Notes & Quotes: Honda Indy Toronto 2 in T.O.

Takuma Sato On:

Racing in Toronto: “This street course is tricky because you have to go through many surface changes and each has a different grip level—all in one corner! So the car is never settling down and you are very busy in the cockpit. This track requires a typical street course setup where you maximize the mechanical grip with good stability and traction but the key here is that you need a strong front end too. This track has some long straights so to go fast there you need less downforce which makes the corners even trickier! But it’s a very historical race and the fans are really enthusiastic, so it’s a great event.”

The city of Toronto: “There are lots of great restaurants in Toronto so it is hard to make a wrong choice but I like the Japanese restaurants and it has one of the finest steakhouses anywhere.”

Standing Starts: “I had only a few standing starts in the IndyCar at the winter test so we will make some during Friday’s practice and see how much we can improve the performance. Obviously, I have experienced standing starts a lot in my career but it was in a different car and system. I have never done them with a big turbocharged engine machine so there is still a lot to learn. Procedure-wise, it is straight forward so it should be fine.

Past performance at Toronto: Sato’s best start and finish came last year when he started and finished 9th. The ABC Supply team’s record shows better finishes than starts: 2009 Ryan Hunter-Reay started 12th, finished 7th; in 2010, Vitor Meira started 26th, finished 11th, in 2011, Meira started 14th and finished 5th and last year Mike Conway started 11th and finished 3rd.

A.J. Foyt is resting at home this weekend. Foyt is being diligent about following his doctors’ orders as well as doing daily therapy at home following his left hip replacement surgery on July 1.

Crew Chief Tom Howatt, born in Margate, England, 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 started 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 30 year career, he has worked with Pat Patrick, Granatelli, Truesports, Panther Racing and Rocketsports.  Howatt has been working with Foyt’s team since 2008.

Headquartered in Beloit, Wis., ABC Supply was founded by Ken and Diane Hendricks in 1982. The company has more than 455 branches in 45 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 a six-time winner of the Gallup Great Workplace Award, which recognizes the best-performing workforces in the world, ABC Supply is one of only a handful of 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 twin races will be televised live on Saturday, July 13 and Sunday, July 14, with each 85-lap race broadcast starting at 3:00 p.m. ET on the NBC Sports Network.

For more information,please check: Facebook: AJ Foyt Racing fan page. Twitter: @ajfoytracing.@TakumaSatoRacer.