Takuma Sato: No. 14 ABC Supply Honda
Jack Hawksworth: No. 41 ABC Supply Honda
TAKUMA SATO ON:
* Toronto Street Circuit: “Toronto is one of the most tricky among the bumpy street courses. It has a lot of surface changes in the corners and in some cases there are three changes in one turn! But that makes this track unique and certainly it has created exciting races over the years.”
* Key to success at Toronto: “To have success, the car needs a lot of mechanical grip, good stability under braking and good traction coming out of it as the track has several big braking areas.”
* The effect of post-Indy changes to Honda’s aero kit: “They had an impressive amount of work to do to not lose too much downforce even though we lost so many wing elements. We proved it can be very competitive at the Detroit track so I’m looking forward to going back to a street course.”
* His first trip to Toronto: “My first visit to Toronto was during my Formula 1 days but it was just a promotion. Since I joined IndyCar, I so enjoy visiting Toronto every year. The city hasn’t changed a lot but it has everything: great shops and restaurants and lots of fun! The fans are very enthusiastic and very knowledgeable about motor racing so it’s always a great atmosphere.”
JACK HAWKSWORTH ON:
* Toronto Street Circuit: “Toronto is probably my favorite circuit on the calendar. It has a lot of history, it always attracts a great crowd, and the circuit itself is extremely challenging. There are lots of surface changes and bumps that make it a real old school street track.”
* Key to success at Toronto: “Handling over the bumps is extremely important, especially in the big braking zones. You need good grip through the many medium speed corners but also good speed on the long back straight which makes it a very challenging type of track in terms of aero efficiency.”
* The effect of post-Indy changes to Honda’s aero kit: “The new front wing should in theory help us here in Toronto. There’s a little less drag compared to the old wing and mechanically it should help us in a couple of the bigger braking zones and slower corners.”
* Being undefeated in Star Mazda/Indy Lights: “I have a lot of great memories here from the junior formula. I like the challenge of throwing the car around over the bumps and threading the needle through a couple of the rhythm sections at this track. It’s always been good to me!”
Tom Howatt, crew chief of the No. 14 ABC Supply Honda, was born in Margate, England but moved to the Toronto area when he was seven. He grew up in Mississauga, 14 miles northwest of the city. Howatt began his racing career by working on sports cars. In 1985, he began working on Indy cars for the Canadian Tire team with driver Jacques Villeneuve, younger brother of Formula 1 driver Gilles and uncle to the 1995 Indy 500 winner. Howatt counts one of his fondest memories as winning with Villeneuve at Road America (Elkhart Lake, WI) in 1985. In his 32-year career, he has worked with Pat Patrick, Vince Granatelli, Truesports, Panther Racing and Rocketsports. Howatt has been working with Foyt’s team since 2008.
Takuma Sato will be a special guest Thursday of a local Japanese fan club tour organized by the Toronto branch of Japan Travel Bureau (JTB) which is the largest travel agency in Japan, and one of the largest travel agencies in the world. Sato will greet fans, host a track tour around the 1.75-mile circuit in Exhibition Place and participate in a Q&A session.
This season’s performance: Takuma Sato’s best performance to date has come at Detroit with his best start of fourth in Race 1 and his best finish of second in Race 2. It was his first podium finish since his runner-up finish in Brazil in 2103. For Jack Hawksworth this year, his best finish of seventh came in both races in Detroit, while his best start of eighth came in New Orleans. Hawksworth has been plagued by red flags (for others) during his qualifying sessions this year.
Past Performance at Toronto: Takuma Sato’s best start is ninth (2012) and his best finish is fifth (2014-Race 2). As a rookie, Jack Hawksworth’s best start is 15th (2014 – Race 1) and his best finish is sixth (2014 – Race 2). The ABC Supply team’s record shows better finishes than starts: 2009 Ryan Hunter-Reay started 12th, finished seventh; in 2010, Vitor Meira started 26th, finished 11th, in 2011, Meira started 14th and finished fifth and in 2012, Mike Conway started 11th and finished third.
ABC Supply celebrates its 10th anniversary of AJ Foyt Racing sponsorship: 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.
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 Honda Indy Toronto, 85 laps around the 11-turn, 1.75-mile circuit, will be televised live on NBC Sports Network Sunday June 14th starting at 3:00pm 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. Check us out on Instagram under AJFoytRacing and on Facebook, search for the AJ Foyt Racing fan page.