DETROIT May 29, 2015—Takuma Sato qualified fourth in the No. 14 ABC Supply Honda for Race 1 of the Detroit Grand Prix doubleheader which will run tomorrow on the 2.35-mile temporary circuit on Belle Isle. The effort netted him his best start of the season and marked the second time he made the Firestone Fast 6 in the Verizon IndyCar Series this year.
“I’m very happy, very happy,” Sato said. “The ABC car worked really well and all the crew on the AJ Foyt Racing team did a fantastic job to put us in the Fast Six a second time this year. Today the track changed very rapidly after that rain shower [between the practice and qualifying sessions]. It was really tricky in the first segment of qualifying but we made some setup changes and it seemed to pay off very nicely. I was able to push really hard and put in a good lap time. Hopefully we can keep this competitiveness for tomorrow’s race.”
Jack Hawksworth did not fare as well as Sato since a red flag for Josef Newgarden’s contact with the barrier in Turn 13 cut short the Group 2 qualifying session just as Hawksworth was to lay down a fast lap. He barely missed transferring to the next segment. He will start 14th in the No. 41 ABC Supply Honda.
“The qualifying session wasn’t very good for us,” said a dejected Hawksworth. “We went out straightaway and kind of got hosed on the red flag just like we did at Long Beach. It’s disappointing because we probably would have gone through, but that’s just the way it is.”
Will Power set a new track record in his Chevy-powered machine en route to his third Verizon P1 pole award of the year. His Team Penske teammates followed with Helio Castroneves second and Juan Pablo Montoya third. Sato squeezed in ahead of Simon Pagenaud while Sebastien Bourdais completed the top six.
The teams will have a 30-minute final warmup in the morning. The race will be broadcast live by ABC-TV starting at 3:30 p.m. ET.