Photo: Chris Jones/INDYCAR

Sato’s Mid-Ohio Improvement

By Christopher DeHarde, IndyCar & Road to Indy Writer

LEXINGTON, Ohio — Takuma Sato has been a man on the move since the Verizon IndyCar Series arrived at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course for Sunday’s Honda Indy 200.

The Andretti Autosport driver was 16th at the end of the first Friday practice session, more than three quarters of a second off of the fastest time. In the second practice session, Sato jumped to 11th fastest and despite the gap to the leader increasing, his lap time was a half second faster and he was happy with the progress the team made.

“I think we made some good progress today for the Ruoff Home Mortgage team,” Sato said.

“Hopefully, we carry on this momentum and have a good day tomorrow.”

In Saturday’s morning practice session, Sato was second fastest after teammate Alexander Rossi which led to qualifying. Sato advanced all the way to the Firestone Fast Six after advancing out of group one in the first round and then being one of the six fastest drivers in the second round. Sato ended up qualifying third fastest behind the Team Penske duo of Will Power and Josef Newgarden. The 2017 Indianapolis 500 champion was complimentary of his team’s performance this weekend.

“The team worked extremely well with the four cars and we were very competitive for all the practice sessions,” Sato said.

“I’m extremely happy with the performance of the Ruoff Home Mortgage car. I think the team has reached a good setup. I think a P3 is very happy place for us and a good position for the race tomorrow.”

If Sato can keep his form up, Mid-Ohio could be a great result for the No. 26 Honda. His best result at Mid-Ohio has been a fourth in 2011.

Tags : , , , ,

A 2012 graduate of LSU, Christopher DeHarde primarily focuses on the NTT IndyCar Series and the WeatherTech Sports Car Championship. DeHarde has actively covered motorsports since 2014.