[QODLink]
Sport

Sato and Japan make mark on IndyCar

Former F1 driver Takuma Sato reflects on first IndyCar win as he becomes the first Japanese racer at top of podium.

Last Modified: 26 Apr 2013 12:48
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Sato hopes his victory at Long Beach will help bring back the Japanese IndyCar fixture [AP]

Takuma Sato says joining AJ Foyt Racing put him in position to become the first Japanese driver to win an IndyCar race.

Sato returned to Japan on Friday to speak about his historic win last Sunday in the Grand Prix of Long Beach, just his third race with the team.

"Motorsports is a team sport and you can't win without complete effort from the team," Sato said at a news conference.

"The thing about AJ Foyt Racing is that regardless of the conditions they provide the stability needed to win."

"Of course, being so close to the win at Indy and not getting it was difficult but being able to contend up until the last lap gave me a lot of confidence"

IndyCar driver Takuma Sato

The win at Long Beach came in Sato's 52nd career start in IndyCar, but was the first for AJ Foyt Racing since Airton Dare won Kansas in 2002.

On the last lap of last year's Indianapolis 500, Sato wrecked while trying to pass winner Dario Francitti.

"Of course, being so close to the win at Indy and not getting it was difficult but being able to contend up until the last lap gave me a lot of confidence," Sato said.

Sato entered Formula One in 2002 but his only podium was when he finished third at the United States Grand Prix in 2003.

He signed with KV Racing Technology to drive in the 2010 IndyCar Series and finished 21st then 13th in 2011. Last year he placed 14th with Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, with a best finish of second at Toronto.

His win lifted him to second in the IndyCar standings, and was redemption for the Honda driver, who was headed to a podium finish last year at Long Beach until he was spun by Ryan Hunter-Reay on the final lap.

IndyCar pulled out of Japan after the 2011 race, and Sato said he hopes his win at Long Beach will help return the series to his homeland.

"People in Japan love IndyCar," the 36-year-old Sato said.

"I can't bring it back myself but I hope in some small way the win in Long Beach will help bring it back. I want to race in the Indy Japan before my career is over."

385

Source:
AP
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Featured on Al Jazeera
Swathes of the British electorate continue to show discontent with all things European, including immigration.
Astronomers have captured images of primordial galaxies that helped light up the cosmos after the Big Bang.
Critics assail British photographer's portrayal of indigenous people, but he says he's highlighting their plight.
As Western stars re-release 1980s charity hit, many Africans say it's a demeaning relic that can do more harm than good.
Featured
No one convicted after 58 people gunned down in cold blood in 2009 in the country's worst political mass killing.
While hosting the World Internet Conference, China tries Tiananmen activist for leaking 'state secrets' to US website.
Once staunchly anti-immigrant, some observers say the conservative US state could lead the way in documenting migrants.
NGOs say women without formal documentation are being imprisoned after giving birth in Malaysia.
Public stripping and assault of woman and rival protests thereafter highlight Kenya's gender-relations divide.