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."

Race Report: Indianapolis 500

INDIANAPOLIS May 24, 2015—This year’s Indianapolis 500 held drama from the first lap to the last as Juan Pablo Montoya fended off his teammate Will Power by a mere tenth of a second to win the race for the second time. Montoya first won the Memorial Day Classic in 2000.

The final 14 laps provided fans with some of the most thrilling racing ever at Indianapolis Motor Speedway as the leaders swapped the top spot eight times! Finishing third through fifth were Charlie Kimball for his best finish ever here, Scott Dixon, and Graham Rahal, who piloted the top-finishing Honda-powered car.

The drama on the first lap came from Takuma Sato’s charge from the outside of the eighth row into Turn 1. He was squeezed into the wall by 20-year-old Sage Karam, who was not expecting Sato to be able to maintain his speed through the turn and the exit onto the short chute. It triggered a multi-car crash.

Sato skittered away with a broken steering arm and toelink while Karam crashed heavily enough that he was done for the day. The ABC Supply team was able to replace the left front steering arm during the caution period which lasted 11 laps due to another incident between Montoya and Simona DeSilvestro during the caution period. Sato lost two laps to the repair.

When the race restarted, Sato was last. Teammate Alex Tagliani had moved from 20th to 13th in the No. 48 Al-Fe Heat Treating Honda. Season-long teammate Jack Hawksworth had moved from 28th to 24th in the No. 41 ABC Supply Honda but then pitted to top off his fuel tank.

As the race settled in, Tagliani ran in the top half of the field getting as high as 13th on the second fuel stint. At one point, he led two laps under caution during the pit stop cycles. However, his car appeared to lose the handling midway through the race, perhaps due to changing track conditions. He dropped as low as 26th but then came back to finish 17th.

“It was a pretty eventful race for us, nothing I could ask more of from the guys,” Tagliani said afterwards. “I am very appreciative and honored to be part of the Foyt family. I was really appreciative just to be here, it means a lot to me. Having the limited time we did, we were playing a little on the fly today with pit stops, so that hurt us a little bit, but other than that I think the race was okay. The car was fairly good, it was missing a bit of speed, but I think in general we can say we accomplished what we needed to accomplish as a team. Doing it last minute like this was very difficult for everyone, but we pulled it off. We managed to run all 500 miles without a problem on the car, and that says it all for all the hard work and preparation the Al-Fe Heat Treating guys put into the car. I am very, very proud of them.”

Track Report: Carb Day

INDIANAPOLIS May 22 - The final practice for the Indianapolis 500 went well for the AJ Foyt Racing team with all three cars running in the top half of the field. Takuma Sato was fifth in the No. 14 ABC Supply Honda with a top speed of 228.242mph, while Jack Hawksworth was 12th in the no. 41 ABC Supply Honda at 226.436mph. Alex Tagliani clocked 225.939mph in the No. 48 Al-Fe Heat Treating Honda for 16th quickest.

“It’s very encouraging to see all three cars very competitive,” said Sato, who was the quickest Honda-powered car today. “I felt comfortable in traffic which is what today is all about. The ABC boys did a great preparation on the car, taking everything off and putting it back together again—the car feels really, really good. A very positive day so we’re in the best position for race day.”

“Practice went pretty good,” Hawksworth said. “We had a new engine in the ABC Supply 41 car so we had to dial that in initially and get that all checked off. We worked on the car balance a little bit and we found a little more front grip in traffic which is good. I think we still need to find a little more for Sunday but overall it seems pretty decent.”

Will Power was quickest of the 33 cars on track today. He posted a speed of 229.020mph. Due to driver changes in the starting line-up resulting in three cars moving to the back of the grid, both Sato and Hawksworth will each move up a row. Sato moves up to 24th, outside on Row 8 while Hawksworth will start 28th, inside Row 10.

Tagliani will start 20th, in the middle of Row 7. Only two of the driver changes affected his starting spot as he was starting ahead of the car driven by James Hinchcliffe which will now be driven by Ryan Briscoe in the 500.

The Indianapolis 500 will be broadcast live by ABC-TV Sunday, May 24th with pre-race coverage beginning at 11 a.m. ET. The race will start shortly after noon.