[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
At least 25 tax collectors have been killed since 2012 in Mogadishu, a city awash in weapons and abject poverty.
Tokyo government claims its homeless population has hit a record low, but analysts - and the homeless - beg to differ.
3D printers can cheaply construct homes and could soon be deployed to help victims of catastrophe rebuild their lives.
Lack of child protection laws means abandoned and orphaned kids rely heavily on the care of strangers.
Featured
Booming global trade in 50-million-year-old amber stones is lucrative, controversial, and extremely dangerous.
Legendary Native-American High Bird was trained in ancient warrior traditions, which he employed in World War II.
Hounded opposition figure says he's hoping for the best at sodomy appeal but prepared to return to prison.
Fears of rising Islamophobia and racial profiling after two soldiers killed in separate incidents.
Group's culture of summary justice is back in Northern Ireland's spotlight after new sexual assault accusations.