Archives for A.J. Foyt Racing PR

Notes & Quotes: MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway

Notes & Quotes: MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway
Takuma Sato: No. 14 ABC Supply Honda
Jack Hawksworth: No. 41 ABC Supply Honda
TAKUMA SATO ON:

* Auto Club Speedway: “Auto Club Speedway is one of the most exciting high speed ovals. It’s a very fast track and there are lots of overtaking opportunities. I always enjoy racing there and I have great support too [from the fans].
* On racing during day vs. night: “Running the race during the heat of the day will be very tough. You lose tons of downforce with the high ambient temperature and you lose significant mechanical grip due to the high track temperature as tires are given a very hard time. So there will not be enough grip and the race will be a tough one to deal with as a driver.”
* Last year’s best start/finish (4th/6th) for you and team at ACS: “We worked one specific setting for a long time and finally it seemed to work better. The track is quite bumpy so you need a very good mechanical grip and try to reduce the downforce. The boys did very fast pit stops last year so that helped for track position too!”
* The aerokit at ACS: “I think we will have a tough race but we learned a lot from both Indy and Texas so it’s expected to be competitive. Especially the tire management (like Texas) will be very important as we will have a day time race and it will be very much grip-limited compared to the previous night races there.”
* On his weekend off: “I had a very busy week with appearances and a photoshoot in Japan, but had a good weekend off to spend some time with my family. I am now very refreshed and ready to get back in the car!”

JACK HAWKSWORTH ON:

* Auto Club Speedway: “It’s an interesting oval, certainly the bumpiest oval on the calendar, and coupled with the seams and the amount of dust the track holds, it is extremely tricky and not an easy place to get it right! It really demands the drivers and engineers to be on top of the car across the seams. I like the challenge it brings and it’s one of the most unique tracks on the calendar.”
* Day vs. Night races: “I have always preferred the oval races at night, I think it brings more of a stadium atmosphere. However racing in the day will bring some new challenges especially from a track temperature point of view. The track could be a little greasier with the sun on it and that could make finding the correct balance in the race just a little harder.”
* What he did for fun last year in Fontana: “I had my first ever In & Out burger! Does that count?”
* What he did on his weekend off: “I spent some time back at home in the U.K, the first time I’ve been back since Christmas and New Year. I spent most of the weekend just catching up with friends and family! It was a lot of fun and I have to say I now feel refreshed and recharged heading into the final part of the season!”

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 on road/street courses this year. The MAVTV 500 will be Sato’s 97th IndyCar race and Hawksworth’s 28th race.

Past Performance at Auto Club Speedway: Takuma Sato and the ABC Supply team both posted their best start of fourth and best finish of sixth at Auto Club Speedway last year. Jack Hawksworth, starting 17th, had an issue on the warm-up lap and had to pit which contributed to his losing a lap after the first pit stop; he never made up the lap despite having a competitive car; he finished 15th.

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 nearly 300 guests.

ABC Supply national account BEST Contracting Services, Inc., based in Gardena, 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, Lines & Lundgreen Roofing & Insulation, Inc., located in Yuma, Ariz., 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 MAVTV 500 will be televised live on NBC Sports Network Saturday, June 27th 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.

Race Report: Honda Indy Toronto

TORONTO June 14, 2015—The rain in Toronto didn’t last long enough for Takuma Sato and it didn’t make a difference to Jack Hawksworth.

When the green flag fell along with the rain, Sato passed Helio Castroneves for seventh before the end of lap one on the 1.75-mile temporary circuit at Exhibition Place. When Juan Pablo Montoya went off on lap seven, Sato’s No. 14 ABC Supply Honda took over sixth and began closing in on fifth-running Luca Filippi. However, the track began drying out and teams began pitting for slicks.

Hawksworth, who’d started 14th in the No. 41 ABC Supply Honda, hadn’t made any forward progress so he was one of the first to pit for slicks at the end of lap 10. Sato pitted two laps later and also took on red (alternate) tires.

A full course yellow for James Jakes on lap 29 turned out well for Josef Newgarden and Carlos Munoz who had pitted just before Jakes’ accident (who had pitted with Newgarden and Munoz). As the rest of the field ducked into the pits with the exception of those two plus Castroneves and Rodolfo Gonzalez, Sato pitted for black (primary)tires but lost a position to Montoya once the stops cycled out.

When the next full course yellow came out on lap 41 for Stefano Coletti’s brush with the wall, Sato and Hawksworth did not pit but several cars did. Sato was running ninth and Hawksworth 15th at the halfway point of the 85-lap race. Sato passed Montoya again for eighth by lap 48 but when he pitted on lap 55, he dropped to 13th and Hawksworth to 18th as the different fuel strategies came into play. Graham Rahal passed Sato on his out lap from the pits (when Sato was on cold tires) dropping Sato to 14th. Three laps later, Sato passed Simon Pagenaud for 13th.

Although he should have had enough fuel to finish the race, Sato was instructed to save fuel in the closing laps as there had been a problem on the final stop – he didn’t get the entire fill of fuel. Hawksworth meanwhile had moved into 15th. Once again the various fuel strategies played out and Sato was in 10th with less than 15 laps to go. However, he couldn’t close in on Rahal and had to settle for 10th.

“Tough race,” Sato summed up afterwards. “In the end we weren’t quick enough to get into the top level, and there wasn’t enough rain for me either. At the beginning of the race when it was wet, we gained a couple positions and it was really good. But when it got drier, other teams got lively. On our final pit stop somehow we had an issue on the fuel where we didn’t get a full tank and I had to save fuel quite a lot at the end which cost us a bit of time. Nevertheless, I think the whole ABC Supply team did a good job and hopefully we have a good race in Fontana.”

Hawksworth advanced to 14th in the final lap as Ryan Hunter-Reay had to pit with a rear brake issue with one lap to go.

“Not too good a race for us,” Hawksworth opined. “We weren’t very fast today—we just didn’t have anything to fight with to be honest with you. We were just out there circulating all afternoon and finally got to the checkered. The car had a lot of understeer for whatever reason so we’ll have a think about it. The car seemed quite alright in qualifying and today it just wasn’t competitive.”

Josef Newgarden won the Honda Indy Toronto while teammate Luca Filippi finished second, giving the Carpenter-Fisher-Hartman team its first ever one-two finish. Third through fifth were Castroneves, teammate and pole sitter Will Power, and Sebastien Bourdais who won here last year.

With next weekend off, Hawksworth flies east to the U.K. while Sato will be flying west to Japan as each driver heads back to their homeland. The next race for the Verizon IndyCar Series will be at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif. The MAV TV 500 will be broadcast live on the NBC Sports Network on Saturday, June 27 starting at 4 p.m. ET.

Foyt Racing Qualifying Report: Honda Indy Toronto

Qualifying Report: Honda Indy Toronto

TORONTO June 13, 2015—The ABC Supply team’s record in Toronto shows that they finish better than they start which should bode for a good result Sunday! Takuma Sato qualified eighth today to post the team’s best ever start on the 1.755-mile temporary circuit at Exhibition Place. The team’s best finish of third came in 2012 with Mike Conway.

Sato, who posted a lap of 59.9500 seconds (105.388mph) in the second round, missed advancing to the Firestone Fast Six by .0578 of a second! “I was satisfied with my lap but it’s just so close, the field is so tight,” said Sato. “We only needed five-hundredths of a second to make it to the Firestone Fast Six.  I was temporarily fifth until the very few last corners in the final seconds and then two guys overtook me. It is what it is and that’s racing. I think the ABC Supply boys did a great job to put everything together. Yesterday it was positive but this morning it was a little bit disconnected feeling but we came back strong. It’s a shame it wasn’t a little bit higher but P-8, I’ll take it. It’s a good place to start, and the weather looks good, so hopefully we have a sweet Sunday afternoon.”

Teammate Jack Hawksworth was frustrated as his attempt to post a quick time was cut short by a red flag brought out by Rodolfo Gonzalez’s contact with the wall seven minutes into the 10-minute Round 1 session. For Hawksworth, it wasn’t the first time that he found himself outside of the top 12 because of an untimely red flag caused by someone else.

“We had just put the red tires on and the red flag came out [half a lap later], and we couldn’t do a time,” said Hawksworth, who suffered similar circumstances in both the Grand Prix of Long Beach and the Detroit Grand Prix earlier this season. “It’s starting to sound like a broken record,” he continued, adding, “The car was as good as it’s been in qualifying all year so I’m disappointed. It would have been nice to have seen what we could have done.”

Hawksworth qualified the No. 41 ABC Supply Honda in 14th with a time of 1 minute, 1.4569 seconds (102.804mph).

Although Sato was the fastest Honda-powered driver for the third time this season, he didn’t make it into the Firestone Fast Six as he did at St. Petersburg and more recently at Detroit. Will Power topped the Chevrolet contingent with his time of 59.4280 seconds (106.314mph). Following Power across the line were: Simon Pagenaud, Juan Pablo Montoya, Scott Dixon, Sebastien Bourdais, and Luca Filippi.

The race will be broadcast live tomorrow starting at 3 p.m. ET on the NBC Sports Network.

Notes & Quotes: Honda Indy Toronto

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.

Race Report: Firestone 600

Race Report: Firestone 600

FORT WORTH June 6—The Firestone 600 was a quick race with only one caution period but it turned into a long night for the AJ Foyt/ABC Supply Racing team.

Takuma Sato started 13th in the No. 14 ABC Supply Honda but by the time of his first pit stop, he had dropped to 17th. Although the team tried to adjust the handling throughout the race, which meant adding more front wing in the first half of the race and taking it out the second half as the track cooled down, Sato was unable to make much headway.

At one point Sato was two laps down but had gotten a lap back when the caution came out on lap 84 for debris on the track. However, a penalty for passing the pace car following a pit stop during that caution period, resulted in another quick visit to pit lane for a stop and go which put him two laps down again. The yellow never flew again which meant the opportunity to unlap himself never came.

With eventual winner Scott Dixon and runnerup and teammate Tony Kanaan setting a blistering pace, Sato fell behind and by the time the checkered flew, he was five laps down.  The top-five cars were the only ones on the lead lap. Indeed, the average speed of 191.940mph set a new track record for the 248-lap race. Sato was credited with 16th.

“It was a tricky night, the conditions changed from quite hot temperatures to cooler conditions,” said Sato.” The balance shift was enormous and during a stint, the balance shift was also enormous, so I was out of tools [to adjust the car’s handling] at both ends. We were quick for a few laps but you had to look after the tires and in the end we were still struggling a lot. At one stage we were close to getting back to lead lap but unfortunately the safety car caught us at the end of the pit. I thought we had it no problem, but we didn’t. The officials didn’t penalize us by telling us to get back, instead they gave us a stop and go penalty which was very harsh. And that was it, end of story. So then we just brought the car home. It was a tough night.”

Meanwhile Jack Hawksworth had qualified 17th in the No. 41 ABC Supply Honda but his troubles started early. A problem with the steering showed up on the warmup lap. Hawksworth dropped back at the start of the race as the car had too much understeer. Hawksworth pitted early and often as the team tried to solve the handling problems which worsened as the race went on. After four pit stops, race strategist Mitch Davis told Hawksworth to park the car which he did after 62 laps.

“We went out and initially the wheel was the wrong way on the straight and that was strange,” said Hawksworth as he watched the race from his pit stand. “When I got going, I just had incredible understeer despite a lot of steering in the car. We came in and wound a lot of front wing in it and that made the car turn but the problem was that the front wing was so powerful that it would just overpower the front and turn the car into huge snap oversteer. The balance was still massive understeer but now it was close to being huge oversteer as well. There was something mechanically wrong and we tried to fix it with the center of pressure but it didn’t work.”

When the team went over the No. 41 car in the garage, they found a mechanical failure in the front suspension.  The result was an ill handling car that could not be fixed on pit road. Hawksworth placed 23rd.

Following Dixon and Kanaan across the line were Helio Castroneves, Juan Pablo Montoya and Marco Andretti.

The ABC Supply Racing team will head back to the race shop in Waller to change the cars from an oval setup to street course setup before the transporters head to Toronto on Monday. The Honda Indy Toronto will be televised live on Sunday, June 14th on the NBC Sports Network starting at 3:00 p.m. ET.

Qualifying Report: Firestone 600

FT. WORTH, Texas June 5, 2015–Takuma Sato qualified in what he hopes will be a lucky 13th starting spot for the Firestone 600, while teammate Jack Hawksworth will start 17th in his second start at Texas Motor Speedway.

“It’s exciting to be back at Texas Motor Speedway–very fast and it feels good after the very bumpy track at Detroit,” said Sato, who clocked a 216.686mph lap in the No. 14 ABC Supply Honda. “We worked on various things this morning because we only had one practice session before qualifying and we had to figure out the qualifying trim and the race package. The car perhaps isn’t fully optimized but I think the boys did a good job and the car is reasonably fast, so I will be happy with that and hopefully we’ll have a strong package for tomorrow.”

“We didn’t have a great qualifying run but practice went pretty good this morning and the car seems to be working pretty decent in race trim,” said Hawksworth, whose best lap was 215.621mph in the No. 41 ABC Supply Honda. “We have one more practice in race trim and we’ll see if we can dial it in to run up high and run down low because we’re going to have to do some passing tomorrow.”

Will Power took the Verizon P1 pole award with a speed of 218.519mph. His Penske teammates claimed second and third while Carlos Munoz claimed fourth to break up the Penske juggernaut. Juan Pablo Montoya rounded out the top five in qualifying.

The Firestone 600 will be broadcast live on the NBC Sports Network Saturday night starting at 8 p.m. ET.

Race Report: Chevrolet Dual in Detroit Race 2

Race Report: Chevrolet Dual in Detroit Race 2

DETROIT May 31, 2015—There is no “I” in the word “team.” Today that was obvious as Takuma Sato lauded his ABC Supply/AJ Foyt Racing team after piloting his No. 14 ABC Supply Honda to a thrilling second-place finish in the Chevrolet Dual in Detroit Race 2 at Belle Isle Park.

“First of all, a big thank you to ABC Supply and AJ Foyt Racing,” Sato said. “The whole team did a really good job and under the difficult circumstances, it could have been one way or the other with the weather. I think we had a really solid environment as a team and a very strong race car—the no. 14 car worked really well the whole weekend. I was able to really enjoy yesterday’s first part of the wet race [alluding to when he took the lead in just three laps]. Today was a little tough because we couldn’t qualify in the wet so we had to start from the back of the grid. We were really steady picking off cars one by one, and we had good pit stops, the boys did a super job on those. With so many restarts, it was a great opportunity for overtaking, and I was able to overtake—it was so exciting! I’m really proud of this association. We fought really hard. That was sport, that was hard racing, and I think it was a great achievement by our team.”

Teammate Jack Hawksworth also turned in a terrific performance to finish seventh in the No. 41 ABC Supply Honda after being spun out twice by the same driver—rookie Sage Karam.

“First, congratulations to Takuma, he did a good job, and it’s great to see those guys on the podium,” Hawksworth said. “Obviously our race didn’t go to plan, we ended up getting punted off twice by the same guy. It was disappointing. Not too good in the wet, and then at the end we got the slicks on and we were quick and were able to make up positions but we needed more green time. We pitted and hoped there’d be some more green [flag racing] because the guys at the front would have had to come in, but it didn’t happen for us. But I’m happy to recover for a seventh.”

Sebastien Bourdais won the race at the 2.35-mile temporary circuit. Following Bourdais and Sato across the line were Graham Rahal, Tristan Vautier, Marco Andretti, rookie Conor Daly (who was subbing for injured James Hinchcliffe), and Hawksworth.

When heavy rain washed out qualifying earlier today, the starting grid was set according to the point standings, relegating Sato to 15th and Hawksworth to 19th. The rain continued into the afternoon and the temperatures hovered in the 50s making the track conditions difficult.

Officials declared a wet start, but unlike the day before when Sato surged to the lead from his fourth place on the grid, he didn’t have quite the same grip level with the cooler temperatures. In the opening laps, neither driver made much headway until the first round of pit stops around lap 18.

Quick pit work by the No. 14 crew saw Sato enter in 14th position and come out in 12th. Hawksworth pitted a couple laps earlier and by the time the pit stops cycled out, he too had gained a spot on the track. In the second fuel stint, Sato cracked the top 10 when a full course yellow came out on lap 37 for a single car crash by Rodolfo Gonzalez.

Since the rain had stopped, the track began to dry and both the 14 and 41 teams opted to switch to slick tires—choosing the softer, alternate red-rimmed Firestone tires. On the slicks, Sato began to pick off his competitors, advancing to fifth by the time the yellow flew on lap 50 for Josef Newgarden’s single car crash into the barrier.

When Daly pitted during the caution period for fuel after leading 12 laps (half under caution), Sato moved into fourth while Hawksworth was 14th. On the lap 54 restart, Hawksworth was hit by Karam, who also collected Stefano Coletti. All were able to continue. When Charlie Kimball punted teammate Scott Dixon into the wall a couple laps later, it caused another full course caution. It was during this lap 59-60 caution period that Rahal was penalized for blocking Sato who’d tried to pass him a couple laps earlier. Rahal was ordered to give the position to Sato who moved into third.

On the lap 61 restart, Hawksworth was punted again by Karam, which brought out another yellow—this time for debris as Hawksworth was able to recover from the spin and keep going. Karam was penalized with a drive-through penalty.

On the next restart, Sato made a brilliant move past second-place Montoya who’d been brake-checked by leader Sebastien Bourdais. However on that lap, Will Power and Helio Castroneves – both of Team Penske–crashed in Turn 2; the race was red-flagged to clean up the debris and allow for a green flag finish.

When the race resumed, there were just five laps left as it was deemed a timed race and ended at two hours. In those five laps, Sato pressured Bourdais but had to settle for second. Meanwhile, Hawksworth vaulted from 15th to seventh, gaining positions on track as well as two spots when Tony Kanaan and Simon Pagenaud had to pit for fuel. Juan Pablo Montoya, who started from the pole and led 35 laps, ran out of fuel on the final lap and finished 10th.

It was the best performance for both of Foyt’s drivers this season. The runner-up finish was Sato’s first podium appearance since finishing second in Sao Paulo, Brazil in 2013. Hawksworth’s seventh was his second straight, having finished there the day before and it stands as his best finish to date for AJ Foyt Racing.

Sato put it into perspective when he noted in the post-race press conference, “We had a scary winter [referring to team owner A.J. Foyt’s lengthy hospital stay following triple bypass surgery and ensuing complications], and finally A.J. came back in May, and now this is his third attendance at a race, and we presented him with a good result. Hopefully, we have more to come.”

The top-five and top-10 finishes give the Texas-based team positive momentum as they return to their home state this week for the first time since May 2. The Verizon IndyCar Series will race at Texas Motor Speedway Saturday night, June 6. The series’ first race under the lights this season will be broadcast live by CNBC Network starting at 8:00 p.m. ET.

Foyt Race Report: Detroit Grand Prix – Race 1

Race Report: Detroit Grand Prix – Race 1

DETROIT May 30—While rain may be a problem in the roofing business, it is not a problem for the ABC Supply Racing drivers Takuma Sato and Jack Hawksworth. Amidst the inclement weather that made Race 1 of the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix on Belle Isle a dicey affair today, both drivers took their ABC Supply Hondas to the front.

With a heavy downpour dousing the track before the race, INDYCAR officials declared a wet start, meaning all cars had to use rain tires. Sato, who started fourth, wasted no time showing his prowess in the rain as he passed the top three Team Penske drivers by lap three. Sato led through lap 14 and then pitted for slicks (dry track tires) as the track began to dry.

Hawksworth pitted on lap 10 for slicks along with a handful of other drivers.  When the leaders pitted five laps later, Hawksworth vaulted from his 14th starting spot to third behind Marco Andretti and Lucca Filippi.

Sato, who won the race off pit road with his team’s seven-second pit stop, found himself in eighth spot when the race restarted. On the restart on lap 18, he and Josef Newgarden made contact and both drivers had to pit for repairs. Sato took on a new nose and restarted in 18th.

Hawksworth moved into second on lap 20 and held that position until his team called him in to get rain tires on lap 34 since the rain started falling again. Sato was also told to pit for rain tires the same lap. Both drivers had uneventful stops but they had lost track position to a several cars that either pitted a couple laps earlier or hadn’t pitted until several laps later.

Hawksworth emerged seventh and Sato 14th. Several drivers such as Andretti and his teammate Carlos  Munoz stayed on the slick tires despite the ever-slickening track. By the time they did pit, they had increased their lead enough to pit without losing a position to those behind them. Munoz waited the longest, pitting on lap 42. The strategy paid off as Munoz claimed his first victory in the Verizon IndyCar Series when the race was red-flagged due to weather conditions on lap 48.

Hawksworth claimed seventh for his best finish of the season. “Today was definitely a fun race, there was a lot of action going on,” the 24-year-old Brit said. “I was at the back, at the front, then the middle and finished seventh in the end. The ABC Supply car was really good. The strategy was one of those 50/50 decisions whether you come in for wets or stay out on the dry tires (slicks). At least we were in a pretty good position from that perspective. We came in a little too early as it turned out and got jumped by a few people. But the car was really good and the guys were good on the stops, and that all kind of bodes well for tomorrow so hopefully we can have a good qualifying. It was nice to score some points today.”

Sato passed several cars to finish 11th for his best ever finish at Belle Isle.

“What a race! The conditions gave me the opportunity and the conditions took our result as well,” Sato said. “At the beginning of the race it was wet conditions, and I was really happy. I overtook cars one by one—Montoya at the first hairpin, then Castroneves on the back straight and Will Power at Turn 1. It all looked really good. The ABC boys did a really good job on the first pit stop—it was a really fast pit stop so that helped me out. However, at that time, a number of the cars were on dry tires already, so we shuffled around on the positions [went from the lead to eighth]. After that, we saw the big rain coming so we came into the pit for wet tires, and then the rain didn’t come as soon as we thought, so that was a gamble that didn’t pay off. At the end of the race, it looked like our final pit stop might have been a good call if they had continued the race because a lot of people ahead of us still had to pit but that didn’t happen. Fortunately, our car was strong so hopefully we’ll have a good performance tomorrow.”

Following Munoz across the line were Andretti, Simon Pagenaud, Will Power and Scott Dixon.

The teams will have one round of qualifying tomorrow at 11:30 a.m. ET to determine the grid for Race 2. That race will be televised live by ABC-TV starting at 3:30 p.m. ET.

Foyt Racing – Qualifying Report: Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix – Race 1

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.

 

Notes & Quotes: Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix

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.

Page 26 of 29:« First« 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 »
  • RSS INDYCAR News from around the Internet:

    • 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 […]
    • Q&A: Printup talks future of WGI, IndyCar, Phish
      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 […]