in Toledo, Ohio, will be featured on the engine cover of the No. 14 ABC Supply car during the Dual in Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix.  Guests will receive the VIP treatment this weekend along with a Meet and Greet with Takuma Sato.

ABC Supply local roofing customer, Premier Renovations & Storm Solutions, located in Frasier, Mich., won the ‘Your Name Here’ contest for the Saturday race of the Dual in Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix. The company name will be atop the sidepods of the No. 41 ABC Supply Dallara/Honda. Guests will receive VIP treatment, plus a Meet and Greet with Jack Hawksworth.

ABC Supply local roofing customer, Prime Starr Construction, located in Romeo, Mich. won the ‘Your Name Here’ contest for the Sunday race of the Dual in Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix. The company name will be atop the sidepods of the No. 41 ABC Supply Dallara/Honda. Guests will receive VIP treatment, 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 600 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 a nine-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.

Race 1 of the Dual in Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix will be televised live on ABC-TV Saturday, June 4th starting at 3:30pm ETRace 2 will be broadcast live on ABC-TV Sunday, June 5th starting at 3:30 p.m. ET.

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.