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AJ Foyt Racing Qualifying Report: Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg

Qualifying Report: Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg

ST> PETERSBURG, Fla.  March 12—Jack Hawksworth and Takuma Sato qualified 10thand 11threspectively in their ABC Supply Hondas today but they feel their cars will carry them to the front in tomorrow’sFirestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.

Both drivers made it out of the first round of qualifying only to have unexpected problems in the second round with the red-rimmed, softer compound tires.  Trying a more aggressive approach with the tires backfired but the team learned from the experience which will help them in the future. The good news is that the drivers are confident in their cars and believe that they will be contenders in the race.

Hawksworth, who was second quickest in today’s morning practice, was quite confident going into today’s qualifying. Although it didn’t work out quite the way he envisioned, he is happy with his No. 41 ABC Supply Honda.

“The day started off well; we had a good practice this morning,” said Hawksworth, who posted a time of 1 minute, 0.78 seconds (106.721mph). “The car feels really good, the guys have done a good job and it’s nice to see that all of the work over the winter is paying off and the fundamentals are getting better. In the qualifying rounds, I think we misunderstood the red tires, so we missed it a little bit there but it’s [the information] certainly something we banked and will take to Long Beach. I think car-wise we have really good cars, both of us.  I believe we’ll have a good day tomorrow.”

Last year Hawksworth started 21st and climbed through the field to finish eighth.

“Tough day for us,” said Sato, who posted a lap time of 1 minute, 0.97 seconds (106.274mph), “The first round was exciting, we had a good feeling on the black tires and had no problem with the red tires in the first segment although the field was very tight. We went for more performance in the second round and it didn’t work, so we lost speed unfortunately. We have always been strong in qualifying here so it’s a shame to miss the Firestone Fast Six but we’re looking to finish strong.”

Sato had qualified in the Firestone Fast Six the past three years in the No. 14 ABC Supply Honda but his best finish was seventh, which is where he finished after starting from the pole in 2014.

Will Power won the pole for the sixth time here with a time of 1 minute, 0.24 seconds (107.561mph). Second through fourth were his teammates Simon Pagenaud, Helio Castroneves and Juan Pablo Montoya. Scott Dixon was fifth with Ryan Hunter-Reay completing the top six.

There will be a morning warmup before the race. The race will be broadcast on ABC-TV starting at 12:30 p.m. Eastern Daylight Savings Time.

Practice Report: Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg

ST.PETERSBURG, Fla. March 11 – The ABC Supply team got off to a good start on the opening day of practice for the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg. In the first session Jack Hawksworth topped the charts for most of the 75-minute practice session in the No. 41 ABC Supply Honda; he was only…

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A.J. Foyt Racing – Notes & Quotes: Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg

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TAKUMA SATO ON:

The season opener at a temporary circuit with concrete walls: “I’m not really affected by the concrete walls. Obviously with a new package, there is always a short supply of parts at the beginning of the season so we have to be careful that not to damage them. It is always exciting and fun starting a new season. The race can be rough and aggressive, but the course is fun to drive and race on.”

The testing at Sebring: “Our testing went well. The program was interrupted a few hours due to a minor technical problem, but that was good to have sooner rather than later so we could sort it out before the opening race. We were able to manage a number of good test items and successfully gathered very valuable data. I felt good about the car but it was equally important to work closely together with all of the engineers as we are now a larger, new group. It felt very positive so I am happy.”

How Sebring helps prepare for St. Pete: “Sebring is a good track for us because it is the closest circuit we run where we can replicate a street-course in terms of bumpiness and a couple of tight corners. However, Sebring’s grip level can be too high compared to a street-course so we have to be a little careful that we don’t chase the track too much. Also another important point is that Firestone provided street-course tires for this test which is a different construction and compound from road-course tires, so we can evaluate the car properly. Testing in Sebring is a good preparation for St. Pete.”

The differences in the new Honda package compared to the 2015 car: “The car feels more stable aerodynamically so the new aerokit gives better consistency. Ultimately the performance gain looks to come from the new engine. It’s a lot more powerful than last year’s engine, and it has improved a lot in its drivability.”

The best part of having the season opener in St. Pete: “It’s in Florida! Who could complain about that? I think St. Pete is a great venue for opening the season. The fans are very enthusiastic, the restaurants have great food, and normally it’s warm good weather. Also, the racing is very exciting, the street course is unique, technical, and has a few places with great overtaking opportunities.”

The testing at Sebring: “We had an extremely successful test in Sebring. The ABC Supply crew did a fantastic job with the car preparation and we had a problem-free day. This allowed us to work methodically through our test plan and we discovered some useful information heading into the 2016 season. The pace of the car came easy and for the first time we were able to accomplish everything we set out to do during the day.”

The key to setting up a fast car for St Pete: “As with all street circuits, their bumpy nature requires the car to be compliant, and it increases the amount of importance on tire contact patch. We have a good idea of what to expect and will aim to develop and fine tune throughout the weekend to optimize the car setup for both qualifying and the race.”

JACK HAWKSWORTH ON:

His impression of the new aerokit and if it affects how he drives the car: “The new aero kit is more consistent throughout the corner and seems to be easier to work with and predict. From a driving stand point it is pretty similar, the same principles and techniques for extracting lap time still apply.”

His preparation during the off-season: “My preparation has been relentless for this season. I have worked on every single aspect of my game and I will arrive not only in physically phenomenal shape for St. Petersburg but also mentally relaxed and focused on the key elements to executing every single race weekend. I have left no stone unturned and I am ready to pounce on any opportunity and take absolute advantage of the strides the team has taken over the winter immediately.”

What he likes about St. Pete: “St. Pete has been good to me in the past. I won there in both Star Mazda and Indy Lights consecutively and I have always been very comfortable at the circuit. The weather is good and the crowd is usually strong. I will look to stand in victory lane with the ABC Supply team under the Florida sun come the weekend!”

A.J. Foyt returns to the track: Foyt makes his first race appearance since the Iowa race July 18th. He missed the final three races of the season due to a staph infection in his artificial right knee. He required two surgeries two months apart to correct. Foyt missed the first four races of the 2015 while recovering from his triple bypass surgery in late 2014.

Alfe Heat Treating returns as a major associate sponsor for season 6: What began as a limited race sponsorship in 2011 has evolved into a season-long sponsorship of the team for the sixth straight year. Headquartered in Fort Wayne, Indiana, Alfe Heat Treating, Inc. is the largest commercial aluminum heat treating operation in the United States. The company operates plants throughout the Midwest and Southeast serving aerospace, automotive, military, and commercial customers with both ferrous and non-ferrous facilities.

Valspar signs on for second season: Valspar returns as an associate sponsor of the No. 14 and No. 41 ABC Supply Hondas this season. Founded in 1806 and headquartered in Minneapolis, MN, Valspar Corporation employs over 10,000 employees in more than 25 countries. It is the fifth largest paint and coatings company in the world.

 

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. At St. Petersburg, the company will entertain nearly 570 guests.

During the off season at AJ Foyt Racing: Team President Larry Foyt hired George Klotz as team director to manage the day-to-day operations of the team.  Foyt hired Dan Hobbs as chief engineer of the No. 41 car and moved chief engineer Raul Prados to the No. 14 car. He hired Matt Curry as performance engineer of the 14 car and reassigned Daniele Cucchiaroni to become the performance engineer of the No. 41 car, thus reuniting him with Jack Hawksworth with whom he worked at Bryan Herta Autosport. Foyt signed Don Halliday as technical director to oversee the engineering department. He hired ex-driver Roger Yasukawa as Takuma Sato’s spotter and moved longtime spotter Larry Arnold to be Jack Hawksworth’s spotter. Last but not least, Foyt married Kelly Curran, of Houston, on Nov. 7th at Houston Oaks, the private golf community where the couple resides northwest of Houston.

ABC Supply national account Paul Davis Restoration, Inc., with its main office in Jacksonville, Fla., will be featured on the engine cover of Takuma Sato’s no. 14 ABC Supply Honda. Guests will receive the VIP treatment this weekend along with a Meet and Greet with Sato.

ABC Supply roofing customer C. Sterling Quality Roofing, with offices in Tampa, Hernando Beach and Clermont, Fla. won the ‘Your Name Here’ contest for the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg. The company name will be atop the sidepods of the No. 41 ABC Supply Honda. Guests will receive the VIP treatment plus a Meet and Greet with Jack Hawksworth.

The Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg will be televised live on ABC-TV Sunday, March 13th starting at 12:30p 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.

A.J. Foyt Racing – Phoenix Open Test: Highs and Lows

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PHOENIX Feb. 27, 2016—The Verizon IndyCar Series returned to Phoenix International Raceway with an Open Test this weekend. For the ABC Supply team it was a case of highs and lows.

Both Takuma Sato and Jack Hawksworth visited PIR for the first time yesterday. Both drivers enjoyed running at the one mile oval track of which Sato said, “It’s great to be back in the car especially on the oval– the sensation of speed is very exciting. Phoenix is a quite challenging track. I like that Turn 1 and Turn 4 are very different in character. It’s great fun!”

The cars ran a daytime session (12 – 3pm) and a night session (5-8pm) both days which allowed them to test the cars in track conditions they will have for qualifying (daytime) and the race, which starts in the early evening (around 5:30pm).

Sato posted his best time in the Saturday evening session with a speed of 188.679mph, which was fourth best in that session. In the combined results for the two days, it was 13th quickest.

“It was a very productive two-day test here in Phoenix,” Sato said after the on-track activity concluded. “I’ve never been here before so there was a lot to learn, especially with the new aero package and new engine. The engine felt very powerful so we’re getting competitive speeds and that is exciting. The two sessions in the daytime and then again at night were quite tricky because the balance shift was quite big—more than we expected—but that means we learned a lot. Now we head to Sebring for another test to gather more data.”

Despite some minor setbacks, Hawksworth, who turns 25 tomorrow, had been settling in nicely when things took a turn for the worse in the final session this evening. As he explained, “We came into Turn 1 and the car just got loose. I caught it, but by that time it had all the lateral force and just took me into the wall. I don’t know what happened, but we snapped and that was it.”

Hawksworth escaped injury, but the car sustained significant damage to the right side. Hawksworth had reached a top speed of 184.010mph in this afternoon’s session.

Sato had lightly brushed the wall earlier in the session when he had to avoid a car which slowed dramatically in the racing line in Turn 1. Sato’s car sustained cosmetic damage to the right rear bumper but was able to continue once the car was checked out by the ABC Supply crew.

The team returns to Sebring International Raceway Wednesday for a final test before the season opener in St. Petersburg March 11-13.

AJ Foyt Racing Moves Forward with 2016 Plans

WALLER, Texas Dec. 16, 2015—A.J. Foyt and his son Larry have made changes to the ABC Supply Racing team but they aren’t in the cockpit. Takuma Sato and Jack Hawksworth will continue as drivers of the ABC Supply Racing Hondas in 2016. The changes include hiring George Klotz to serve as Team Director, and making Don Halliday…

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Larry Foyt Weds Kelly Curran

HOCKLEY, Texas (Nov. 9, 2015) – One of INDYCAR’s most eligible bachelors has tied the knot! Larry Foyt and Kelly Curran, both of Houston, were married this past Saturday afternoon at Houston Oaks Country Club in Hockley.

The 38-year-old President of AJ Foyt Racing met the beautiful Curran, a 2007 graduate of UCLA’s theater arts program, at the 2012 IndyCar race in Fontana, Calif. The bride’s brother D. Michael Curran officiated the ceremony in the open air Pavilion.

Curran was escorted down the aisle by her father Michael F. Curran, a Houston businessman. The bride wore an ivory silk and Alençon lace wedding gown designed by Ines Di Santo and customized by Carmen at Casa de Novia Bridal in Houston.

Teal Reamer was the Matron of Honor and A.J. Foyt IV was the Best Man. Foyt’s wife Casey (Irsay) Foyt was one of the attendants. The six bridesmaids wore gowns in varying shades of ecru while the groomsmen wore black tuxedos.

The candle-lit reception for 200 guests, including Takuma Sato who flew in from Tokyo to attend, was held in the Clubhouse, a rustic but elegant stone and wood beam building lavishly decorated with antiques from around the world.

The couple left for a weeklong honeymoon at Hotel Le Toiny, a five-star resort in St. Barth’s in the French Caribbean.  They will reside in the Houston Oaks private golf club community in Hockley, northwest of Houston.

Foyt Undergoes Knee Surgery; Sato’s Impressions of Road America

A.J. Foyt Undergoes Successful Knee Replacement Surgery in Houston;

Takuma Sato Enjoys Road America Circuit Test in Elkhart Lake

WALLER, TX Sept. 24, 2015— A.J. Foyt underwent surgery yesterday to implant an artificial knee in his right leg, replacing the antibiotic-infused cement spacer he received August 10th. It was the second phase of treatment for a staph infection which surfaced in his artificial knee in late July.

“My doctors said everything went perfectly, so I was relieved to hear that,” said Foyt. “My right leg was clear of the infection so the doctors were able to give me a new knee. They were really pleased with how everything went.” It is the second time that Foyt has been hospitalized with a staph infection, the first time occurred in January, 2012 in his left artificial knee. Foyt is expected to remain in the Houston hospital for several days.

While Foyt was awaiting his surgery, his race team was in Elkhart Lake, Wis. Tuesday as several teams tested at the beautiful 4-mile road course in the Wisconsin Dells area. Nine drivers from four other teams (Ganassi, Penske, Rahal Letterman Lanigan and CHF Racing) joined Sato in the Verizon IndyCar Series’ return to the historic track. The last year an IndyCar raced there was in 2007 under the Champ Car World Series sanctioning body.

Sato, who joined IndyCar in 2010, had never seen the circuit before this week but was impressed. Following are his thoughts on the experience.

On his impression of the track (before getting on it): “I had heard about how this is everyone’s favourite track and after seeing some past footage of it, I was very impressed and excited to get on it.”

On running it in the No. 14 ABC Supply Honda Indy car: “Love it! The track is such a classic style – narrow and fast – and it’s an incredible feeling. So much fun! I feel it is a great fit for a powerful Indy car, and the cornering speed was very impressive plus it is surrounded by beautiful greens and woods. Great track!”

On its similarities to other tracks he’s run:  “It is nothing like other tracks in the USA I’ve run, but in Europe I think perhaps it’s like a mixture of Imola in San Marino and old Hockenheim in Germany or the Brands Hatch GP course in the UK but with less elevation change.  The characteristics these tracks share with Road America are that they are exceptionally narrow and fast and have a long straight with dense forest. Drivers and fans love these kinds of tracks.”

On the most thrilling part of the track: “Both the Carousel and the Kink are unbelievably fast and thrilling. You need a good commitment for Turn 1 too.”

On the passing opportunities: “I think there are a few. T1, T5 and T12 are the most popular I imagine.”

On possibility of side-by-side racing there: “It’s narrow but you can. You need a good trust and commitment but T5 has a good space for it.”

On the bratwurst (considered best in America): “No I haven’t eaten one yet but I have to then!”

Race Report: GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma

Race Report: GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma

SONOMA, Calif. Aug. 30, 2015—The day began in tears and ended in tears. A touching tribute to Justin Wilson, the popular British IndyCar driver who passed away Monday from injuries sustained at Pocono Raceway, left steely eyes moist at Sonoma Raceway.

Two hours later, when Scott Dixon edged out season-long point leader Juan Pablo Montoya by winning the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma to snare the Astor Cup and the Verizon IndyCar Series title right out of Montoya’s hands, there were tears of joy in victory lane.

Dixon, who entered the race third in points, capitalized on the double point bonus in the season finale which allowed him to tie point leader Montoya who finished sixth in the race. The tie breaker – the driver who won the most races – went to Dixon who claimed three victories to Montoya’s two.

In a much quieter celebration in the ABC Supply pits, Takuma Sato emerged from the No. 14 cockpit, elated with his ABC Supply team’s performance. Sato, who started 18th, finished eighth through a combination of smart driving, consistently fast pit stops and an off-sequence pit strategy to gain track position.

Sato pitted early – on lap six and again on lap 22 – so when the full course yellow came on lap 33 for a tangle between Will Power and his teammate Juan Pablo Montoya resulting in Power spinning out, strategist Larry Foyt told Sato to stay out to gain track position which he did, jumping from 19th to seventh on lap 35 when most of the field pitted. Sato pitted twice more, with the final pit stop coming on lap 62. He dropped back to 18th but several cars still had to pit.

Meanwhile Jack Hawksworth had climbed from his 25th starting slot to eighth by lap 51 as he too was using an off-sequence fuel strategy. When he pitted for his final stop on lap 62, he fell to 19th but as others pitted, he climbed back to 15th. A full course yellow on lap 65 for James Jakes off track excursion closed up the field. The drivers who hadn’t pitted ducked into the pits for their final stop which allowed Hawksworth and Sato climb to 10th and 13th respectively.

A few laps later, Hawksworth was running ninth when, by his own admission, he made an aggressive move past Carlos Munoz resulting in their both spinning and bringing out another full course yellow on lap 72.

Hawksworth pitted for a new nose while his teammate moved from 12th to 10th. Sato gained a couple more spots when Sebastien Bourdais tangled with Graham Rahal vying for sixth on lap 77. Rahal, a championship contender, dropped to 20th and then Bourdais joined him after serving a drive-through penalty for avoidable contact.

With four laps to go, Power charged past Sato (nearly taking him out) to take seventh on the track. The move gave Power enough points (three) to overtake Rahal in the standings for third place in the championship. Sato finished 14th in the drivers’ standings.

“First, big congrats to Dixie and the whole Ganassi organization – they did a great job to achieve winning a championship as well as the last race. It’s fantastic to see them on top,” Sato said. “It was a tough start for us from 18th so we had to try a different strategy from the leaders – different pit stop sequence – in order to move forward.  Indeed we did. The crew did a fantastic job on all the stops getting me into position to be able to fight on the track. Had a couple overtakings, which I really enjoyed. Thank you to the fans for their great support and of course ABC Supply for the whole season, and of course Alfe for their support. A top 10 is a good way to finish off the season and we learned so much because we had a two car team this year which helped this team to move forward. Thank you to the team for all their support!”

Hawksworth finished 19th in the race and placed 17th in the drivers’ standings.

“We struggled for pace in the beginning because the car wasn’t good on the right handers, but as the race went on, we made some strategies work and we had some good restarts where I could pass a lot of cars on track,” Hawksworth said. “That got us back into the hunt, we saved some fuel, pitted before the last caution and that got us into the top 10. Then I had a bit of a stupid move. We were really bad on old tires so I was trying to make as much ground as I could at the beginning so once the end came, and we were slipping and sliding I wouldn’t go backwards as much. But I just got a little optimistic and touched Munoz and broke my front wing. Congratulations to Scott on his championship and Ganassi Racing—impressive finish.”

Following Dixon under the checkered flag were Ryan Hunter-Reay, Charlie Kimball, Tony Kanaan and Ryan Briscoe. In the championship series standings, Dixon was followed by Montoya, Power, Rahal and Helio Castroneves.

Qualifying Report: GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma

SONOMA, Calif. Aug. 29, 2015–“It was a tough qualifying session for us,” Takuma Sato said after climbing from his car.

And so it was. Sato will start 18th while Jack Hawksworth will start 25th. Hawksworth lost power and oiled down the track as he made his way back to the pits before he could lay down a lap on the faster, alternate (red) tires.

Sato posted a time of 1 minute, 17.55 seconds (110.702mph) around the picturesque 2.3 mile road course in northern California. “We struggled for speed throughout the practice session but then the car was improved after the first run in qualifying, so I had a positive feeling,” Sato said. “Unfortunately there was a bit of traffic on course when we were on our quick lap, so we weren’t quick enough to get through to the second segment. Last year we made a good improvement in the warmup session on race day, so I guess we have to do that again.”

Indeed, after qualifying 14th last year, Sato was able to snare a fourth place finish in the event through a combination of an improved car set-up and savvy race strategy.

Hawksworth also struggled for speed this weekend. The team made changes to the car for qualifying but never got the chance to see whether it would be fast enough to break through to the next segment. He posted a time of 1 minute, 19.04 seconds (108.627mph).

“We went out there, did a couple laps on the black tires, came in for the reds [tires] and made some changes,” Hawksworth said. “It felt a bit better but then we had an engine issue and lost power. It was not a good day. We’ll try and have a good one tomorrow.”

Will Power won the Verizon P1 award with his time of 1 minute, 16.25 seconds (112.589 mph). Rounding out the Firestone Fast 6 were Josef Newgarden, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Simon Pagenaud, Juan Pablo Montoya and Graham Rahal.

The GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma will be broadcast live on NBC Sports Network starting at 4 p.m. ET.

Notes & Quotes: GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma

Notes & Quotes: GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma
Takuma Sato: No. 14 ABC Supply Honda
Jack Hawksworth: No. 41 ABC Supply Honda

TAKUMA SATO On:

  • Sonoma Raceway: “Sonoma is one of the most dynamic road courses in our recent calendar, so I always love racing there but it is quite challenging to put everything together. The track is initially low grip as it is nicely surrounded by a dry and sandy environment but as the track rubbers down, it gets faster and faster. Although I said the track is low grip, it is only so in the low-speed corners, and it’s well known that this is one of the most physically demanding tracks in the Verizon IndyCar Series due to the many constant high-speed and high G-force corners. The car’s set-up can be quite tricky too as both mechanical grip and aerodynamics demands are really high. For the race, with relatively a lot of elevation change, a long lap, and a couple of heavy braking areas, the fuel mileage becomes very important. Last year I had strong fuel saving with good pace, so we were very competitive and that trend should continue this year.”
  • The aero kit at Sonoma: “There are so many high-speed corners, the effect of the new aero kit’s increased downforce could be big here. We haven’t tested here with this year’s aero kit so it is a little unknown but we have good data from the previous road courses so it should work really well.”
  • Double points for season finale: “It is going to be an exciting finale as six contenders are eligible for the Championship. For us it is a good opportunity to move up in the Verizon IndyCar Series point standings. We had our best finish at this challenging track last year so we will be doing our best to finish high again.”
  • Justin Wilson’s passing: “I am extremely sad. I couldn’t find the words… impossible. It is going to be very hard for all of us to race in Sonoma after we lost our friend Justin Wilson. He was a great driver, but a better human being and everyone loved him. We shared a good time in F1 and IndyCar both on and off track and I will never forget it. This sadness hits massively in the motorsport world but we need to continue racing, which he loved. We will race for Justin’s parents, his wife Julia, daughters and entire family and sport with our deepest condolences.”
  • The danger of racing cars: “Racing is hard. I think there are two separate subjects when we talk about the danger of racing. The safety environment has been massively improved in the last 20 years, and it is nothing like it was before. Nowadays, a driver can walk away even after 100G impact in a 200mph accident and I had some but I was never injured. Having said that, it doesn’t mean racing is safe, it is still dangerous in some degree. Likewise you need a driver’s license to drive a car on public roads because the physical energy that a car has is enormous when you use it in wrong way. You have a huge responsibility and you must follow the rules because then we all can enjoy our cars on the road or on the track. But there is one significant difficulty we have been facing in the formula car category which is related to the open cockpit. We are well protected from a side, backward and even forward impact but it is still very difficult to avoid from flying debris directly in front. The sport is looking into this problem, and it will improve in the future but right now it is very difficult find an immediate solution for this specific type of accident.”

 

JACK HAWKSWORTH On:

 

  • The GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma and Sonoma Raceway: “It’s been a very difficult few days for the sport with the news of Justin’s passing. However Justin was a racer and one of the great ambassadors for our sport and with knowing that I’m sure he would be pushing for us all to put on a great show this weekend. Sonoma is one of the most interesting circuits on the calendar; it is low grip and almost street course-like in some places, but then it’s extremely fast and high grip in other places. The race in Pocono did not go well for us despite having a decent car in the race due to an issue at the first pit stop and then being squeezed under the apron later in the race. It was extremely disappointing but I’m hopeful we can put that behind us and finish out the season strong this weekend on one of my favorite circuits.”
  • What he likes about Sonoma: “I like the challenge that Sonoma brings. The contrast between fast and slow corners, high grip and low grip and then the huge elevation changes make it one hell of a race track. It’s also in beautiful area and the weather is always great!”
  • The best place to pass: “The best passing zone is probably down into the hairpin after Turn 6. If you can get a nice run off Turn 6, then you should be able to have a go at the car ahead into the brake zone. Historically it’s not been the easiest of circuits to pass on though, so qualifying and strategy will be crucial.”
  • Justin Wilson’s passing: “I only knew Justin for the short time that I was competing against him but it quickly became evident that he was not only a great racer and true professional, he was also a top guy. There was never even a shade of arrogance with Justin; I admired the way he raced on the track and carried himself off it.”
  • The danger of racing cars: “Racing can be dangerous and always will be. It’s a part of our sport and although accidents and incidents like this are extremely saddening, we should remember that every driver and crew member is given the choice to do this and we all do it because it is what we love doing. Justin’s death came whilst he was chasing his dreams and enjoying his passion, there is no better way to live.”

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.

 

Past Performance at Sonoma:  In five races at Sonoma, Sato’s best start and finish came with Foyt Racing: starting 13th in 2013 and finishing fourth in 2014. Last year, Jack Hawksworth started 18th and finished 15th. In nine appearances, the Foyt team’s best start (13th) and finish (4th) came with Sato.

 

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. This weekend the company will entertain 465 guests.

 

ABC Supply national account Waterproofing Associates, based in Mountain View, Calif., will be featured on the engine cover of the No. 14 ABC Supply Honda. Guests will receive the VIP treatment this weekend along with a Meet and Greet with Takuma Sato.

 

ABC Supply roofing customer, D7 Roofing Services, Inc., headquartered in Sacramento, Calif., won the ‘Your Name Here’ contest for this weekend. The company name will be atop the sidepods of the No. 41 ABC Supply Honda. Guests will receive the 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 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 GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma will be televised live on NBC Sports NetworkSunday, August 30, starting at 4:00pm 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. On Facebook, we have the AJ Foyt Racing fan page.

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    • Long Beach’s Grand Prix report is $150K worth of obvious points
      That report was made public Monday afternoon, and it’s loaded with an absence of surprises, although there are a few bits of weirdness involved. Rather than submit what KPMG said would be an ideal computer-aided design plan for the proposed F1 track that would identify all mandatory components required following FIA (the governing body of […]
    • Here’s who won the race between Formula 1 and IndyCar in Long Beach
      In October last year the city released a request for proposals seeking “an open-wheel auto racing format” to run the annual Grand Prix event. From the start it was only a two-horse race between Michaelian and Pook. Pook, of course, was hardly a carpetbagger. He founded the Long Beach Grand Prix in 1975 and brought […]
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      Everybody was excited, but I take a lot of personal interest in IndyCar. I always have. I kind of grew up in IndyCar, so I was glad that we were able to get them back. The fans themselves, for only having a little bit less than 90 days to sell the race last year, we […]
    • Rick Mears – still the ultimate pro at 65
      Over the past 20-something years writing about racing, I’ve encountered three people from whom I learn something about the art of racecar driving every time we speak for longer than five minutes. One of that trio is Rick Ravon Mears, born this day 65 years ago in Wichita, Kansas, and brought up in Bakersfield, Calif. […]
    • Memoir helps widow cope after IndyCar driver's death
      Tonya Bergeson-Dana talks with her son, Conor, about his father when he brings it up, which is often. If he’s asking the questions, she reasons, he’s ready to hear the answers. Paul Conor Dana, at age 9, knows that his father was Paul Dana, a journalist and IndyCar driver who died in March 2006 during […]